7:42am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Game 5 of NBA Finals Matches 2015, 'BrainDead' Opens Low
Ensuring a Game 6 and further evening the playing field, much to ABC's pleasure, the Cleveland Cavaliers' Monday night win over the Golden State Warriors brought continued strong ratings.
Game 5 of the NBA Finals averaged a 14.2 overnight rating among metered market households, easily besting the rest of the night's TV offerings and matching the comparable showdown last year. That ties it as the second-best showing for a Game 5 on record, trailing only 2004.
The game peaked with a 16.2 rating.
Complete ratings, with total viewership and adults 18-49 score, will arrive later on Tuesday. The Cavaliers and the Warriors, now 3-2, will next meet on Thursday night.
Elsewhere, CBS summer drama BrainDead did not get much of a start in its first same-day showing. The series, from Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King, clocked in at a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.5 million viewers — per Nielsen Fast Nationals. That was after two hours' worth of repeats as a lead-in.
NBC also launched a new series on Monday with its Spartan Race competition. Airing after the like-minded American Ninja Warrior, and facing the daunting NBA competition, it opened to a 1.5 rating in the key demo and 4.9 million viewers. Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge ranks as the No. 2 alternative launch of the last nine months, trailing only Little Big Shots. Ninja Warrior took a 1.9 rating in the key demo, besting the night's non-ABC competition.
So You Think You Can Dance dipped slightly on Fox, pulling a 0.8 rating in the key demo, while Houdini & Doyle logged just a 0.4 rating with adults 18-49.