LeBron is edging out Kobe in the NBC Finals popularity contest so far. Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks last night drew a 10.7 overnight household rating on ABC. That was up 3% from the Lakers-Celtics Game 1 last year. It was also up 15% vs. Game 1 of the 2006 NBA Finals, which also featured the Heat (sans LeBron James) and the Mavericks. ABC is expected to win the night in adults 18-49, though time-adjusted ratings for the game and Jimmy Kimmel’s pre-game special won’t be available until later today.
NBC looks on track to top the night in total viewers (14.8 million) and finish a strong second in 18-49 (4.4/12) with the season premiere of America’s Got Talent, paired with hot newcomer The Voice. The sixth season debut of America’s Got Talent (4.2/12 in 18-49, 15 million viewers) was up 17% from last season’s premiere in 18-49 and 21% in total viewers. (Last year, the Talent opener faced the season premieres of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen and ABC’s Wipeout.) It was the show’s most-watched premiere ever and the highest-rated in the demo since 2007. At 10 PM, The Voice (4.9/13, 14.4 million) took full advantage of its strong lead-in, jumping 29% from last week in 18-49 and 69% in total viewers for its most-watched telecast to date. The only other original offering on the English-language broadcast networks was a Traffic Light burnoff (0.8/2) on Fox, down 38% vs. its last fresh episode on May 10, which had an original lead-in.