ABC’s summer schedule is certainly getting ample promotion this month, as the net’s coverage of the NBA Finals rocks the ratings.
The third, fourth and fifth games of the series between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers dominated last week’s frame to lead the Alphabet to an easy victory. Sunday’s game drew a whopping 18.7 million viewers, making it the most-watched summer telecast on any net (excluding the Olympics) in five years.
This figures to be good news for ABC’s new scripted dramas like “The Gates” and “Scoundrels” and returning reality hit “Wipeout,” whose on-air promotional spots have been hard for hoops fans to ignore. We’ll know starting next week, when most of the net’s warm-weather lineup bows, if awareness translates into ratings.
Overall for the week of June 7-13, ABC’s 2.9 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 towered over its closest competitors Fox (2.0/7), NBC (1.6/5), CBS (1.4/4) and Univision (1.2/4). The Alphabet also dominated in overlapping demos like persons 12-34 (2.5/9) and adults 25-54 (3.1/9) and prevailed as well in total viewers (8 million to 7.1 million for CBS).
Though it aired outside primetime, the U.S.-England match in soccer’s FIFA World Cup on Saturday during the day also scored for ABC. The net averaged 13 million vicwers for its game coverage, while Spanish-language broadcaster Univision drew 4.1 million — with the combined 17.1 million the largest men’s soccer aud in the States in 16 years.As for basketball, Sunday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals, won by the Celtics to put them one victory from the championship, averaged a 7.2 rating/20 share and 18.65 million viewers overall — a demo score surpassed in recent months by only Fox’s “American Idol.” It was followed closely in the week’s rankings by Tuesday’s Game 3 (6.7/19, 15.96m) and Thursday’s Game 4 (6.6/21, 16.37m).
Through five games, this year’s NBA Finals are producing the event’s best averages (6.5/19 in 18-49 and 16.2 million viewers overall) since the Lakers-Detroit Pistons matchup in 2004, and are up by double-digit percentages vs. the delivery for last year’s Lakers-Orlando Magic series (5.9/17 and 14.4 million), which ended in five contests.
Contributing to ABC’s victory last week on the entertainment series side was “The Bachelorette” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 7.91m), whose two-hour Monday seg ranked 10th for the week in 18-49.
At Fox, the season finale of “Glee” (4.7/12 in 18-49, 11.07m) jumped by about 20% vs. its score for the previous week, ranking fourth for the frame in 18-49 and delivering the show’s best-ever numbers without an “American Idol” lead-in. Prior to “Glee” on Tuesday was “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.2/10, 6.96m), which also finished in the week’s top 10.
“So You Think You Can Dance” helped out with its two nights, led by Wednesday’s two-hour installment (3.0/9, 8.15m), but the net’s summer scripted newbie “The Good Guys” is struggling on Monday (1.4/4, 4.56m).
NBC iced the competition on Wednesday with the sixth and final game of the Stanley Cup Finals (3.2/10, 8.28m), and the series as a whole finished as the highest-rated in 13 years for hockey’s championship round. The Peacock also scored with Tuesday’s “America’s Got Talent” (3.2/10, 13.09m), while its lead-out “Losing With Jillian” fared adequately (2.1/6, 5.70m).
It was a slow start, though, for Monday scripted drama “Persons Unknown” (1.4/4, 4.38m).
CBS slogged through another repeat-heavy week, with its best ratings coming from Monday’s “The Big Bang Theory” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 9.12m) and “Two and a Half Men” (2.6/8, 9.84m).
Its Sunday coverage of the Tony Awards settled for typically low numbers (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.98m) opposite the NBA Finals.
USA won the week among cablers behind Thursday dramas “Burn Notice” (1.8/5, 5.67m) and “Royal Pains” (1.8/5, 5.60m) and Monday’s “WWE Raw” (1.6/4, 4.95m for the 10 p.m. hour), but it was History’s “Pawn Stars” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.32m) that stood as the top demo draw — beating out the broadcasters in its 10 p.m. Monday hour.
Disney Channel claimed the week’s most-watched cable program overall with Saturday’s airing of “Toy Story 2” (7.48 million).