NBA Playoffs Ratings Steady With Spurs Win, ‘Big Bang Theory’ Finale Falls From 2016


It was a night of endings as The Big Bang Theory (2.6/12), Riverdale (0.4/2), the now-canceled The Catch (0.6/3), Chicago Med (1.2/5), Mom (1.5/6) and Life In Pieces (1.1/4) all aired season finales. It was also the end of NBA playoffs for the Houston Rockets, as the San Antonio Spurs knocked out their fellow Texans 114-75 to clinch the series.

With a strong 3.3 in metered market results, that 8 PM ET-starting game was also a steady win for ESPN. The Spurs’ victory bopped up 6% over the comparable Wizards-Celtics game May 4, which was the first game in a doubleheader night.

Not that Thursday’s marriage proposal from Sheldon on BBT’s Season 10 finale wasn’t an unexpected three-pointer of its own. The episode saw a 4% uptick among adults 18-49 over last week’s series-low tie, which was adjusted up a tenth from fast affiliates. Of course, that again gives the science-geek sitcom the night’s top spot in both the demo viewership with a steady 12.6 million watching.

Still, compared with last year, last night’s Big Bang Theory fizzled out among the 18-49s. In what has been a season of lows, the Season 10 finale is down 24% from the Season 9 ender of May 12, 2016, a night that also saw faced series NBA playoff action. Right now, Thursday’s BBT finale is the all-time low season ender for the show; the previous low was the Season 1 finale’s 2.8/9. With that in mind, Big Bang Theory, which has been renewed for two more seasons, commonly sees a rise in final numbers and could make up the two-tenths later in the day.

The Season 4 ender of CBS’ Mom was flat with last week but down 12% in the demo from its Season 3 finale of May 19 last year. The Season 2 finale of Life In Pieces took an 8% stumble from last week and a hard 35% fall from last year’s debut season closer. With The Amazing Race (0.9/3), which didn’t have a finale last night, even with last week, CBS won Thursday overall among broadcasters with a 1.5/6 rating and 7.51 million viewers.

On The CW, the Season 1 finale of the series based on the Archie Comics saw Riverdale even with last week’s fast-affiliate demo numbers, which were adjusted down in the final numbers. Lead-in Supernatural (0.5/2) was even with  its May 4 show. A finale-free Fox had only one original last night with MasterChef Junior (0.8/3), which was undercooked by two tenths from last week.

A Law & Order: SVU (0.5/2) encore kicked off NBC’s night that saw the Season 2 finale of Chicago Med get the ratings flu — down 25% from its May 17, 2016 Season 1 ender, which was on a Tuesday. The Windy City show was up 9% compared with last week in the demo similar to the 13% that the non-finale The Blacklist (0.9/3) rose over its May 4 show.

TGIT on ABC saw one show go down for good, literally and figuratively. Dropped by the net earlier on a busy Big 4 day, the Season 2 ender of The Catch was even with its May 4 show but took a 25% hit from its two-hour Season 1 finale of May 19, 2016. The ratings gods were kinder to Grey’s Anatomy (1.8/7) and Scandal (1.4/5), with the former even right now with last week’s final number and the latter up a tenth.

Note for your weekend viewing as you get ready for next week’s Upfronts – the NBA playoffs come to ABC with Game 1 of the Spurs-Golden State Warriors’ Western Conference Finals on Sunday at 3:30 PM ET.

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