Holiday lacks spark in TV ratings

Fox wins week despite dismal turnout

There weren’t a lot of ratings fireworks last week, a frame that included the Independence Day holiday and likely will go down as the calendar year’s least-watched.

Fox prevailed among adults 18-49 for the fifth time in six summer weeks, edging out NBC, which has a few reality shows working and is also getting a lift from U.S. Olympic Trials. ABC, meanwhile, has the summer’s hottest new show in “Wipeout.”

Overall for the June 30-July 5 sesh, according to Nielsen in-home viewing estimates that include same-night DVR playback, Fox led among adults 18-49 with a measly 1.9 rating/7 share. It was followed by NBC (1.7/6), ABC (1.5/5) and CBS and Univision (tied at 1.4/5).

Despite these low numbers in primetime’s key demo, the Big Four collectively were up slightly vs. their woeful showing in the holiday week a year ago.

A balanced Fox was also top dog among adults 25-54 (2.2/7) and persons 12-34 (2.0/7), while CBS again led in total viewers (6.25 million to 5.85 for NBC) despite a sluggish demo perf.

Fox was consistent throughout the week, running first or second most nights and paced as usual by Tuesday’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.7/11 in 18-49, 8.03m). Despite tough reality competish on NBC and ABC, the cooking skein’s penultimate episode of the season was the week’s No. 1 program in 18-49.

Net also ruled Wednesday with “So You Think You Can Dance” (3.2/10 in 18-49, 8.76m) and Saturday with “America’s Most Wanted” (1.6/6, 4.77m).

At NBC, “America’s Got Talent” (3.3/10 in 18-49, 12.04m) placed third for the week in 18-49 and first in total viewers. The first three episodes of “Talent” this season stand as the most-watched series telecasts since the May 29 season finale of ABC’s “Lost.”

Net also continued to look good Wednesdays with “The Baby Borrowers” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 6.83m) and won its third straight Sunday in 18-49, paced by another solid outing from “Dateline” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.44m) and U.S. Olympic Trials in swimming (2.0/6, 6.49m) and track & field (1.5/6, 5.19m).

Earlier in the day Sunday, the Peacock’s coverage of the men’s final in Wimbledon tennis between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer averaged a sturdy 4.6 household rating/12 share in Nielsen’s metered markets, up 44% from last year (3.2/9 for the same matchup) and the best for the event since the Pete Sampras-Patrick Rafter final in 2000 (5.0/14).

At ABC, “Wipeout” (3.6/12 in 18-49, 9.46m) retained virtually all of its premiere-week audience, roughly matching its combined firstrun reality competish from NBC’s “Celebrity Family Feud” (1.9/7, 6.89m) and Fox’s “Moment of Truth” (1.8/6, 4.61m). Not holding up as well but still delivering a credible number behind “Wipeout” was “I Survived a Japanese Gameshow” (2.6/7, 6.31m).

The Alphabet also got off to a great start on Monday of the current week thanks to three hours devoted to the finale of “The Bachelorette.”

The two-hour finale won its two-hour block from 8 to 10 p.m. (3.4/10 in 18-49, 9.53m) and the post-show spec “After the Final Rose” did even better (3.7/10 in 18-49, 9.99m). For the night, ABC’s 18-49 average (3.5/10) was its best on a summer Monday without sports help since 2001.

CBS, led by repeat comedy “Two and a Half Men” (2.7/8, 8.48m), saw more lowest-yet scores for firstrun skeins “Swingtown” (1.3/5, 4.51m) and “Million Dollar Password” (1.3/4, 7.45m). Net figures to get a boost from “Big Brother,” which returns Sunday.

Univision, which tied CBS for fourth in 18-49 and ranked second to Fox in adults 18-34, was the top-rated network on television among adults 18-49 on Thursday and Friday as auds remained loyal to the net’s telenovelas despite holiday distractions.

Among the cable standouts for the frame was ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.82m), drawing the cabler’s largest aud to date for a series preem. It scored with young females, registering a 6.5/24 in female teens and a 3.1/11 in femmes 12-34, where it edged out “Wipeout” (3.0/10) for the slot lead.

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