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Primetime Ratings: NBA Finals Ratings Grow

The NBA Finals continue to reap dividends for ABC, which won the Thursday ratings derby among broadcasters with a 5.2 in adults 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 19 share. Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night did a 2.7 and KIA NBA Countdown a 3.5 before the Game 6 tip-off.

The game itself averaged a 6.3 in 18-49 (and 14.1 overnight rating), as LeBron and the Cavaliers forced a Game 7 with Golden State, to the delight of ABC.

Game 5 averaged a 6.0.

Everyone else was playing for crumbs. CBS did a 1.0/3 with repeats. NBC and Fox both showed a 0.6/2 and CW a 0.2/1.

NBC’s Dateline did a 1.0, up 100% from its last airing, and Aquarius a 0.4, down 60% from last year’s opener. Aquarius ran commercial free for its two hours, with an average of just 2.7 million watching.

Fox had Bones at 0.7, down 22%, and Home Free at 0.6; the competition series did a 0.9 upon opening last summer.  

On The CW, a repeat led into Beauty and the Beast at a flat 0.2.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.