Tony ratings up!(sort of)

Before we get to the news, here’s a clip from the Tony Awards broadcast featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning best musical In the Heights.

OK. Now the news.

Like gas prices, the Tony Awards broadcast ratings were higher this year.

Official word from CBS is that “The 62nd Annual Tony Awards” was up 5 percent in households and was even in viewers and adults 25-54 compared to last year’s broadcast as it faced major sports competition from both The U.S. Open and Game 5 of the NBA Finals, according to preliminary Nielsen live plus same day ratings for Sunday, June 15.

And here’s even more ratings jargon that only network executives love: THE 62nd ANNUAL TONY AWARDS posted a 4.4/08 in households with 6.19m viewers, 1.5/04 in adults 25-54 and 1.1/03 in adults 18-49. Compared to last year’s awards ceremony (6/10/07), THE 62nd ANNUAL TONY AWARDS was up +5 percent in households (from 4.2/07) and even in viewers (6.22m) and adults 25-54 (1.5/04).

Translation: the ratings news wasn’t dismal this year, but it wasn’t good either. Last year’s Tony ratings were the worst ever, so even a five percent jump, though encouraging, is minor. The estimate is that the show — a giant commercial for Broadway shows (nothing wrong with that, though would it kill them to put more award winners on the air?) — was watched by 6.2 million people. If they all go out and buy theater tickets, everything’s good.

ABC won the Sunday-night ratings game with Game 5 of the National Basketball Association championship. NBC came in second with coverage of the final round of the U.S. Open golf championship and a “Saturday Night Live” special about Mike Myers — just to give you an idea of what the average American prefers over theater, or, more specifically, New York theater.

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