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Hillary, NBA top Tonys

Legit showcase's TV aud gets younger

The Tony Awards telecast is still not much of a mass-appeal ratings draw, but this year’s expanded three-hour kudocast on CBS brought out younger viewers than last year’s.

At least part of Tony’s growth in the advertiser-friendly demos Sunday may have been the result of weaker competish from the NBA Finals on ABC, which continues to perform well below last year’s levels. The Alphabet did better with its Barbara Walters interview of Hillary Clinton, which was the evening’s most-watched program.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the 57th annual Tony Awards on CBS averaged a 1.9 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 8 million viewers overall. While the average audience count is on par with last year, the 18-49 rating is up 19%.

Tony numbers improve

The Tonys, hosted by Hugh Jackman, also showed year-to-year improvements in other demos, including a 30% spike in adults 25-54 (prelim 2.6/6 vs. 2.0/5).

This year’s show was down vs. two years ago, though, and kept CBS last for the night in both 18-49 and 25-54.

National ratings will be issued today, but in Nielsen’s metered-market local overnights, show grabbed an 8.3/12 household rating in Gotham and a 6.3/10 in Los Angeles.

ABC won the night with the odd combination of Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) and pro basketball.

Although reliable prelim nationals weren’t available due to time-zone adjustments, the special seg of “20/20” that featured Walters’ chat with Clinton averaged more than 13 million viewers and roughly a 3.8/13 in adults 18-49. Spec, timed to coincide with the release of the former first lady’s tell-some book, aired from 7 to 8 in most of the country (before basketball) and from 10 to 11 in the Pacific and Mountain regions (after the game).

’20/20′ strong everywhere

“20/20” led its timeslot in each of the nation’s top 10 markets, according to metered-market overnight household ratings, drawing its best scores in Philadelphia (15.7/27), Detroit (14.9/24) and San Francisco (14.8/26).

As for basketball, Sunday’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals (8:30-11:15 p.m. ET) produced an 8.7/14 in the overnights, down 26% from last year’s Lakers-Nets contest on NBC (11.8/19). Final ratings for Friday’s Game 2 (8.06 million viewers, 3.3/12 in adults 18-49) were down 43% year-to-year in the demo; it ranks as the lowest-rated primetime Finals game on record.

At least ABC is getting a more competitive series than NBC did last season, when the Lakers won in four games. Alphabet net also is struggling in the ratings with hockey’s NHL Finals, whose seventh and deciding game was played Monday night.

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