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ABC’s ‘Motive’ Best Among Thursday Rookie Originals

Fox's 'Does Someone Have to Go,' NBC's 'Save Me' not doing much; NBC's 'Hannibal' steady

ABC’s crime drama “Motive” held up pretty well in its second outing Thursday, outperforming the night’s original episodes of other first-year series on the competition, including Fox’s “Does Someone Have to Go?” and NBC’s “Hannibal.” It was a lackluster night for the major nets though on an evening when TNT was expected to dominate with its coverage of Game 5 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals.

Fox edged out NBC and Univision to win the night among young adults, as its “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) tied as the No. 1 series in 18-49 for a second straight week, though it was down 9% (0.2) from last week. It was followed by the second week of alternative series “Does Someone Have to Go?” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), which retained just half of its lead-in and was down 23% (0.3) from its premiere.

CBS’ encore of “The Big Bang Theory” (2.0/8 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) tied  with “Hell’s Kitchen” as the top series of the night in 18-49, and was followed by a special original episode of “Mike & Molly” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall), which was airing its season finale 10 days later than planned; CBS had pulled the finale episode off May 20 because it contained a tornado-related storyline that was considered insensitive to air when Oklahoma was ravaged by a tornado of its own.

As would be expected, “Mike & Molly” was well down from last year’s finale on a Monday (3.4) in 18-49, and was also off 25% (0.6) from its most recent original of May 13 (2.4).

ABC opened with another episode of the tired “Wipeout” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall), followed by original dramas “Motive” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and “Rookie Blue” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall). “Motive” was down a tick from its premiere of last week and finished second among the Big Four in 18-49 to a repeat of CBS’ “Person of Interest” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall). And at 10, “Rookie Blue” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) matched its season-premiere score of last week, edging past an encore of CBS’ “Elementary” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).

ABC’s lineup will have to take a seat for at least the next two weeks as the net airs the NBA Finals, which tip off Thursday.

At ABC, Anne Heche comedy “Save Me” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) retained most of its soft premiere scores of last week, again ranking fourth among the Big Four for the 8 o’clock hour. It was followed by repeats of “The Office” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) and “Parks and Recreation” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall) and a new episode of “Hannibal” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), which was a bit behind the dramas on ABC and CBS in 18-49. “Hannibal,” which was renewed for a second, 13-episode season hours before it aired last night, again built on its lead-in from “Parks and Recreation.”

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 1.5/5; CBS and Univision, 1.4/4; ABC, 1.2/4; NBC, 0.8/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.9 million; ABC, 5.3 million; Fox, 3.8 million; Univision, 3.4 million; NBC, 2.3 million; CW, 1.3 million.

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