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Television hasn't hit its summer doldrums yet. Between a mysterious dome, a high-wire act, 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 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 the NBA Finals between San Antonio and Miami was a winner for ABC. The seventh game, happening after an overtime conclusion in Game 6, drew 26.3 million viewers last Thursday. The sixth game had just over 20 million viewers.
The Finals 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., 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.
NBC's "The Voice" had a strong finale. The 15.6 million people who watched the competition's final night of singing was 31 percent more than the viewership for last year's ending.
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, 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.
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.