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A big basketball game and a lot of game shows helped ABC to be the most-watched network in prime time for the third consecutive week.

The audience for Game 5 of the NBA Finals was the greatest since 1998. And ABC’s Sunday game show block accounted for three of the week’s 13 most-watched non-sports programs.

The ratings results came from live- plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen. The results showed this is the first time ABC has had three consecutive weekly victories since the 2016 NBA Finals. ABC’s only victory between the 2016 and 2017 finals was the week it aired the Oscars.

ABC averaged 5.34 million viewers for its prime-time programming between June 12 and Sunday. The order following ABC among the major broadcast networks was the same for the third consecutive week. NBC was second, averaging 4.53 million viewers, CBS third, averaging 4.15 million, and Fox fourth, averaging 2.6 million.  The Golden State Warriors NBA championship-clinching 129-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals June 12 was the week’s most- watched prime-time program, averaging 24.528 million viewers.  The five-game series averaged 20.4 million viewers, the most-watched NBA Finals since the 1998 series between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz, Michael Jordan’s last finals appearance, which aired on NBC.

Outside of its basketball-related programming, three of ABC’s four most- watched programs were Sunday night game shows, topped by “Celebrity Family Feud,” which was seventh for the week and fifth among non-sports programs, averaging 6.253 million viewers.

“Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” which featured an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, drew the smallest audience of its three episodes, 3.562 million viewers.

The NBC news magazine finished fourth in its Sunday 7-8 p.m time slot, including trailing a rerun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” on ABC, and 38th for the week.

The June 4 premiere of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” averaged 6.197 million viewers, 10th for the week, and second episode June 11 averaged 3.608 million viewers, 46th for the week.

Fox’s viewership was bolstered by 79-minute runover Sunday of its coverage of the final round of golf’s U.S. Open. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.

Viewership for the complete runover was not available. The first hour averaged 8.028 million viewers and the final 19 minutes 7.124 million.

Fox’s most-watched program was the 15-minute post-tournament show which averaged 3.94 million viewers, 31st for the week. Its most-watched non-sports program was “MasterChef,” 35th for the week, averaging 3.724 million viewers.

The week’s only premiere on the four major broadcast networks, the Fox competition series “SuperHuman” was fourth in its 9-10 p.m. time slot June 12 against Game 5 of the NBA Finals and 73rd for the week.

Among viewers ages 18-49, “SuperHuman” was fifth in the time slot and 41st for the week, averaging 897,000 viewers among the group targeted by Fox, ABC, NBC and many cable networks and coveted by advertisers.    The week’s most-watched prime-time cable program was “Hannity” on Fox News Channel last Wednesday, the day Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R- Louisiana, was wounded in a shooting while practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game. It averaged 3.147 million viewers, 50th overall.

This was the second consecutive week an episode of “Hannity” has been the most-watched prime-time cable program.  Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in prime time for the fourth consecutive week, ninth time in 12 weeks and 18th in the past 22, averaging 2.287 million viewers, a 1.7 percent decrease from its 2.327-million average a week earlier.  Fox News Channel had each of the week’s three most-watched prime-time cable programs — last Wednesday’s episodes of “Hannity” and “The Five” and the June 13 episode of “Hannity”, five of the top six and seven of the top nine.    MSNBC was second for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.882 million viewers, 4.3 percent more than its 1.805-million average a week earlier.

The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the season finale of the Univision singing competition, “La Reina de la Cancion,” which averaged 2.015 million viewers to finish 114th overall.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 32nd consecutive week and 34th time in 35 weeks, averaging 1.42 million viewers.

Telemundo was second, averaging 940,000 viewers, followed by UniMas, which averaged 470,000 viewers, Estrella TV, which averaged 200,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 70,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly network newscast for the third consecutive week, averaging 7.649 million viewers for its Tuesday through Friday newscasts.

The Monday newscast was not included in the weekly average because of scheduling changes caused by coverage of Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.582 million viewers.

In Scott Pelley’s final week as anchor, the “CBS Evening News” was third, as was throughout his six-year tenure, averaging 5.956 million viewers.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were ABC’s coverage of Game 5 of the NBA Finals; NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” “World of Dance” and “Little Big Shots”; ABC’s 28-minute “NBA Countdown” pregame show; CBS’ “NCIS”; the Sunday broadcast of ABC’s “Celebrity Family Feud”; and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” “Bull” and “Blue Bloods.”

—City News Service

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