Thanks to John Wall last night, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will have to wait a bit longer to find out who they will face in the NBA playoffs’ Eastern Conference Finals. After an extraordinary final-second 3-pointer on ESPN, the Washington Wizards’ point guard slapped down the Boston Celtics and moved his team to a Game 7 showdown on Monday.
Scoring a 3.4 in metered market results, the Wizards’ dramatic and successful effort to progress to their first semifinals Game 7 since Jimmy Carter was President was also a win for ESPN. The early metrics show a 21% increase over the Cavs’ win over the Toronto Raptors last Friday in the first game of a doubleheader on the Disney-owned sports outlet – a series the Ohio team went on to sweep. Looking back to 2016, last night’s game was up 17% from when the Raptors faced the Miami Heat in the comparable game of their playoffs series. All of which bodes well for ESPN owning the night.
However, on the Big 4 and the CW there was more finale action Friday as end-of-week heavyweights Shark Tank (0.8/3) and Hawaii Five-O wrapped their latest seasons. Compared to last week, the former was down 20% from its May 5 show, while the latter was up 12% among adults 18-49. Five-O was the night’s top-rated show against the hoops competition on cable and the most watched with 7.89 million tuning in.
Overall, CBS, ABC and NBC were matched up with a 0.8/3 rating, and the House of Moonves topped the viewership category among the broadcasters with 7.32 million sets of eyeballs.
Shifting back to those enders, finale-to-finale, the Season 7 end of Five-O was pretty steady with the Season 6 finale of May 13, 2016. Last year’s ender drew a 1.1/4, which this year’s finale could adjust up to today. For ABC’s entrepreneurial reality show, the finale-to-finale comparison was not so kind: Last night’s Shark Tank Season 8 ender fell 33% from the fast affiliates of the Season 7 finale of May 20, 2016, which were adjusted up a tenth in the final numbers.
Often a winner Fridays in the demo, last night’s Shark Tank probably wasn’t helped by the b-ball and the fact that lead-in The Toy Box (0.5/2) was down a tenth from last week. Ending the weary night for ABC, 20/20 tumbled 33% from its May 5 show. On CBS, a celeb-themed Undercover Boss (0.9/4) rose 29% over last week, while a 48 Hours: NCIS (0.6/3) in the 10 PM slot usually occupied by Blue Bloods was nothing special.
There were no rises for NBC but no losses either as First Dates (0.7/3) and Dateline NBC (0.8/3) were both even with their May 5 shows. It was all encores on Fox, while on the CW’s The Originals (0.4/1) and Reign (0.3/1) were both up a tenth from last week.