There's nothing like a basketball matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers to lift TV ratings -- and Thursday's coverage on ABC did just that in spades. Game 1 of the NBA finals, played in Los Angeles, averaged 11.7 million viewers and won every half-hour in primetime between 9 00 p.m. and 11 00 p.m., then went on to score even a greater number of viewers in the 11 00 p.m. hour. The telecast's audience was down from the 13.04 million who tuned in to Game 1 of last year's finals between the Lakers and the Orlando Magic. A two-hour edition of Fox's summer talent series So You Think You Can Dance won the 8 00 p.m. hour but fell to second place at 9 00 p.m. behind the basketball contest. Meanwhile, NBC, which once dominated Thursday nights, saw its numbers fall again -- perhaps to their lowest ever for what the network once called "Must See TV" night. Its new 8 30 p.m. sitcom, 100 Questions, could only find 2.23 million viewers.

Film 6/4/10


The box office has no new summer blockbuster to reinforce its sagging fortunes this weekend. Instead it will see the debut of four low-buzz movies, none of which is likely to come close to taking in as much as Shrek Forever After , which is in its third week. Get Him to the Greek, Splice Marmaduke, and Killers are each expected to earn around $15-18 million, while Shrek is likely to come away with about $22-27 million. Get Him to the Greek, in which Russell Brand reprises his rock-star character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall , and Splice , which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival early this year, are each receiving decent reviews. Marmaduke is not. Killers , starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl, was not shown in advance to critics.