The air-conditioning-free Game 1 of the NBA Finals caused problems for both LeBron James and ABC's competition on Thursday night as the Heat-Spurs showdown dominated primetime in all measures.
The Miami/San Antonio opener was in line with last year's Game 1 ratings, which makes sense since that was also a Heat-Spurs Finals.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 4.2 rating for Thursday night, tops in the key demographic by a wide margin. CBS, NBC and FOX all posted 1.2 key demo ratings to tie for second, while The CW had a 0.3 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 10.66 million viewers and a 6.5 rating/11 share for Thursday primetime, far ahead of the 5.71 million viewers and 3.8/7 for CBS. NBC's 2.4/4 and 3.795 million viewers edged out the 2.3/4 and 3.785 million viewers for FOX. The CW averaged a 0.5/1 and 690,000 viewers for the night.
8 p.m. - Repeats of "The Big Bang Theory" (8.84 million and a 2.0 key demo) and "Mom" (6.21 million and a 1.3 key demo) won the 8 p.m. hour overall for CBS and finished second among adults 18-49. ABC's Jimmy Kimmel pre-game and regular pre-game averaged 6.75 million viewers for second and a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 to win the hour. FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" was third with 4.95 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating, topping the 4.11 million viewers and 1.1 key demo rating for NBC's "Hollywood Game Night." The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" repeat averaged 776,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - The start of ABC's Heat-Spurs coverage averaged 12.235 million viewers and a 4.8 rating among adults 18-49 to dominate the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' repeats of "Two and a Half Men" and "The Millers" averaged 5.01 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating for second. NBC's two new episodes of "Undateable" averaged 3.02 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating, a drop from last week's 1.3 key demo rating, but probably numbers that still would have looked good as a premiere last week. FOX's "Gang Related" averaged 2.98 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating for the hour. On The CW, a repeat of "The Originals" averaged 604,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - ABC's basketball closed primetime strong with 12.99 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49 in the 10 p.m. hour. CBS' "Elementary" repeat averaged 4.6 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating, compared to the 4.25 million viewers and 1.4 key demo rating for NBC's "Last Comic Standing."
[UPDATE: In Final Live+SD ratings, "Hell's Kitchen" ticked up to a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 and pushed FOX to a 1.3 rating for the night in the key demo, breaking up that three-way tie. ABC's basketball got a pretty big bump and still led the night with a 4.3 key demo rating and 12.15 million total viewers. There weren't many other notable changes, though "Undateable" slipped below 3 million viewers for both of its half-hours.]
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.