Showing that America loves aspiring amateurs even in summer, America's Got Talent Season 6 premiere got an average of 14.97 million people tuning in — its most-watched debut ever.
The two-hour talent competition (starting at 8/7c) also posted a 4.2 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic — a 17 percent rise over the previous season's opener. Total viewership was up 21 percent.
The first game of the National Basketball Association finals between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks drew an average of 12.94 million fans between 9 and 11 EDT and a 5.5 demo rating — a 22 percent increase compared with last year's Game 1 between the league's pre-eminent rivals, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures.
ABC noted that Tuesday night's game notched the highest Game 1 overnight ratings since 2004, when the Detroit Pistons took on the Lakers.
The Voice, which followed Talent, came back strong after facing last week's finale of Dancing with the Stars. The show attracted 14.38 million people (vs. 8.55 million a week ago), posting a 4.9 demo rating, while the game scored a 5.9 in the final hour of prime time. It was The Voice's best-rated outing in four weeks.
With last week's end of the 2010-11 network TV season, reruns are getting into full swing, so the only first-run episode was Fox's Traffic Light, which bombed after its midseason start and was canceled — it stopped just 2.24 million to watch.
NBC handily won the night in total viewers with 14.77 million viewers, and just lost to ABC (10.77 million) in the demo rating, 4.5 to 4.4.