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ESPN’s NBA Draft, Fox’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Hot on Thursday

Univision ties Fox for broadcast lead in 18-49; ABC's shows return from NBA break with lows

Thursday was a pretty quiet night for the broadcasters, with Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” looking good while ABC’s lineup returned to sluggish results after a three-week break. ESPN likely stole some viewers away with its coverage of the NBA Draft, which was up from last year.

In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, the NBA Draft averaged a 2.6 household rating — up 13% from last year (2.3) and matching 2007 as the top-rated such event since 2003 (when the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were among the top-tier players selected). The top local markets were Louisville (6.9), Memphis (5.6) and Cleveland (5.0).

Last year’s NBA Draft ended up doing a 1.4/5 in 18-49 and 2.96 million viewers overall.

The only programs that appeared to have fared better than the NBA Draft in adults 18-49 on Thursday were Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) and a repeat of CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall).

“Hell’s Kitchen” matched last week’s demo score while drawing its largest overall audience since its season premiere. Airing behind it, “Does Someone Have to Go?” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) also was in line with last week.

For the night, Fox tied with Univision as the No. 1 broadcaster in 18-49. The Spanish-language network was led by “Amores Verdaderos” at 9 (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall).

At CBS, “Big Bang” was followed by encores of “Two and a Half Men” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), “Person of Interest” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall).

ABC’s lineup of “Wipeout” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), “Motive” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and “Rookie Blue” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) hit lows in their return following a three-week break for the NBA Finals. “Motive,” down 25% from its most recent original (1.2), was neck and neck with CBS’ “Person of Interest” repeat in 18-49 at 9 o’clock, and “Rookie Blue,” which limited its losses to one-tenth of a ratings point, beat out the “Elementary” repeat on CBS in 18-49 and 25-54.

NBC went with an hour of “Parks and Recreation” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall at 8 and 0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall at 8:30), an hourlong “The Office” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall) and a special repeat of “America’s Got Talent” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall).

Next Thursday, singing competition “The Winner Is” premieres after its two Monday previews earlier this month.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox and Univision, 1.4/5; CBS, 1.2/4; ABC, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.8/2; NBC, 0.7/2; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.2 million; ABC, 4.6 million; Fox, 3.8 million; Univision, 3.7 million; NBC, 2.3 million; Telemundo, 1.8 million; CW, 0.7 million.

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