Island skein's 10th segment most popular yet

Network auds voted for the castaways and not the candidates on Wednesday as CBS’ “Survivor” rose to another ratings high and the three-net coverage of the Republican convention slipped to the week’s lowest marks.

According to Nielsen, the 10th episode of “Survivor” drew its largest audience to date (27.41 million), marking the fifth consecutive week that the island reality series has set new viewing records. It matched its best adults 18-49 score (11.9/36), set a week earlier, while slipping a bit in other key adults demos such as adults 25-54 (12.5/36) and adults 18-34 (10.8/38).

Best-yet demo scores included women 18-49 (13.2/39), teens (7.1/28) and kids (5.9/23). It also hit a 30 share in homes (16.7 rating) for the first time.

CBS once again dominated the 8 p.m. hour, topping the other five nets combined by a best-yet 30% in viewers (27.41 million vs. 21.03) and 49% in adults 18-49 (11.9 vs. 8.0).

Pols slip in ratings

Meanwhile, ABC, CBS and NBC averaged just a 3.5 homes rating in the 10 p.m. hour with their coverage of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia — down from Monday’s two-net 4.5 average (NBC passed on the first night) and Tuesday’s 3.8.

CBS and NBC tied with a 3.8/7 on Wednesday with ABC placing third (2.9/5). Compared with the Wednesday hour of coverage in 1996, CBS was up 52% (3.8 vs. 2.5) while the other two nets were well off their paces.

ABC is apparently paying the price of being the lone broadcast net to air a full hour of coverage each night, as it has consistently placed third.

Wednesday was the first night that CBS did not wrap its convention coverage inside newsmags such as “48 Hours” or “60 Minutes II.” This likely contributed to its higher scores on Monday and Tuesday, as the standard newsmag stories rated higher than the convention coverage and thus artificially inflated the Eye’s ratings.

CBS’ convention coverage had a clear lead-in advantage — although seemingly not too compatible — from the reality duo of “Survivor” and “Big Brother,” the latter of which delivered its best ratings since its July 5 premiere.

Banishment draws auds

Wednesday’s live hour of “Brother,” which saw the banishment from the house of exotic dancer Jordan, drew 17.44 million viewers and an 8.4 rating in adults 18-49 — up 3% and 5% respectively from a week ago. It also placed first in other demos, including adults 25-54 (8.5/22) and adults 18-34 (8.3/26).

The debut of Fox’s “American High” (4.24 million, 1.8/5 in A18-49) was no match for reality timeslot foe “Big Brother.” “High,” which follows the lives of students at a Chicago high school, fell 22% behind the net’s summer 18-49 average with series (2.3).

It did do very well, as might be expected, with teens — placing second in the hour to “Brother” and soaring to Fox’s best series rating among the Clearasil set in the Wednesday 9 p.m. hour (3.8/14) since the series finale of “Beverly Hills, 90210″ in May.

Hoping to give “American High” some added exposure, Fox will double pump the first two segs of the show, repeating the episodes Tuesday from 9-10 p.m. The rebroadcast bumps two episodes of “The PJs.”

Some of Fox’s audience may have turned over to the WB’s “Young Americans” (2.80 million, 1.1/3 in A18-49), which drew its best ratings since its premiere three weeks earlier.

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