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Ratings: ABC’s ‘Billboard Music Awards’ Hit 12-Year Demo High

ABC’s telecast of the “Billboard Music Awards” dominated Sunday’s ratings race, hitting a 12-year high in young adults and a 14-year high in total viewers. It contributed to soft season finale scores for Fox’s comedies and helped sink NBC dramas “A.D. The Bible Continues” and “American Odyssey” to new lows.

Ratings for AMC’s “Mad Men” series finale were not available early Monday, but will be released Tuesday.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC’s winning night kicked off with the season finale of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.4 rating/6 share in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which won its hour in all demos with what was the final episode for host Tom Bergeron. It was followed by the “Billboard Music Awards” (3.7/12 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall), which was up 6% (0.2) from last year for the show’s highest rating since 2003. It also picked up 4% in total viewers to hit a 14-year high. (The kudocast had aired on Fox from 1989 through 2006, but the event wasn’t held from 2007 to 2010; ABC scooped up the property and began airing it in 2011.)

ABC’s nightly 3.1 rating in 18-49 topped the combined averages of Fox, NBC and CBS (2.6) and was the network’s third highest of the season — behind only two other kudocasts, the Oscars and American Music Awards.

ABC’s primetime likely got a boost from a high-rated NBA playoff game that aired late in the afternoon on the network. The Houston Rockets’ victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series averaged a 5.2 household rating, peaking with a 7.7 from 6 to 6:15 p.m. ET. This was the highest rated NBA playoff game in the first two rounds on ESPN since 2012.

Fox had a sluggish night despite airing mostly original episodes and some season finales. Following a repeat “The Simpsons” at 7 (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall), “Bob’s Burgers” did a 0.9/3 in the demo and 1.9 million total viewers. It was followed by the season finales of “The Simpsons” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) and “Bob’s Burgers” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall). “Simpsons,” which has a decent chance of hitting a 1.3 in the nationals, was down 15% from last week and 33% (0.4) from its year-ago finale, while “Family Guy” dropped 23% from its most recent original and tumbled 35% (0.7) from last year when it aired at 8:30.

At CBS, “60 Minutes” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) was followed by the “I Love Lucy Superstar Special” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which finished a tick behind the season finale of “Madam Secretary” in the timeslot two weeks ago. Originals of the canceled drama “Battle Creek” closed things out for the Eye at 9 (0.6/2 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and 10 (0.6/2 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall).

At NBC, a two-hour “Dateline” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) was up 25% (0.2) over last week’s hourlong installment. But both “A.D. The Bible Continues” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “American Odyssey” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) lost another tenth to set series lows.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.1/11; Fox, 1.0/4; CBS and NBC, 0.8/3; Univision, 0.6/2; Telemundo, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 9.9 million; CBS, 6.4 million; NBC, 4.7 million; Fox, 2.3 million; Univision, 1.5 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million.

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