Peacock prevails in primetime

Balanced NBC, Fox lead summer pack

HOLLYWOOD — NBC used a balanced lineup of dramas, comedies, newsmags and unscripted programming to win another primetime week in key demo categories, making the net five-for-five this summer.

The Peacock was a picture of stability last week, delivering a top-20 show among adults 18-49 on every night except Saturday and winning the June 23-29 frame by that measure (2.8/9), as well as adults 25-54 (3.3/10) and total viewers, according to Nielsen.

NBC won four nights in 18-49 and was second on two others.

Fox was runner-up in 18-49 (3.4/8) and prevailed in adults 18-34 (2.6/10), setting a network record with its 22nd straight weekly victory in this narrower demo.

Reality checked

None of the summer’s unscripted contest shows is a smash hit, but NBC’s “For Love or Money” and “Last Comic Standing” are holding up the best.

Last week, “Love” won its Monday hour in 18-49 for the first time (4.0/11), while “Comic” (3.6/11) led Tuesday at 9. The Peacock is also doing pretty well with “Meet My Folks” (3.8/11) and “Dog Eat Dog” (3.1/11).

Fox’s “American Juniors” is doing OK but hardly gangbuster biz, with its Tuesday hour barely winning over NBC’s “Dog” and Wednesday’s half-hour seg falling to third (2.5/9) — behind ABC comedies and a tick behind NBC’s lackluster “Fame.”

A pair of other Fox unscripted shows, “Anything for Love” and “Paradise Hotel,” aren’t doing much, with the former falling behind a repeat of NBC’s “Fear Factor” on Monday.

Elsewhere, UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” continues to do well on Tuesdays (1.8/5 in 18-49 and 3.4/10 in women 18-34), CBS’ “Amazing Race 4” (2.9/10 in 18-49) was again second in its Thursday hour, while the WB’s “Boarding House: North Shore” was up a tick in adults 18-34 from its underwhelming premiere (to 1.6/6).

Faltering firstruns

It’s pretty quiet on the firstrun scripted front, meanwhile, as Fox’s “Keen Eddie” (lowest-yet 2.1/6 in A18-49) is faring poorly, and a trio of original laffers — “Baby Bob” and “Charlie Lawrence” on CBS and “The O’Keefes” on the WB — were yanked and did not air last week after failing to do much in their few outings.

ABC laffer “Drew Carey” performed decently in its return, averaging a 2.9/9 and 3.0/9 in the 18-49 demo with its two original segs on Wednesday. “Drew” was coming out of a strong perf by a repeat “George Lopez,” which led its 8:30 slot in 18-49 (3.1/11) and was the net’s top-rated program of the week.

On the repeat front, crime paid: CBS Thursday dramas “CSI” and “Without a Trace” were the most-watched programs overall, followed by the Eye’s “CSI: Miami” and all three editions of the Peacock’s “Law & Order” franchise.

The three CBS dramas also ranked in the top 10 among adults 18-49, with “CSI” tying “Law & Order” at the top of the week’s list (4.3/12).

News cruises

Original newsmags rang up some solid numbers during the week, led by Tuesday’s “Dateline” on NBC (slot-leading 3.2/9 in adults 18-49 and 3.5/9 in 25-54) and Thursday’s “Primetime” on ABC (second-place 3.0/9 in 18-49 and 3.3/9 in 25-54).

A two-hour “Dateline” also was a Sunday standout, winning at both 7 and 8 in key demos and helping NBC win the night in 18-49 for the first time in 12 weeks.

TNT and USA were in some close races among the ad-supported cable networks, with TNT leading the pack among total viewers (2.15 million) and adults 25-54 (0.9 rating), and USA right behind in both, and moving out on top in 18-49 (0.8 rating).

BET’s “BET Awards Show” (5.51 million viewers overall) was the week’s top program in most key categories.

In the evening news derby, NBC (8.90 million) remained comfortably ahead of ABC (8.17 million), while “The CBS Evening News With Dan Rather” slipped to what’s believed to be its smallest audience on record (6.48 million) — down 13% year-to-year.

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