UPDATE, 2:54 PM: The final score is in and last night’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals proved a close loss for ABC compared to last year. With a 6.7/12 rating and 16.2 million total viewers the battle between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs dipped 7% in viewers and 9% among Adults 18-49 from last year’s Game 4. The Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder game on June 19, 2012 pulled in 17.4 million viewers and a 7.4 in the demo. Still last night’s game garnered the best numbers in viewership and key demos for the network for the 2013 series to date. It also saw ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night special up over last year’s comparable night with a 13% rise in viewers and 10% among Adults 18-49 to 3.5 million watching and a 1.1/4 rating. In final numbers, the NBA Countdown pre-game show drew 5.7 million total viewers and a 2.0/7 rating. That’s up 2% in viewers and a slip of 9% among Adults 18-49 from the June 19, 2012 broadcast.
PREVIOUSLY, 9:32 AM: It’s even now. Last night’s 109-93 victory by the Miami Heat over the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals ties the series 2-2. But despite the winning performances of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Heat, ABC’s ratings took a dip. In primetime preliminary numbers, Game 4 (5.8/18) was down 3% from Game 4 of the 2012 Finals, though it did rise a bit from the 5.7/18 that last Thursday’s Game 1 received in final numbers. Thursday night’s game was watched by 14.14 million between 9-11 PM ET, though play actually went on until 11:49 PM. As is customary for such live events, expect to see ratings results adjust when final numbers come in later today. In overnight ratings, Game 4 drew a 12.0, the second-best result for a NBA Finals Game 4 since 2004. As it has throughout the series, ABC aired Jimmy Kimmel Game Night (2.4/9) and NBA Countdown (2.7/9) before the game. In fast nationals, Kimmel was down 5% from last year while the pregame analysis show slipped 4% from the 2.8/9 it received on June 19, 2012. ABC won the night in total viewers (11.844 million) and the adults 18-49 demo.
Things were hot over on Fox on Hell’s Kitchen (2.0/7) as Gordon Ramsay hurled an overcooked lobster at the wall. The always combustible host’s show saw another contestant sent packing, bringing it down to a final five would-be chefs. Ramsay’s series was down 9% from last week. Hell’s Kitchen was followed by the fourth week of Does Someone Have To Go (0.9/3). After last week saw a 20% rise from the previous week, the workplace reality show was down 19% last night.
CBS was all encores, with its 8 PM The Big Bang Theory garnering the second-most viewers of the night with 8.35 million.
There were only two originals on NBC last night: a new Save Me (0.5/2) and Hannibal(0.7/2). Preceded by a repeat of itself, the 8:30 PM finale of the summer burnoff Anne Heche-starring comedy was down 29% from last week to hit an all-time low for the short-run show. After last week’s season low, freshman Hannibal faced the NBA Finals at 10 PM, falling 22% to a new low.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.