June 06, 2014 9:15am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: NBA Finals Drive ABC -- and 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'
The first game between the Los Angeles Spurs and the Miami Heat brought a victory for ABC. The host network's lone big sporting event of the year narrowly beat last year's preliminary ratings for game one -- averaging a 5.1 rating among adults 18-49.
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Primetime special Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night was also strong with a 2.1 rating in the key demo, but it was his regular telecast at 11:35 p.m. where he really scored. Live beat an original telecast of The Tonight Show for the first time since Jimmy Fallon took the reins in February. Local People Meter markets have Kimmel besting Fallon with adults 18-49 with a 1.5 rating over a 1.0. It marks a new season high for the ABC series.
Some competition took the inevitable hits in the face of the NBA, though not by any big margin. NBC saw a steady Hollywood Game Night (1.1 adults) lead into two more episodes of Undateable (1.0 adults) -- both down three-tenths of a point from last week's solid opener. Last Comic Standing (1.4 adults) was also off by two tenths.
Fox had an even Hell's Kitchen (1.6 adults) lead into Gang Related (0.8 adults) -- the latter down two-tenths of a point from last week's second-episode lift.