Fox show bounces back as competish begins

Fox was kicking up its heels over Wednesday night’s ratings bump for “So You Think You Can Dance,” as the skein’s finalists competed for the first time.

Terp series, which had seen its ratings decline some since its hot debut in July, was back on the upswing as the 16 contestants — eight guys and eight gals — performed for a panel of judges and the American viewing public, which decides who advances a la “American Idol.”

For its two hours of “Dance” on Wednesday, Fox averaged a winning 3.3 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 8.06 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen. Excluding the opening half-hour pre-show, “Dance” earned a 3.5/10 in 18-49 and 8.72 million viewers from 8:30 to 10 — up 30% in the demo vs. its 90-minute perf last week (8-9:30 p.m.).

It fared best among women 18-34 (4.5/14).

Show is important for Fox because it will continue into fall, airing at least twice in the new season before the net shifts to baseball.

Elsewhere Wednesday, CBS’ “Rock Star: INXS” hit Wednesday highs for a second straight week (2.2/7, 5.34m), one night after Tuesday’s performance show drew its largest aud to date.

‘Brat’ bottoms out

Over on ABC, declining “Brat Camp” hit lows with its penultimate episode at 9 (2.6/7 in 18-49, 7.27m).

NBC didn’t create much excitement for its two hours of “The Office” repeats (averaging 1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.21m), and UPN’s unscripted series “R U the Girl” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.49m) continues to perform just OK, placing third at 8 in women 18-34 (1.6/6).

FX’s “Over There” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.50m) was again Wednesday’s No. 1 cable program in 18-49, 18-34 and key male demos. Bravo averaged 708,000 viewers for its premiere of “Battle of the Network Reality Stars.”

* * *

UPN and CBS reported that the Eye’s repurposing of weblet drama “Veronica Mars” has enabled millions of new viewers to sample the critically hailed skein, which enters its second season this fall.

Roughly 93% of the viewers who watched the four “Veronica” telecasts on CBS had never seen those episodes, according to Nielsen data, and 84% of the women 18-34 aud on CBS had never watched them. Show averaged 3.2 million viewers on the Eye, compared with its first-season UPN average of 2.5 million.

Since CBS began airing the drama three weeks ago, “Veronica’s” repeat ratings on UPN have been up across the board vs. its prior summer averages, including 14% in its target 18-34 demo. On Wednesday, “Veronica” delivered its largest UPN aud of the summer (2.04 million).

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more