TNT and NBC set the pace in primetime for the first week of the summer season, with the former riding three games of the NBA Playoffs and the latter led by top entertainment series "The Voice."
The hoops action and music competition accounted for the frame's top five programs among young adults, according to Nielsen. Fox's "MasterChef" and "Hell's Kitchen" also placed in the top 10, as young adults tend to opt more for unscripted and live programming during the warm-weather months.
The networks aren't off to a great start with new alternative fare, though, as ABC's "The Lookout" and CBS' "Brooklyn D.A." and "American Baking Competition" all premiered to 3 shares in adults 18-49 last week. And Fox did the same with the second week of its "Does Someone Have to Go?"
On the scripted side, "Motive" continues to do OK for ABC, at least compared to low numbers for burnoff comedies "The Goodwin Games" on Fox and "Save Me" on NBC.
Of note in cable for the week were solid starts for OWN's Tyler Perry series "The Haves and the Have Nots" and "Love Thy Neighbor" and a good return for E!'s "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," which cracked primetime's demo top 20 for the week.
And premium cabler HBO's "Game of Thrones" was the top-rated scripted series on television for the week.
Overall, according to Nielsen estimates for May 27-June 2, TNT led in adults 18-49 with a 1.5 rating/4 share, and was followed by NBC (1.4/4), Fox and Univision (1.3/4), and ABC and CBS (both 1.0/3).
NBC won in adults 25-54, while CBS prevailed as usual in total viewers. Univision edged out Fox as the week's No. 1 broadcaster in adults 18-34.
Telemundo may have the hottest broadcast show with Sunday's "La Voz Kids," as the kids version of "The Voice" shot up 17% week to week to 2.42 million -- and more than 40% above its premiere four weeks ago.
In The NBA Eastern Conference finals between Indiana and Miami racked up strong numbers for TNT, peaking last week with Game 5 on Thursday (3.7/13 in 18-49, 8.54m). And then on Monday of this week, the seventh and deciding game set network records for the Turner cabler (5.1/xx in 18-49, 11.57m).
Game 7 of the NHL's Western Conference semifinals between Chicago and Detroit scored well Wednesday for NBC Sports Network (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.35m), becoming the most-watched cable game on record for this round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For the night, the cabler tied big brother NBC for second place in 18-49.
At OWN, "The Haves and the Have Nots" (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.82m) and "Love Thy Neighbors" (0.6/2, 1.80m) produced similar numbers and became the cabler's biggest series launches to date. While the numbers may not sound like much, each show drew nearly three times the net's primetime average for the week (a record 615,000).
E!'s return of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.02m) was up 5% over last year's debut for the show's largest season premiere in three years; in adults 18-49, it was up 7% and stood as TV's No. 1 series of the night in women 18-49 (2.2/6). Not many of these viewers stuck around at 10 p.m., though, for the net's premiere of "The Wanted Life" (0.3/1, 0.60m).
Animal Planet had its best ever week in primetime (1.07 million), seeing positive starts for "Treehouse Masters" (1.33m) and "Top Hooker" (1.18m). And Monday's two-hour finale of "River Monsters" (2.21m) and Sunday's season premiere of "Call of the Wildman" (1.89m) rank as two of the net's three most-watched series telecasts on record.
TLC's "The Little Couple" is posting its best numbers yet in its fifth season, with Tuesday's episode (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.00m) doing a 1.2/3 in women 18-49 to stand as the No. 1 cable series during the 10:30 p.m. half-hour in the demo. The show, which chronicles Bill Klein and Dr. Jennifer Arnold's journey to adopt their son William from China, has its midseason finale tonight and will then return with new episodes in August.
Bravo's "Real Housewives of New Jersey" kicked off its season Sunday (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.84m), leading in 18-49 among all cable networks at 8 o'clock. And holding about half that audience was the series premiere of "Princesses: Long Island" (0.6/2, 1.24m).
WEEK'S TOP PROGRAMS
1. NBA Eastern Conference finals-Thursday (TNT), 3.7/13