More viewers watching reality series in new time

HOLLYWOOD — CBS reality skein “Big Brother 2,” which had been building ratings momentum in the past two weeks, looked even better in its new later time period Tuesday, capturing its hour by all key measures for the first time.

According to Nielsen, the first 9 o’clock episode of “Big Brother 2″ won its hour with season-high scores in adults 18-49 (4.1/12) and adults 25-54 (4.4/12) and its second-best marks in 15 tries this summer in adults 18-34 (3.8/12) and total viewers (8.90 million).

Its adults 18-49 rating was the best for any program Tuesday night and the best for CBS in the hour since November’s presidential election coverage. Net remained fourth on the night overall, but its 2.9 rating was just a couple of ticks behind leaders NBC and ABC (3.1) and the best with series programming for CBS since May sweeps.

While still not a runaway hit in the league of “Survivor,” “Temptation Island” or even “Fear Factor,” “Big Brother 2″ has become a steady player for the Eye after a somewhat sluggish start. It has won nine of its last 10 half-hours in the key demo of adults 18-49.

“Big Brother 2″ had been airing at 8 p.m. but was pushed back an hour due to its oft-racy content. The 9 o’clock slot figures to benefit the ratings as well, since more viewers — especially young adults in the summer — are in front of their sets at this time.

“Big Brother’s” strong showing sent Fox’s opposing reality series “Murder in Smalltown X” to its lowest scores in three tries (5.01m, 2.3/7 in A18-49), down 18% in the demo from the previous week and off by 34% from its July 24 premiere. It ran fourth for the hour in 18-49.

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