NBA leads ABC to a win
The most- watched NBA Finals Game 6 since 2011, as well as time- slot victories by the premieres of the newest versions of “Celebrity Family Feud” and “BattleBots,” helped give ABC its third consecutive f irst- place f inish in the weekly prime- time ratings race.
The Golden State Warriors’ title- clinching 105- 97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 16 averaged 23.25 million viewers, the most for any prime- time program since April 6, when the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship game averaged 28.26 million on CBS, according to liveplus-same- day f igures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The series averaged 19.9 million, the most since the 1998 Finals, which aired on NBC and proved to be the last time Michael Jordan played in the Finals.
Sunday’s premiere of “Celebrity Family Feud” finished third among primetime broadcast and cable programs airing from June 15 through Sunday, averaging 8.66 million viewers, third for the week behind Game 6 of the NBA Finals and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” which was second, averaging 10.18 million viewers.
The audience was the largest for a premiere of a summer alternative program since CBS’ “The Greatest American Dog” on July 10, 2008.
“Celebrity Family Feud” was also third for the week among viewers ages 18 to 49, behind the sixth games of the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final, the latter of which aired on NBC. ABC, Fox and NBC target viewers 18- 49, who are coveted by advertisers because they watch less television and are harder to reach.
The premiere of “BattleBots,” which followed “Celebrity Family Feud” on ABC, averaged 5.44 million viewers, f inishing f irst in its Sunday 9- 10 p. m. time slot and 19th for the week.
Unlike most premieres, “Celebrity Family Feud” and “BattleBots” were based on previous series. “Family Feud” has been on television on and off since 1976, including a prime- time celebrity version that ran on NBC in 2008. “BattleBots” initially ran on cable’s Comedy Central from 2000 to 2002.
ABC’s other premiere of the week, the hourlong “The Astronaut Wives Club,” averaged 5.51 million viewers, f inishing second in its Thursday 8- 9 p. m. time slot, behind reruns of the halfhour sitcoms “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Odd Couple,” and 16th for the week. Here are the combined rankings for national prime- time network and cable television last week ( June 15- 21) as compiled by Nielsen. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish during its scheduled telecast or on a playback device the same day. Nielsen estimates there are 289 million potential viewers in the U. S. ages 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions.