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CBS’ series surge and NBA playoffs give ratings a bounce

Two women next to each other, one with her arm around the other's shoulder.
Laya DeLeon Hayes, left, and Queen Latifah in “The Equalizer,” which helped lift CBS to the top of last week’s ratings.
(Michael Greenberg / CBS)
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CBS had the four most popular prime-time programs for the second consecutive week, with “60 Minutes” at the top of the rankings for the sixth time in 12 weeks, averaging 7.436 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen. “FBI” was second among programs airing between May 9 and Sunday, averaging 7.163 million, followed by “Young Sheldon,” which averaged 6.931 million, and “The Equalizer,” which averaged 6.84 million.

NBC’s “Chicago Fire” was fifth, averaging 6.613 million, and its “Chicago Med,” which preceded “Chicago Fire,” was sixth, averaging 6.31 million. “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med” and two NBA playoff games on cable were last week’s only other programs to top 6 million viewers.

The top-ranked cable and prime-time sporting event was TNT’s coverage of the Dallas Mavericks’ 123-90 victory over the Phoenix Suns in Game 7 of a Western Conference semifinal series Sunday, which averaged 6.286 million viewers, seventh for the week.

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The Golden State Warriors’ series-clinching 110-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series on ESPN Friday averaged 6.282 million viewers, second among cable programs and eighth overall.

CBS had five of the week’s top nine programs to finish first for the 12th time in the 12 weeks following NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics, and for the 18th time in the 34-week-old 2021-22 television season, averaging 4.2 million viewers.

NBA playoff coverage made TNT the second-most-watched network, averaging 3.361 million viewers. NBC was third, averaging 3.19 million, and ABC fourth, averaging 2.76 million.

An “American Idol” episode was ABC’s most-watched program for the 10th time in the 12 weeks it has aired this season, with the Sunday episode averaging 5.572 million viewers, 10th for the week.

Fox averaged 1.95 million viewers, topped by the procedural drama “9-1-1,” 16th for the week, averaging 5.298 million viewers. That series has been Fox’s ratings leader all seven times an original episode has aired since March 21.

The CW averaged 340,000 viewers. The martial arts action-adventure series “Kung Fu” was its biggest draw, averaging 489,000 viewers, 184th among broadcast programs.

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The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of 10 programs that aired on CBS — eight scripted series episodes, “60 Minutes” and the alternative series “Survivor”; five NBA playoff games — three on TNT and two on ESPN; the three elements of NBC’s “Chicago” franchise — “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.”; ABC’s “American Idol”; and Fox’s “9-1-1.”

NBA playoff coverage made TNT the top-ranked cable network for the third time in four weeks, averaging 3.361 million viewers. Fox News Channel was second for the second consecutive week

Fox News Channel finished second for the third time in four weeks after finishing first for three consecutive weeks and 12 of the previous 13, averaging 2.195 million. ESPN was third for the fifth consecutive week, averaging 2.056 million, the other cable network to average more than 1 million viewers for its prime-time programming.

The cable top 20 consisted of 11 NBA playoff games, seven on TNT and four on ESPN; the Sunday “Inside the NBA Playoffs” postgame show on TNT; and eight Fox News Channel political talk shows — five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and three of “Hannity.”

The movie “Senior Year” was Netflix’s most-streamed English-language program, with viewers spending 55.94 million hours watching the comedy in its first three days of release, according to figures released by the streaming service.

The fourth and final season of the crime drama “Ozark” was Netflix’s most popular English-language series for the third consecutive week, with viewers spending 48.62 million hours watching the 14 episodes, 52.4% less than the 102.1 million hours watched the previous week, the first full week the final seven episodes were available.

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Viewers spent 78.4 million hours watching the fourth season of “Ozark” April 25-May 1 when the final seven episodes were available for three days.

“The Lincoln Lawyer” was second among Netflix’s English-language series, with viewers spending 45.09 million hours watching the 10-episode legal drama in its first three days of release.

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