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Hoops, Dancing Take Charge of Thursday Night

Game 1 of the NBA Finals wins the night for ABC in the 18-49 demo, Fox’s ”SYTYCD“ a solid second

Game 1 of the NBA Finals on ABC in which the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics dominated last night’s primetime television ratings, but Fox’s "So You Think You Can Dance" was a solid second, posting its highest ratings of the summer season.

The NBA game from 9-11 p.m. averaged a 4.5 18-49 rating and about 11 million viewers, but "SYTYCD" scored a 3.2 and averaged 8.5 million viewers. Head-to-head from 9-10 p.m. with the NBA game, "SYTYCD" produced a 3.5 18-49 rating and averaged 9.2 million viewers, compared to the game’s 4.2 18-49 rating and 11 million viewers.

"SYTYCD" was up 7 percent among viewers 18-49 compared to its premiere last Thursday, up 25 percent in that demo over its fall 2009 average and up 14 percent from its Wednesday night telecast. The dance competition show was also up in other key demos compared to those periods.

The NBA’s Game 1 was on par with last year’s Game 1, which produced a 4.4 in the fast nationals. Overall viewership was up though by 17 percent from last year’s Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic Game 1, and tied for the highest Game 1 rating over the last six years.

Other than basketball and dancing, broadcast primetime did not have much else to brag about.

As usual, CBS did solid in repeats with two of its hit dramas, with "CSI" scoring 7.4 million viewers (but only a 1.5 18-49 rating) at 9, and "The Mentalist" drawing 9.2 million viewers (but only a 1.8 18-49 rating) at 10. But in terms of overall viewers, "The Mentalist" at 10 did well vs. the NBA Game, which averaged 11.2 million viewers in the hour.

For the entire night, CBS averaged a 1.5 among 18-49 viewers vs. NBC’s 1.1. NBC aired mostly repeats of it’s half hour sitcoms, "Community," "The Office," "30 Rock" and "Parks & Recreation."