NBC (which scheduled "Dateline" and reaired episodes of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Crossing Jordan") averaged a 5.6 rating/10 share, according to preliminary numbers on Zap2it.com. CBS, which presented the 59th Annual Tony Awards, placed just behind with a 5.2 rating/9 share.
The eye network's "60 Minutes" at 7 PM started the evening off atop NBC's first hour of "Dateline" (with a 7.1/15 to NBC's 3.3/7) but at 8 PM, the news program saw a bump to 5.8/11 while the Tony Awards tied with ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" repeat at 4.7/9.
The remainder of the evening, the Tony telecast was beat out in the 9-10 PM hour (by "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" at 6.8/12 and ABC's "Desperate Housewives" at 5.1/9) and in the final 10-11 PM hour (by "Crossing Jordan" - 6.4/11 and a "Grey's Anatomy" repeat on ABC - 4.5/8, just beating the Tonys' 4.4/8).
A single rating point represents roughly one million households; a share shows the percentage of televisions being used at the time. Zap2it ratings are "taken from fast national data. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change, especially in the case of live telecasts."
According to these preliminary numbers, the 2005 Tonys were approximately the same as the 2004 Awards, which was down from the previous 2003 broadcast. (Nielsen Media's preliminary numbers reveal the 2005 show attracted 6.62 million viewers, up 2% from last year's 6.46 million.) In previous years, Tony ceremonies have had to contend against NBA Finals basketball games. There were no games played yesterday.