LOS ANGELES (AP) — When the NBA playoffs take the TV court even the most popular shows find the competition daunting.
Last week's No. 1 program was the Golden State-Dallas conference finals matchup in which the Warriors extended their winning streak to three out of three. The first two games were among the top 10 programs, with playoff games overall claiming a quarter of the top 20, according to Nielsen figures released Tuesday.
Viewers fit in time for favorite series including CBS' “FBI,” whose next-to-last episode for the season the most-watched drama. The network pulled this week's season finale because its plot, about a cache of guns linked to a student, was deemed too close to Tuesday's mass killings at a Texas elementary school.
CBS was the top network prime time television, averaging 4.4 million viewers. ABC had 3.74 million viewers, NBC had 2.95 million, Fox had 2 million, Univision had 1.4 million, Ion Television had 950,000 and Telemundo had 800,000.
On the strength of the basketball playoffs, TNT led the cable networks with a 2.78 million viewer average. ESPN had 2.27 million, Fox News Channel had 2.26 million, MSNBC had 884956,000 and HGTV had 927,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race with an average of 7.4 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” averaged 6.1 million viewers and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.5 million.
For the week of May 16-22, the top 20 prime-time shows, their networks and viewerships:
NBA Playoffs: Golden State at Dallas (Sunday), TNT, 7.42 million.
“FBI,” CBS, 7.15 million.
“Young Sheldon,” CBS, 7.06 million.
“Chicago Fire,” NBC, 6.79 million.
NBA Playoffs: Dallas at Golden State (Friday), TNT, 6.77 million.
NBA Playoffs: Dallas at Golden State (Wednesday), TNT, 6.52 million.
“NCIS,” CBS, 6.51 million.
“American Idol,” ABC, 6.49 million.
“60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.28 million.
“Chicago Med,” NBC, 6.24 million.
NBA Playoffs: Boston at Miami (Tuesday), ESPN, 6.07 million.
NBA Playoffs: Boston at Miami (Thursday), ESPN, 6.05 million.
“FBI: International,” CBS, 5.82 million.
“Survivor,” CBS, 5.7 million.
“911,” Fox, 5.56 million.
“The Neighborhood,” CBS, 5.5 million.
“Chicago PD,” NBC, 5.47 million.
“FBI: Most Wanted,” CBS, 5.46 million.
"Bob Hearts Abishola,” CBS, 5.33 million.
“This Is Us,” NBC, 5.32 million.
Lynn Elber, The Associated Press