TV Ratings: Stanley Cup Final Wins Thursday, 'The Four' Returns Down

 NBC coverage of the NHL Championship hits a high note and a Game 5 best for the network.
Harry How/Getty

Hockey dominated Thursday's relatively scant TV lineup, with NBC's coverage of the Stanley Cup Final going out on a high note.

Early scores have the series-ender up from the past two years of Game 5 play, delivering just under an overnight 5.0 rating among metered market households. Tentative Fast Affiliate scores give coverage of the Washington Capitals' victory over the Las Vegas Knights more than 6 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49.

NBC is likely a little bummed about the Stanley Cup not stretching to Game 7, but it was 2011 when that last happened. Still, the 2018 Championship was a strong one for the network — though it will likely fall just shy of the 2017 average.

Elsewhere, Fox debuted its fast-tracked follow-up to winter debut The Four. Season two opened on a lower note, shedding roughly half of a ratings point from the January bow to earn a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49 in its first hour and a 0.8 rating in its second hour. Viewership went from 2.2 to 2.7 million from the first to second hours.

The Four managed to grow throughout its freshman run, however modestly, so Fox is likely hoping the same thing holds true for this summer season.