Network ratings may be down across the board -- except the scoreboard. Sports continues to grab bigger and bigger ratings, as evidenced by last week's strong numbers for the NBA Finals. Tuesday's penultimate game of the series, which saw the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, averaged 17.4 million viewers, while Thursday's blowout captured 18.5 million. On the other end of the ratings spectrum, a two-part Justin Bieber concert special managed to draw just 3 million viewers on Wednesday and Thursday. (On cable, things got even worse. Bristol Palin Life's a Tripp debuted with just 726,000 viewers on Tuesday.) Among the evening newscasts, preemptions by the NBA Finals may have impacted ABC World News with Diane Sawyer , which fell below 7 million viewers for the first time this year. Its 6.9 million average for Monday, Wednesday and Friday was only 600,000 less than the 7.5 million for the continued leader, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams , whose numbers were also down. On the other hand, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley remained flat with 5.5 million. Overall, thanks to the basketball telecasts, ABC emerged as the most-watched network of the week with an average 4.1 rating and a 7 share. CBS slid to second place with a 3.7/7, followed by NBC with a 2.9/5 and Fox with a 2.5/4.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. NBA Finals (Thursday), ABC, 10.9/19; 2. NBA Finals (Tuesday), ABC, 10.5/18; 3. America's Got Talent (Monday), NBC, 6.9/12; 4. NCIS , CBS, 5.4/9; 5. 60 Minutes, CBS, 5.3/10; 6. The Big Bang Theory (Thursday), CBS, 5.2/10; 7. The Bachelorette , ABC, 4.9/8; 7. NCIS Los Angeles, CBS, 4.9/8; 9. Person of Interest , CBS, 4.6/8; 10. 2 Broke Girls (Thursday) CBS, 4.4/8; 10. (Tie) The Big Bang Theory (Monday), CBS, 4.4/7.