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No summer doldrums yet for television networks

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Television hasn't hit its summer doldrums yet. Between a mysterious dome, a high-wire act and climaxes to the NBA season and "The Voice" singing competition, viewers are finding reasons to tune in.

More than 13 million people watched Monday's opening of "The Dome," a collaboration between Stephen King and Steven Spielberg on CBS, according to preliminary research by the Nielsen company.

That represents the biggest summertime drama debut for any broadcast network since CBS aired "2000 Malibu Road" in 1992, Nielsen said. That's a strong number for the fall, much less the summer. In the series, a see-through dome clamps down over a small town.

The conclusion of a hotly contested NBA Finals between San Antonio and Miami was a winner for ABC. The seventh game, happening after a dramatic overtime conclusion in Game 6, drew 26.3 million viewers on Thursday, Nielsen said. The sixth game had just over 20 million viewers.

The Finals itself averaged 17.6 million viewers through all seven games. That's a bigger average than any series since 2004, with the exception of the meeting of old rivals Boston and the L.A. Lakers in 2010.

Nik Wallenda's windy walk over the Grand Canyon on a tightrope brought people in to the Discovery Network on Sunday. Before the walk, during the show between 8 and 9:10 p.m. EDT, Discovery averaged 6.3 million viewers. Between 9:10 and the show's end 70 minutes later, nearly 10.7 million people were watching, Nielsen said. That represented the most-watched live event in Discovery's history.

NBC's "The Voice" had a strong finale. The 15.6 million people who watched the competition's final night of singing was 31 per cent more than the viewership for last year's ending. It led NBC to its best week in the ratings since January, Nielsen said.

The "Mad Men" sixth season finale may not have been good for Don Draper, but AMC will take it. The show had 2.7 million viewers Sunday night for the show's best ratings in a season finale, Nielsen said.

Those last two NBA games helped ABC win the week in prime-time, averaging 6.9 million viewers. NBC had 6.7 million viewers, CBS had 5.1 million, Univision had 3.4 million, Fox had 3.1 million, Telemundo had 1.8 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and the CW had 760,000.

USA was the most popular cable network last week, averaging 2.5 million viewers in prime-time. The Disney Channel had 2.4 million, History had 2.1 million, TNT had 2 million and Discovery had 1.9 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.5 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 6.9 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.6 million viewers.

For the week of June 17-23, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NBA Finals: San Antonio vs. Miami (Game 7), ABC, 26.32 million; NBA Finals: San Antonio vs. Miami (Game 6), ABC, 20.64 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 15.6 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 12.68 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 11.75 million; "Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda — The Walk," Discovery, 10.65 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.41 million; "NCIS," CBS, 8.13 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 7.66 million; "Winner Is," NBC, 6.69 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is a unit of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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