Tony Awards ratings drop

Sunday's show down 8% from last year

Sunday night's 64th Annual Tony Awards on CBS sank in the ratings, breaking a streak of major awards presentations improving on broadcast this year.

The Tony's drew 7 million viewers and a slender 1.2 preliminary rating among adults 18-49, down 8% from last year. Still, that's not as weak as 2008, which only managed a 1.1 rating.

This year's broadcast, hosted by Sean Hayes, featured big wins by "Memphis," a musical that tells the story of a white DJ crossing over to play the black-dominated R&B in the 1950s, and "Red," a portrayal of artist Mark Rothko starring Alfred Molina. Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johansson, cast members from TV's "Glee" and punk band Green Day, whose "American Idiot" is on the Great White Way, also made it to the broadcast.

The telecast ran against ABC's presentation of Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which was up 36% this year. The Los Angeles Lakers at the Boston Celtics drew a 12.8 overnight household rating, the highest of the series so far and marking the top-rated NBA Finals Game 5 since 2004.

On cable, Sunday night's third-season finale of AMC's "Breaking Bad" was seen by 1.6 million total viewers, up 17% from last season's finale. Overall, this season was up 22% in the adult demo.
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