HOLLYWOOD — Season finales and strong ratings for the NBA playoffs helped NBC wrap up another primetime ratings victory, as the net won among young adults for a ninth straight week.

According to Nielsen, the Peacock captured the week of May 20-26, which included the final three nights of the May sweep, by 2 shares over Fox in adults 18-49. It was much closer in total viewers, with NBC eking past CBS.

Net’s primetime coverage of pro basketball’s conference finals began on Friday, and the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings produced strong numbers on both Friday and Sunday –up about 15% vs. a year ago.

Overall, NBC had four of the week’s top five shows in adults 18-49, led by No. 1 “Law & Order” (7.3/19), and won five nights in the key demo.

And with the NBA Finals coming up and a slew of original programming this summer, NBC’s demo-winning streak could last for a while.

CBS drew the largest aud on three of the week’s first four nights before fading over the weekend. Season finale of “Everybody Loves Raymond” was the week’s most-watched program (20.18 million viewers), one of seven CBS shows in the top 10.

Without “Survivor,” though, net fell back to fourth in 18-49 (2.8/9).

Fox was a competitive second in adults 18-49 (3.6/11) and adults 18-34 (3.4/12) and first in all male demos, boosted by “Celebrity Boxing 2,” the “Ally McBeal” series finale and a NASCAR race on Sunday.

ABC, which edged out CBS for third in 18-49, was solid on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, but barely showed up on Thursday and Sunday. Net was led by the two-hour season finale of “NYPD Blue.”

UPN topped the WB, with an original “WWE Smackdown” the difference. Netlet was fourth in adults 18-34 and men 18-34.

Lifetime was the week’s most-watched basic cable network (1.79m), followed by Nickelodeon and TNT (1.60m apiece). An NBA playoff game Monday on TNT was the No. 1 program of the week (5.54m).


Repeat laffers helped CBS cruise on Memorial Day, taking the night by all key demos as well as total viewers. ABC, with James Bond pic “Moonraker,” and NBC, with a low-rated two-hour Memorial Day spec, certainly made things easier.


Fox’s NASCAR’s “Coca-Cola 600” won the night in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and key male demos.

NBC dominated in viewers behind NBA action and a 10 o’clock “Law & Order” (11.28m), while CBS was sluggish and ABC failed to even top 4 million viewers for any of its programs.


Airing for the second time in six days, theatrical “Enemy of the State” was surprisingly strong for ABC (8.09m, 3.0/12 in 18-49), which won the night in viewers and key demos.

Fox was a close second, led by timeslot-winning “America’s Most Wanted” at 9 (8.02m, 3.1/12).

A pair of Memorial Day specs, NBC’s “Tribute to Heroes” at 8 (2.95m, 0.9/4 in 18-49) and CBS’ “Rockin’ for the USA” at 9 (4.32m, 1.2/4), failed to click with auds.


“Dateline” and the NBA playoffs kept NBC on top, while ABC won in female demos with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “20/20.”

Fox struggled with its rejiggered Friday lineup of the canceled “Dark Angel” (3.39m, 1.5/6 in A18-49) and the retiring “X-Files” (2.98m, 1.2/4). Frog comedies “Reba” and “Maybe It’s Me,” in fact, outdrew “Files” at 9.


Two repeats of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” helped CBS win easily in viewers, while NBC (led by “Will & Grace”) held a slight edge in 18-49.

Opposite repeats, UPN’s “WWE Smackdown” placed first from 8 to 10 in men 18-34 (3.6/13).


Fox’s 90-minute “Celebrity Boxing 2” (10.17m, 5.1/14 in 18-49) was the week’s No. 1 program in both men 18-49 (6.5/18) and men 18-34 (8.1/24).

CBS ran second in both viewers (13.32m) and adults 25-54 (5.0/13) with the three-hour “Academy of Country Music Awards” kudocast.

Two-hour series finale of the WB’s “Felicity” (3.68m, 1.8/5) also did well.


After “That ’70s Show” gave Fox the opening hour in key demos, NBC’s “Frasier”-led lineup took over and ended up taking the night in 18-49. CBS won in viewers but was fourth in demos (Daily Variety, May 23).

Season finale of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” gave UPN its best Tuesday numbers (5.32m, 2.6/7 in 18-49) since the show’s preem last fall.


CBS won May 20 in total viewers and adults 25-54, while NBC won in adults 18-49 for a seventh straight Monday. Fox’s “Ally McBeal” rallied to its best numbers since early February with its series finale (11.51m, 5.5/13).

“Parkers” season finale (5.75m, 2.4/6) drew UPN’s best Monday-at-9 scores since September 2000.