Pretty Little Liars easily won the week in Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings for series and specials, attracting more than 1 million pretty little tweets about the show during its June 10 broadcast and for the three hours before and after that first airing. For a scripted show on basic cable, that’s pretty darned impressive, fueled by the social-media savvy young audience the show courts. On the sports side, final games for the NBA and NHL and opening games of soccer’s World Cup completely filled that Top 10. That said, the crowns claimed by the ABC Family show and the NBA come with an asterisk this week because of data-collection problems Nielsen had in determining how many people were actually reached by all those tweets. The Twitter TV ratings are designed to capture the total audience size, so the asterisk is a big one in this particular toting of tweeting. Pretty Little Liars did, however, turn out the tweople, ending up 44 percent ahead of No. 2, the reality show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, and far outstripping Top 10 perennial and this week’s No. 3 Game of Thrones. Even on its season finale with yet another shocker ending, GoT trailed the Little Tweeters roughly 4 to 1. Otherwise, it looks like summer has fully arrived on the social-media side of TV watching, given the modest numbers other shows, most of them regulars on the weekly lists, have been able to attract.
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For the seventh consecutive year, in conjunction with the NBA Finals, ABC will air primetime editions of Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night. These specials will air every night of the NBA Finals beginning with Game 1 on Thursday, June 5.
Broadcasts will feature basketball editions of Kimmel’s signature comedy bits Mean Tweets and Lie Witness News. Guests for these shows include Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Tracy Morgan, Mila Kunis, Martin Lawrence, Snoop Dogg, Psy, Ice Cube and more.
Previous JKL: Game Night guests include President Barack Obama, Adam Sandler, David Beckham, Liv Tyler, Magic Johnson, Will Ferrell, Matthew McConaughey, Ashton Kutcher, Drew Barrymore, Chris Rock, Danny DeVito and Denzel Washington. Previous JKL: Game Night specials have premiered comedy pieces featuring Mike Tyson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade.
UPDATED, 12:31 PM: The NBA just confirmed the reports. Read the release at the bottom of the original post.
PREVIOUSLY: 12:13 PM: The league moved swiftly to instill order in the Clippers front office, tapping Richard Parsons as the team’s CEO, according to multiple reports. NBA.com insider David Aldredge first reported the Parsons news via Twitter, and the league is expected to confirm the news today. The NBA’s website says the exec will oversee the team’s business operations while the league continues the process of removing current owner Donald Sterling in the wake of racially charged remarks that went public a week ago. As President of Time Warner, Parsons helped shepherd the company’s ultimately failed merger with AOL. He later served as Chairman and CEO of TW for nearly six years before stepping down at the end of 2007. He also headed Citigroup as chairman from 2009-12. Parsons currently sits on the board of directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates and with his wife owns a pair of jazz-themed restaurants in NYC. Andy Roeser, a 30-year Clippers employee, stepped down as the NBA team’s president this week amid the Sterling scandal. An NBA committee met this week and, according to NBA.com, is expected to recommend removing Sterling within the next few weeks, followed by a vote of the NBA’s Board of Governors expected soon after. Twenty-three of the league’s 30 owners must approve the ouster of the league’s longest-tenured owner.
The IHeartRadio Music Awards harmonized with TV-watching social-media users, with 7.1 million unique Twitter followers — the week’s largest online audience for any show, according to Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings. Just off the lead was the 140th Kentucky Derby, at almost 6.85 million, and the pay-per-view boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Rene Maidana (6.4 million). It’s the first time in at least three weeks that a show topping the non-sports Twitter TV list also beat out everything in the sports top 10.
The Los Angeles Clippers capped this weekend’s media reaction to racist comments allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling by staging a silent protest before Game 4 of their play-offs run today, wearing their red warm-up shirts inside out to conceal the Clippers logo ahead of Sunday afternoon’s 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Sterling was identified on a 9-minute recording posted by TMZ and an extended 15-minute tape obtained by Deadspin this week telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring black people including former hoops star Magic Johnson to his NBA games. Johnson hit back on the airwaves himself appearing on ABC‘s play-off pre-game show (see below) calling for NBA commissioner Adam Silver to “[do] his due diligence” and “come down hard” on Sterling, who “should not own a team anymore.”
“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” said fellow ex-NBA superstar and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan in a statement. “I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.”
Chris Broussard became part of the story yesterday with his outspoken comments about NBA player Jason Collins‘ coming-out in a Sports Illustrated column, making the journeyman center America’s first openly gay major sports figure. Broussard, a Christian and a longtime respected NBA beat writer who now works for ESPN The Magazine, called homosexuality a sin during a segment on the network’s newsmagazine OTL discussing Collins’ revelation. Not sure why anyone is surprised that a TV commentator provided commentary — agree or disagree with his take that’s what they pay the guy for, and he won’t be the last to offer an opposing view in this debate — but it prompted an apology from ESPN last night and a clarification by Broussard via Twitter:
Today on OTL, as part of a larger, wide-ranging discussion on today’s news, I offered my personal opinion as it relates to Christianity, a point of view that I have expressed publicly before. I realize that some people disagree with my opinion and I accept and respect that. As has been the case in the past, my beliefs have not and will not impact my ability to report on the NBA. I believe Jason Collins displayed bravery with his announcement today and I have no objection to him or anyone else playing in the NBA.
ABC and ESPN did solid ratings business on Christmas Day with a quintet of NBA games, led by the LA Lakers-New York Knicks matchup on ABC. Kicking things off was the Boston Celtics-Brooklyn Nets at 12 PM on ESPN (2.7 overnight rating). That was down from the first Christmas Day game last year between The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks (4.1), but that game aired on TNT and marked the kickoff of the 2011-12 NBA season, which was delayed by a labor dispute. The Celtics-Nets faceoff matched the corresponding 2010 game between Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. At 3 PM, NY Knicks at LA Lakers on ABC (5.9) was up both from last year’s 2:30 PM ABC game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat (5.6) and the 2010 game between Boston Celtics-Orlando Magic in 2010 (5.3). That was ABC’s best overnight ratings delivery ever for a Christmas Day game in the early window of a doubleheader, proving once again that LA Lakers are probably the biggest audience draw in the NBA. The second part of the ABC doubleheader, Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat at 5:30 PM (6.0) was down from last year’s Lakers-Chicago game (6.5 with the LA Lakers factor).
ABC is continuing to experiment filling its weekend afternoon time slots with original, primetime-like programming. The network has picked up Bud United Presents: The Big Time, a branded content reality show put together by Budweiser that features adults competing to fulfill their dreams revolving around sports and entertainment. Seven episodes are set to air beginning Saturday, January 21 at 3 PM ET/2 PM CT. The deal was struck with ABC cable sibling ESPN, which took the series to the broadcast network. ”These shows offer a compelling trifecta — sports, entertainment plus viewer engagement via social media,” said Jason Bernstein, senior director ESPN programming and acquisitions. “It’s a unique blend of content, and we’re pleased Budweiser came to us with the opportunity to present it on ABC.” It’s not the first time the network is toying with original content on the weekend: In October, the game show Million Dollar Mind Game, based on a Russian format and originally scheduled for primetime, aired on Sunday afternoons (that move was in part motivated by the network scrambling to find a replacement for NBA games during the lockout, and it wanted to give the show a trial run). Each episode of The Big Time will feature three fans competing for their shot at living out their dream, coached and mentored by pros. Casting was done via Bud’s social media sites and is part of the …
The NBA’s locked-out players rejected the league’s latest offer for a new collective bargaining agreement today, with union executive director Billy Hunter calling the proposed deal “extremely unfair.” He said the players’ association is beginning the process of disbanding the union — the first step in filing an antitrust action against the league and sending the whole mess to the courts. It’s the same tactic the NFL’s players used during their lockout over the summer, but this time the move could jeopardize the entire NBA season; already, the league had cut 10 games from the normal season in a revised schedule as the two sides remain far apart in contract talks. It would mean a big hit on ad revenue for ABC/ESPN, TNT/Turner and regional sports networks that hold lucrative TV rights to games. Commissioner David Stern had called the latest labor offer the league’s best, proposing a 50-50 split in revenue between players and owners. He said the next offer on the table will be much less favorable: a 53-47 split in favor of the league.