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NBC’s ”Saving Hope” struggled in its premiere and ABC’s ”Duets” fell off some more in its third week, but Fox opened its dating series ”The Choice” to OK numbers Thursday. The net also saw decent premiere-night scores for another premiering dating show, ”Take Me Out.”

Once again, cable was expected to win the night as ESPN’s coverage of Game 6 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals between Miami and Boston drew Thursday’s highest overnight household rating (8.2). In fact, it stands as the highest overnight score for any NBA game on cable in at least nine years.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, Fox’s new dating series ”Take Me Out” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) and ”The Choice” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) combined for a close second-place finish among the broadcasters in 18-49 while winning among the Big Four in adults 18-34. ”The Choice,” in which celebrity bachelors select among a group of eligible women, was the No. 1 broadcast program in the 9 o’clock hour and edged up in its second half-hour; Fox projects it to finish with a 1.8 demo rating in the final same-day nationals. Series comes from A. Smith and Co. Productions.

Despite an all-repeat lineup, CBS edged out Fox on the night in 18-49 and also led among the broadcasters in both adults 25-54 and total viewers. ”The Big Bang Theory” (2.1/8 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), the top series of the night, was followed by a special airing of ”2 Broke Girls” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and crime dramas ”Person of Interest” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and ”The Mentalist” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall).

At ABC, ”Duets” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) fell some more in its third week, finishing behind both the CBS repeats and Fox reality premieres in 18-49. ”Rookie Blue” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) was down slightly week to week, but drew its best women 18-34 score (1.4/5) in nine episodes, going back to last summer.

NBC struggled to draw an audience all night, settling for a 2 share with repeats of ”The Office” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall at 8 and 0.6/2 in 18-49 and 1.8 million viewers overall at 8:30), the premiere of ”Saving Hope” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) and a new edition of newsmagazine ”Rock Center” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall). ”Hope” came in 30% lower than NBC’s scripted hourlong premiere of last summer, ”Love Bites.”

CW’s ballet reality series ”Breaking Pointe” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall) was down from its premiere of last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.6/5; Fox, 1.5/5; ABC and Univision, 1.2/4; NBC, 0.7/2; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.9 million; ABC, 5.3 million; Fox, 3.8 million; Univision, 3.1 million; NBC, 2.7 million; CW, 0.6 million.