8:18am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: NBA Finals Hold With Tied Series, 'Aquarius' Sinks
Basketball held its strong ratings from earlier in the week on Thursday night, with the series-tying Cavaliers victory in Game 6 bringing an overnight high for the 2016 NBA Finals.
Per Nielsen's metered markets, the ABC telecast averaged a 14.1 rating among households. Updated ratings from Nielsen on Friday afternoon give the telecast 20.7 million viewers and a 7.7 rating among adults 18-49. That follows the previous high set on Monday, which saw a 14.2 overnight rating ultimately translate to 20.5 million viewers. Thursday's game peaked well outside of primetime, with an average 16.7 rating between 11:30 and 11:45 p.m..
The Cleveland win forces a Game 7 with the Golden State Warriors, set for Sunday night.
The 2015 NBA Finals, which this series has been tying or besting at every turn, wrapped with Game 6. Naturally, that proved to be a slightly stronger showing — up roughly 10 percent.
It was not a pretty night to premiere anything else, though both NBC and Fox tried. NBC offered up a two-part return of Aquarius. The period detective drama, which earned a sophomore renewal despite exceptionally week linear ratings, only managed 0.5 and 0.4 ratings among adults 18-49 in the face of basketball.
Home Free, down in its own return, at least bested Aquarius. The Fox reality show averaged a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49 after a new Bones (0.7 adults).