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ABC Dominates Thursday With NBA Finals; NBC Has a Rough Night TVbytheNumbers

The Thursday night ratings story was all about the haves and the have-nots: ABC had the NBA Finals and dominated the ratings, based on Nielsen overnights for the 18-49 demo, while everyone else had not, and finished way behind. NBC had an especially challenging night, both in the demo and in total audience.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that game four of the Finals, in which the Miami Heat evened the series with the San Antonio Spurs at two games apiece, averaged a 5.8 rating in viewers 18-49. That was down 3% from game four a year ago. “Jimmy Kimmel Live -- Game Night” averaged a 2.4 for ABC, down 5% from last year, while “NBA Countdown” scored a 2.7, off 4%.

No other network averaged more than a 1.4 for prime time in the 18-49 demo. Fox got a 2.0 out of “Hell’s Kitchen,” which was down 9% from a week ago, but that number was offset by a 0.9 for “Does Someone Have to Go?,” which fell 18%.

CBS aired an all-repeat lineup, while NBC, whose recent ratings issues have been well-chronicled, saw its mix of originals and repeats fall flat.

A fresh installment of “Save Me” on NBC managed only a 0.5 in 18-49 at 8:30, leading out from a “Save Me” repeat that delivered the same number. Repeats of both “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” also came in at 0.5, while a fresh installment of “Hannibal” at 10 p.m. managed only a 0.7 -- a series low and down 22% from last week.

The report notes that numbers may be adjusted significantly, particularly due to the live sports broadcast.

For prime time overall, the numbers show ABC way out front with a 4.7 average rating in adults 18-49, followed by Univision (1.4 average), Fox (1.4), CBS (1.2) and NBC (0.6). ABC led total viewers with 11.8 million, ahead of CBS (6.5 million), Fox (3.8 million), Univision (3.5 million) and NBC (2.0 million).