Tonys on CBS Above 7 Million for First Time in Four Years

It ranks second among major nets Sunday to ABC's NBA Finals Game 2, which was down from last year

The Tony Awards  on CBS were on a ratings upswing last night, logging the show’s largest overall audience in four years — 7.2 million — despite competition from the NBA Finals on ABC.

Hoops action dominated the night, while HBO’s season finale of “Game of Thrones” was expected to rack up the best demo score for any series on Sunday.

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According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Tony Awards” averaged a 1.2 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and 7.2 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., up in the demo from last year’s low 1.0/3 and adding 1.2 million total viewers from last year’s 6 million for the kudocast’s largest overall audience since the 2009 show drew 7.4 million viewers overall. It did especially well as usual in New York, earning a 3.3/9 in Broadway’s backyard and peaking with a 3.8 demo rating in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour.

It’s been a good year for awards shows, as the Tonys join the Golden Globes on NBC, Academy Awards on ABC, Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS and the Billboard Music Awards on ABC in drawing more viewers in 2013 than 2012. The only major awards show that didn’t see an increase this year was the Grammy Awards on CBS, and that show drew its second largest audience in 20 years — behind its record-setting 2012 tune-in following the death of Whitney Houston.

The Tonys on CBS finished second to ABC’s coverage of Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, which averaged a 4.6/13 in 18-49 and 11.6 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., though these numbers don’t accurately reflect viewership in the West. It appears that like Thursday’s Game 1, last night’s Game 2 will come in down double-digits from last year’s second game between the Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder (7.1/22 in 18-49, 16.7 million viewers overall).

In Miami, the Heat’s victory over the Spurs did a 24.4 rating/53 share in adults 18-49 from 8 to 10:30.

Fox aired encores of animated comedies “The Cleveland Show” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall), “American Dad” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall), “American Dad” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), “Bob’s Burgers” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall at 9 p.m. and 1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall at 9:30.

NBC went with repeats of reality shows “The Voice” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) and “America’s Got Talent” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.9/12; CBS, 1.2/4; Fox, 1.0/3; NBC, 0.9/3; Univision and Telemundo, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 10.0 million; CBS, 7.7 million; NBC, 3.4 million; Fox, 2.3 million; Univision, 2.0 million; Telemundo, 1.8 million.

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