Nice rebound, Fox <sub18>Net returns to No. 1 with end of NBA Finals</sub18>


Fox reclaimed its ratings lead last week, with "Hell's Kitchen" and "So You Think You Can Dance" powering the network to a clear first-place finish.

Fox spent a week in the No. 2 position with ABC's presentation of the NBA Finals. Last week, the Boston Celtics' series-deciding Game 6 (16.9 million viewers, 6.9 rating/20 share in the key adults 18-49 demographic) topped the charts and won Tuesday night, but it wasn't enough to give ABC a second weekly win.

All told, the NBA series averaged 65% higher than last year's four-game rally to become the most-watched Finals since 2004, the last time the Los Angeles Lakers played for the title.

Fox's "Kitchen" (8.3 million, 4.0/11) and "Dance" (8.9 million, 3.3/10) continued to perform well, though the Finals pushed "Kitchen" to a season low.

After several weeks in fourth place, NBC jumped to second to edge ABC and was No. 1 in total viewers.

NBC was boosted by its third-season premiere of "America's Got Talent" (12.8 million, 3.7/10). The reality competition went head-to-head with the NBC Finals and "Kitchen" yet was only down 14% compared with last year, when it faced repeats. Still, that marks the lowest-rated "Talent" launch to date.

On Wednesday, NBC's "Celebrity Circus" (5.7 million, 2.0/6) dropped slightly but won its final hour. Thursday's "Last Comic Standing" (4.5 million, 2.0/6) showed some week-to-week growth after getting out from under the Finals.

ABC slipped to third place led by "The Bachelorette" (7 million, 2.5/7) among its entertainment programming. The reality series grew slightly from last week. The network's presentation of the 35th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Friday night hit a record low (5.4 million, 1.2/4).

CBS, with many repeats, placed fourth in the demo. The new Sunday night game show "Million Dollar Password" (8.2 million, 1.5/5) slipped a bit from its Thursday performance.

For the week overall, Fox notched 6.1 million viewers and a 2.3 rating/7 share, followed by NBC (6.5 million, 1.9/6), ABC (5.4 million, 1.8/6), CBS (6.4 million, 1.5/5) and the CW (1.7 million, 0.6/2) (partialdiff)