‘Billboard Music Awards’ on ABC Hits 13-Year Ratings High

ABC more than doubled its closest rival in key demos Sunday, sweeping each half-hour behind the season finale of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and the “Billboard Music Awards,” with the kudocast drawing its largest overall audience in 13 years. The Alphabet won the night in young adults, as it had on the first three Sundays of the May sweep with its regular series.

CBS, meanwhile, saw no gains for the finales of its “Amazing Race” or “The Good Wife,” though “The Mentalist” closed well, and Fox saw ho-hum results for its closers.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.6 rating/6 share in adults 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) led its hour in 18-49 and other demos, holding steady week to week. And from 8 to 11 p.m., the “Billboard Music Awards” (3.5/10 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) was in control in all demos and even beat CBS in total viewers.

“Billboard” was on par with last year in 18-49 (matching an 11-year high) while up about 700,000 total viewers for the show’s largest total-viewer count since 2001. It edged up vs. last year in teens to hit a 10-year high.

In the afternoon, ABC scored with Game 1 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, which generated a 5.8 overnight household rating — the third-highest rated Conference Finals Game One to date on ABC or ESPN. Compared with last year when ABC aired the Western Finals (San Antonio-Memphis), Sunday’s game rated 49% higher.

Elsewhere, CBS ran second with “60 Minutes” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) and the season-enders of “The Amazing Race” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), “The Good Wife” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) and “The Mentalist” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall). “Race” was on par with last week but down 29% from its year-ago finale (2.4), and “Good Wife” also matched its week-ago demo score but was down 25% from last year (1.6).

The bright spot for the Eye was “The Mentalist” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), which built by 25% in 18-49 both from its “Good Wife” lead-in and its average of last week. Sunday marked the first time this spring that the Simon Baker drama didn’t face a competing drama on either ABC or NBC.

At Fox, “Bob’s Burgers” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall), “American Dad” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) were on par with last week; “Simpsons” was down about 15% from last year, and “Family Guy” by closer to 20%. And capping the night, science series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) also was in line with last week.

NBC has typically seen good results for its “Saturday Night Live” clip-show specials, but audiences didn’t seem interested in a rebroadcast of the 2010 “Women of SNL” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall). On the other hand, it was the start of the night for NBC, which early did puny numbers for its concert special “Concert: Ghost Stories” (0.4/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall) and alternative series “American Dream Builders.”

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.0/9; CBS, 1.4/4; Fox, 1.3/4; Univision, 0.9/3; NBC, 0.6/2; Telemundo, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 9.5 million; CBS, 9.2 million; Fox, 3.0 million; Univision, 2.4 million; NBC, 2.1 million; Telemundo, 1.3 million.


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