Warriors-Cavaliers series biggest on TV since Michael Jordan's sixth championship



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NEW YORK — The showdown between Stephen Curry and LeBron James proved to be the most popular NBA Finals on television since Michael Jordon was winning his sixth championship back in 1998.

The Nielsen company said the six-game series won by the Warriors averaged just under 19.9 million viewers. It didn't come close to the average of 29 million people who watched Jordan's last stand but, then again, nothing has. The Warriors' clinching game last week had more than 23 million viewers.

Never underestimate the appeal of games on TV during the warm-weather months: ABC's premiere of "Celebrity Family Feud" was the third most popular program of the week. A couple of other summer shows on ABC, "The Astronaut Wives Club" and "Battlebots," also had strong premieres.

The Lifetime movie, "A Deadly Adoption," had 2.1 million viewers in its first airing Saturday night, with a total of 6 million people watching at least one of the six showings on the network. The movie, starring Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, was one of the odder TV stories of the year. The stars made it quietly, lied and said the project was being cancelled when it was revealed, then Lifetime aired it over the weekend with virtually no publicity.

Three other Lifetime movies did better so far this year among the women's demographic that the network aims at; there's no telling how "A Deadly Adoption" would have done with more attention ahead of time.

The second season of HBO's "True Detective" premiered to just under 3.2 million viewers on Sunday night, Nielsen said.

ABC won the week in prime time with an average of 6 million viewers. Fox had 4.92 million, boosted by the ending of the U.S. Open golf tournament that stretched into prime time on Sunday. CBS had 4.9 million, NBC had 4.5 million, Univision had 2.1 million, Telemundo and the ION Network both had 1.13 million and the CW had 880,000.

The Disney Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 1.79 million viewers. TNT had 1.76 million, HGTV had 1.53 million, Fox News Channel had 1.5 million and USA had 1.49 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" won the evening news ratings race with an average of 7.9 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" had 7.5 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.9 million.

For the week of June 15-21, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NBA Finals: Golden State vs. Cleveland, Game 6, ABC, 23.25 million; "America's Got Talent," NBC, 10.18 million; "Celebrity Family Feud," ABC, 8.66 million; NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Tampa Bay vs. Chicago, Game 6, NBC, 8.01 million; "NCIS," CBS, 7.45 million; "20/20," ABC, 7.26 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 7.21 million; "NBA Countdown," ABC, 6.57 million; "Dateline NBC" (Thursday), NBC, 6.31 million; "The Bachelorette," ABC, 6.29 million.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.


Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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