On the day before the network’s 2017 Upfronts start, Sunday was a night of finales and a pageant and one hell of a basketball game in the afternoon.
And by that, I don’t just mean for the Golden State Warriors as they came back from a 25-point deficit to beat the San Antonio Spurs 113-111 in Game 1 of the NBA’s Western Conference finals. No, the 3:30 PM ET-starting game also was a big win for ABC with a 5.6 metered market result.
Now a comparison to the 6.7 MM rating of last year’s Western Conference Finals opener on May 16 is a bit unfair as that TNT-aired matchup in which the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Warriors 108-102 was on in primetime. Up 37% from Game 1 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals on ESPN, Sunday’s game scored a 17.2 rating in the Bay Area and 24.7 MM result in the San Antonio market. The former is the best any postseason game has done on ABC in the San Fran/Oakland market this year, and the latter is the highest-rated NBA game overall in the Texas area this season. The Spurs and Warriors suit up for Game 2 tomorrow night on ESPN.
Basketball wasn’t the only winner for ABC on Sunday – at least in the short term. The two-hour Season 6 finale of Once Upon a Time (0.9/3) saw a rise of 13% among adults 18-49 from the week before and its best result since last November. However, compared to the 7-9 PM Season 5 finale of May 15, 2016, last night’s season ender was down 25% in the key demo to hit a finale low for the series.
ABC’s primetime started with an OUAT clip show, that drew in a 0.8/4, and ended with a new Match Game (0.6/2) at 10 PM. The latter was down two-tenths from its last original of April 30 in its 9 PM slot.
Over on Fox, Kara McCullough of the District of Columbia was crowned Miss USA in a two-hour show. That’s a win for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission scientist but a big loss this year for Fox. Last night’s 2017 Miss USA (0.8/3) fell 33% from the final numbers of the 2016 debut of the pageant on Fox, which ran from 7-10 PM against Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The 2016 Miss USA saw an adjustment up of a tenth from its fast affiliate numbers to the final ratings, so Fox could see a repeat this year.
Up two-tenths from its May 7 results, the overall winner in 18-49s among the Big 4 last night was NBC with a 1.0/4 rating as CBS took the viewership top spot with 7.85 million watching. The highest-rated show of the night, Little Big Shots (1.3/6), was up a tenth from last week. At 9 PM, the Season 1 finale of Chicago Justice (1.1/4) also was up a tenth from its May 7 show as it awaits it fate for next season. Following that, 10 PM’s Shades of Blue (0.9/4) saw a 29% rise in the demo and 16% in viewers (4.7 million) for its best results in the categories since mid-March. The show has been renewed for Season 3
CBS also had a finale last night with the Season 8 end of NCIS: Los Angeles (1.1/5). Coming off a 60 Minutes (1.0/5) that was up a tenth from last week, the 8 PM City of Angels-based procedural was up 10% from its May 7 show. Finale-to-finale, NCIS: LA dropped 15% in the demo from its 10 PM Season 7 ender of May 2, 2016, a Monday. Here’s the interesting thing: Last night’s NCIS: LA was up 16% in viewers from last year’s finale to bring in an audience of 9.36 million.
The rest of the House of Moonves’ night saw Madam Secretary (0.7/3) and the renewed Elementary (0.6/2) holding even with last week .