NBA Finals leads ABC to easy win

NBC's 'Talent' best in non-sports fare

As expected, the first game of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the Tuesday night ratings race and lifted ABC to an easy victory.

In the 9-11 p.m. timeslot, which was the game for much of the country, the two hours drew a 5.6 rating/15 share in the 18-49 demo, with 13.1 million viewers overall. In other parts of the country during that time, ABC aired post-game coverage and other programming as soon as the Thunder’s win was complete.

The overnight rating was an 11.8, the highest ever for a Game 1 on ABC, according to Nielsen. The game peaked with a 14.1 rating from 11:30 to 11:45 p.m. ET. Updated and increased NBA viewer totals should be available Wednesday afternoon.

Previous to tip-off, the net’s “NBA Countdown” drew a 2.8/6, 6.9m at 8:30 and a basketball-themed “Jimmy Kimmel Live” special started the night with a 2.2/7, 9.3m.

In nonsports programming, NBC’s summer reality skein “America’s Got Talent” was best overall. The Howard Stern-infused competition show earned a 3.0/8, 10.8m at 9 o’clock. Last week “Talent” aired at 8 o’clock while “Love in the Wild” had the 9 p.m. timeslot. In the later start, “Talent” saw some ratings erosion — from a 3.5 to 3.0, and a loss of about 1.7 million viewers.

The viewer drop-off on “Talent” was clearly because of competition from the NBA Finals game and a mediocre lead-in of “American Ninja Warrior” (1.6/5, 4.9m). “Love in the Wild” (1.6/4, 5m) shifted to 10 p.m., where it was on par from a week ago.

Fox was consistent in its culinary reality shows. Both “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” each recorded a 2.1 rating in the demo, with “Hell’s Kitchen” earning a slighter higher share (7 vs. 6). Both were about even from last week.

CBS offered a trio of repeats: “NCIS” (1.3/4, 9.2m), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.1/3, 6.9) and “48 Hours Mystery” (1.6/4, 5m).

The CW’s programming included “The Catalina” (0.2/1, 649,000) and “The L.A. Complex (0.1/0, 391,000).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.6/13; NBC, 2.1/6; Fox, 2.1/6; CBS, 1.2/3; Univision, 1.1/3; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: 11 million; CBS, 7.1 million; NBC, 6.9 million; Fox, 4.9 million; Univision, 2.9 million; CW, 733,000.