Thursday, May 25, 2023

TV Ratings: NBA Finals Sweep Prime-Time

The opening three games of the NBA Western Conference finals between the Lakers and Denver Nuggets swept the top three spots in the latest weekly prime-time ratings, with Saturday’s game drawing the largest audience for a Game 3 of an NBA conference final since 2011.

ABC’s coverage of Denver’s 119-108 victory averaged 8.384 million viewers, according to The L-A Times citing live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen. ESPN carried the first two games of the series, with the Nuggets’ 108-103 Game 2 victory Thursday averaging 7.656 million viewers and their 132-126 Game 1 victory last Tuesday averaging 7.129 million.

The CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” was the only other prime-time program between May 15 and Sunday to average more than 7 million viewers, averaging 7.04 million viewers to finish fourth for the week.

The two-part sixth-season finale of CBS’ comedy “Young Sheldon” accounted for the week’s top two entertainment programs. The second part averaged 6.973 million viewers, fifth for the week and second among nonsports program, while the first part averaged 6.886 million viewers, sixth for the week and third among nonsports programs.

CBS also had the week’s most-watched drama, “NCIS,” seventh for the week and fourth among nonsports programs, averaging 6.656 million viewers.

CBS had six of the week’s top seven nonsports programs, making it the most-watched network for the 10th consecutive week, the 13th time in 14 weeks and 15th time in the last 17, averaging 4.6 million viewers.

ABC was second for the sixth consecutive week following four consecutive third-place finishes, averaging 4.29 million viewers. Its top nonsports program was “American Idol,” eighth for the week and fifth among nonsports programs, averaging 6.616 million viewers.

NBC was third among the broadcast networks for the sixth consecutive week after four consecutive second-place finishes, averaging 3.03 million viewers. “Chicago Fire” topped its ratings for the third consecutive week, averaging 6.021 million viewers, 12th overall and eighth among nonsports programs.

Fox averaged 1.98 million viewers. The procedural drama “9-1-1” was its top-ranked program, averaging 4.323 million viewers, 34th for the week and 27th among nonsports programming.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of six NBA playoff games — three on TNT, two on ESPN and one on ABC; six CBS scripted programs and “60 Minutes”; three episodes of “Jeopardy! Masters” and “American Idol” on ABC; and two NBC scripted series and its singing competition “The Voice.”


New week, similar trend: ABC World News Tonight with David Muir is the top-rated national evening newscast, reports TV Newser.

The ABC News juggernaut averaged 7.4 million total viewers and 1.12 million A25-54 viewers for the week of May 15, 2023. That’s according to live plus same day data from Nielsen.

WNT marked its eighth consecutive week as the most-watched regularly-scheduled U.S. show across broadcast and cable, and has now defeated its evening news competition from NBC and CBS 233 of the past 234 weeks in average total viewers—and 162 of the last 164 weeks among Adults 25-54.

ABC’s evening newscast posted its largest total viewer advantage over its NBC competition in nearly six months – since w/o 11/28/22 (+1.553 million).


Graphic Courtesy of RoadMN


NBA playoff coverage made TNT the most-watched cable network for the fifth consecutive week, averaging 2.867 million viewers. ESPN was second for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 2.524 million.

Fox News Channel was first in prime time among cable news networks for the 118th consecutive week and third among cable networks for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 1.399 million viewers, 1.8% less than its 1.425-million average the previous week.

MSNBC was fourth among cable networks for the fifth consecutive week following third- and second-place finishes, averaging 1.092 million viewers, 3.1% less than its 1.127-million average the previous week.

CNN drew its smallest prime-time audience since May 2014, averaging 371,000 viewers, 46.1% less than the 689,000 viewers it averaged a week earlier when it aired a town hall with former President Donald Trump. CNN was again third among cable news networks and 16th among cable networks, 10 spots lower than the previous week.

Graphics Courtesy of RoadMN

The cable prime-time top 20 consisted of five NBA playoff games — three on TNT and two on ESPN; two “Inside the NBA Playoffs” studio shows on TNT; the NBA draft lottery and two “NBA Courtside” studio shows on ESPN; ESPN’s coverage of Game 7 of the second-round NHL playoff series between the Dallas Stars and Seattle Kraken; History’s “The Curse of Oak Island”; two MSNBC political talk shows — “The Rachel Maddow Show” and the May 15 edition of “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” that followed it; Fox Sports 1’s coverage of the NASCAR All-Star Race; three editions of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Hannity”; Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules”; and the second of three hourlong segments of the USA Network’s “WWE Raw.”

Cable news’ two most-watched shows continue to air outside of primetime, according to TVNewser. The Five is once again No. 1 on cable news, averaging 2.64 million total viewers at 5 p.m. this past week. Jesse Watters Primetime secured second place with a 2.15 million total viewer average at 7 p.m., Hannity took third place by averaging 1.92 million total viewers at 9 p.m., Special Report with Bret Baier averaged 1.8 million at 6 p.m. and Gutfeld! rounding out cable news’ top five with a 1.64 million total viewer average at 11 p.m.

Fox News had the seven most-watched cable news shows of the week, with MSNBC’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell coming in at No. 8 (1.46 million) behind 7th place Fox News Tonight (1.52 million) and No. 6 The Ingraham Angle (1.59 million). Outnumbered (1.42 million) and America’s Newsroom (1.42 million) round out the top 10.

In addition to being No. 1 in total viewers, The Five is also No. 1 on cable news among adults 25-54, averaging 277,000 from the measurement at 5 p.m. this past week.

Fox News had the top 10 cable news shows among Adults 25-54. 


Netflix’s top movie for the second consecutive week was the Jennifer Lopez-starring action thriller “The Mother,” with 94.42 million viewing hours in the first full week it was available, 12.8% more than the 83.71 million hours the previous week when it was available three days, according to figures from the streaming service.

The “Bridgerton” prequel “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” was Netflix’s most-streamed television program for the third consecutive week, with 82.39 million hours watched of its six episodes in their second full week of release, 48.1% less than the 158.68 million hours the previous week.

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