NEW YORK — Thanks to Justin Timberlake and Barbara Walters, ABC is enjoying its second-best week in the ratings so far this year.
Timberlake was the big winner in Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, which was seen by 10.7 million viewers. The Nielsen company said that represents a 13 percent increase over last year for the show, and was the most-watched Billboard awards since 2001. The show also featured a hologram of the late Michael Jackson dancing.
The awards show was responsible for 5.4 million tweets, by far the TV show that drew the most social media interest last week, Nielsen said. Tuesday’s edition of “The Voice” was second with 1.9 million tweets.
An estimated 9.5 million people watched ABC’s two-hour salute to retiring TV news legend Walters on Friday, the biggest audience the network has received in that time slot in two years.
Earlier Friday, Nielsen said, 5.2 million people watched Walters’ last appearance on “The View,” the daytime talk show that she invented. That was the fourth biggest audience the daytime show has gathered in its 17-year history. On Thursday, when the show brought together all 11 women who have been co-hosts of the show, there were 4.2 million viewers.
Only the week of the Academy Awards was bigger for ABC this year.
CBS averaged 8.2 million viewers in prime time last week. ABC had 7.2 million, NBC had 5.4 million, Fox had 4.2 million, Univision had 2.7 million, the CW had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.2 million and ION Television had 910,000.
TNT was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.83 million viewers in prime time. The Disney Channel had 1.9 million, History had 1.852 million, USA had 1.845 million and TBS had 1.74 million.
NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.4 million viewers. ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.6 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.5 million viewers.
For the week of May 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “NCIS,” CBS, 16.95 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 16.73 million; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 14.85 million; “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 14.36 million; “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 12.03 million; “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 11.12 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 10.96 million; “Person of Interest,” CBS, 10.95 million; “Billboard Music Awards,” ABC, 10.74 million; “Castle,” ABC, 10.59 million.