A solid Tonys performance for CBS

  • 1comments

The Tony Awards telecast filled a few more seats on Sunday than it has in the past two years, but it was still hardly a standing-room-only affair for CBS.

The 8-to-11 p.m. Tony presentation averaged 7.8 million viewers, up 20 percent over last year (6.5 million) and marked the largest overall audience for Broadway's big awards night since 2003.

The Tonys also gained ever so slightly among viewers aged 25 to 54, the demographic most important to CBS, with a 1.9 rating/5 share verses last year's 1.7/4, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research.

But the show's performance among the 18- to 49-year-old crowd, the audience generally most prized by advertisers, was essentially even from last year, with a 1.4 rating/4 share.

Meanwhile, viewership of the best-of-seven NBA Finals perked up for ABC with Game 2 between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

Reliable national estimates for ABC's live game coverage are not available until Tuesday, but in Nielsen's 56 overnight metered markets, the game averaged a healthy 9.1 household rating/15 share.

That marked a 13 percent hike from Game 2 in last year's San Antonio Spurs-Detroit Pistons championship series. ABC was expected to easily win the night on the strength of its NBA coverage.

NBC served up two hours of Dateline and repeats of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Windfall for a nightly average of 6.7 million viewers and a 2.0/6 in adults 18-49.

Fox was wall-to-wall repeats except for the 9:30 p.m. showcase airing of the FX cable network comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (3.7 million, 1.7/5) coming out of a Family Guy repeat (5.9 million, 3.0/8).

Like TV.com on Facebook