June 13, 2012


ABC surged into first place Tuesday night, riding the wave of the NBA Finals, which started in Oklahoma City with the Thunder’s convincing Game 1 victory over the Miami Heat.  NBC and FOX are locked in a tie for second place in the preliminary fast national ratings, while CBS is a distant fourth place.

ABC averaged a 5.6 preliminary Adult 18-49 rating for Game 1 of the NBA Finals at 9 pm E/ 6 pm P, a number which will rise in the official nationals to over a 6 rating when the west coast viewing is properly counted.  Last year, Game 1 (Dallas at Miami) scored a 6.5 rating in the official ratings on Tuesday, May 31.  At 8 pm, Jimmy Kimmel Live posted a preliminary 2.2 rating, and NBA Countdown at 8:30 averaged a 2.8 preliminary rating, although both numbers are certain to decline in the official nationals because much of the viewing credited to those shows is actually west coast viewing of the game’s end.  Last year, in the official nationals on this night: Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.1) and NBA Countdown (1.9).

NBC averaged a 2.1 preliminary rating from 8-11 pm, with American Ninja Warrior (1.6) at 8 pm on a special night, America’s Got Talent (3.0) at 9 pm and Love in the Wild (1.6) at 10 pm.  The Tuesday track for AGT since May 15: 3.4– 3.3– 3.7– 3.5– 3.0* (subject to upward revision in the official nationals).  AGT will probably go up to a 3.2 today in the official nationals, leaving some ground it has to make up in the next few weeks as it recovers from the NHL Stanley Cup disruptions.   Love in the Wild matched last week’s premiere rating and most likely will not be adjusted up in the officials.

FOX also averaged a 2.1 preliminary rating, with Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef (each a preliminary a 2.1 rating, although one or the other is likely to rise a tenth in the official nationals).   Last week, Hell’s Kitchen ended up with a 2.1 official rating in the hour and MasterChef was a 2.2 at 9 pm.

CBS averaged a 1.1 rating from  8-11 pm from repeats of NCIS (1.3), NCIS: Los Angeles (1.1) and 48 Hours Mystery (1.0).  The night was down a tenth of a rating point from last Tuesday and down the same amount in each hour.

But it was The CW that truly ventured into test pattern territory: a 0.2 rating for an original The Catalina at 8 pm and a 0.1 for a repeat L.A. Complex at 9 pm, getting perilously to a “hashmark” indicator from Nielsen when a show becomes virtually “un-ratable” (falling below a 0.050 rating).

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.