NBA Playoffs on ESPN Depress Broadcast Ratings

9:37 AM PST 04/18/2011 by Marisa Guthrie
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

ABC’s female-skewing lineup wins slow night, while NBC sinks to fourth as "Celebrity Apprentice" tumbles double-digits for season low.

ESPN’s coverage of the NBA playoffs – which kicked off Saturday and continued on Sunday – gave broadcast television tough competition Sunday night. In fact, the only broadcast show to hit a 3.0 in the 18-49 demographic last night was Fox’s Family Guy (3.0, 6.0 million viewers). 

ABC won the night, averaging a 2.0 rating with 7.3 million viewers overall for its female-skewing lineup including America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.5, 5.9 million), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (1.9, 7.5 million), Desperate Housewives (2.7, 8.8 million) and Brothers & Sisters (1.7, 6.3 million). But Home Edition was down 21 percent compared to its previous original and Housewives and Brothers & Sisters were down 7 and 6 percent, respectively, to tie series lows.
 
CBS and Fox tied for second with a 1.9 demo rating each. But CBS’ entire lineup of 60 Minutes (1.3, 10.6 million), Amazing Race (2.3, 8.7 million), Undercover Boss (1.9, 8.6 million) and CSI: Miami (2.2, 9.8 million) was down compared to last week, which saw a nice boost from CBS Sports’ coverage of the final round of The Masters.
 
Fox averaged 4.1 million viewers overall with a mix of reruns and originals of its animated lineup. A new episode of American Dad (2.2, 4.6 million) at 8:30 p.m., was up 38 percent from its last original, while Family Guy was down 9 percent, despite being the highest rated show of the night.
 
NBC was fourth with Dateline (0.9, 4.6 million), America’s Next Great Restaurant (1.2, 3.7 million) and two hours of Celebrity Apprentice (2.5, 7.4 million). Restaurant was flat week-to-week and tied as its series low. And although the second hour of Apprentice won the 10 p.m. hour (2.8, 8.3 million), it was nevertheless down 17 percent week-to-week for its lowest rated installment of the season. 
 
Email: Marisa.Guthrie@thr.com and Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie
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