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.
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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.
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