In an NBA conference playoffs year that has been full of drama, the Houston Rockets’ 98-94 victory over current champions the Golden State Warriors on Thursday certainly cranked it up on an otherwise placid primetime.
With the Rockets now leading 3-2 in the best-of-7 Western Conference Finals, Houston is only one win away from its first trip to the NBA Finals since Bill Clinton’s first term as President. It is a journey that has attracted a lot of attention — last night’s Game 5 pulled in a 7.0 in metered market ratings for TNT. That result handed the league and the cabler the top spot across cable and broadcast and proved the highest-rated NBA playoff game on any network so far this season.
Last year’s Western Conference Finals only went four games before eventual champ Golden State headed off to the finals against Cleveland, so a direct comparison is a little bit of a bad pass. Still, the 2018 WCF is up a solid 34% over last year when the Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs in quick measure.
The Rockets and Warriors face off tomorrow in Game 6. Tonight, the Eastern Conference Finals’ Game 6 sees LeBron James and the Cavs try to catch up to the Boston Celtics’ 3-2 series lead.
On the Big 4, victory went to ABC with a 0.9/4 rating overall in adults 18-49 and 4.92 million total viewers. The bulk of the Disney-owned net’s night went to the controversial The Last Days of Michael Jackson special (1.0/5), which was the top original of Thursday among the broadcasters. Following that, ABC had What Would You Do? (0.84), which was up 33% from its season premiere May 17.
Having had a week or two of finales under its belt, CBS was all encores last night. The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon both hit a 1.0/5 in the demo and were the two most watched shows of the night. The CW was also all encores Thursday.
On Fox, there was also a special with the oddly paced Terrence Howard’s Fright Club (0.5/2) that saw the Empire star freak out some of his biggest fans. Ending the Murdoch-owned network’s night was the season end of Showtime at the Apollo (0.6/3), which was unchanged from last week.
On NBC, special episodes of Celebrity Ninja Warrior (0.8/4) and Hollywood Game Night (0.8/4) set things up, or not, for this year’s star-studded Red Nose Day (0.5/2). The fundraiser to end child poverty raised more than $42 million on Thursday, though ratingswise the show was down 29% from last year to an all-time low.
And with that, have a great long Memorial Day weekend.