'Neighborhood,' 'Shark Tank' fail to impress

Sunday continues to be a tough night for the broadcasters this summer, as even the return of Regis Philbin and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” failed to pack much of a punch.

On a night when the return of the NFL on NBC and numerous high-profile cable offerings helped splinter the audience, the quizzer placed fourth in its timeslot in key demos. Auds also seemed disinterested in the 9 o’clock showdown between new alternative series — “There Goes the Neighborhood” on CBS and “Shark Tank” on ABC, neither of which made much noise in their bows.

In recent years, only CBS’ “Big Brother” has emerged as a solid summer player on Sunday. And sure enough, on a night when the newbies struggled, the Eye’s unscripted vet hit a summer high, beating “Millionaire” across the board.

Ratings were unavailable for Sunday’s cable programming, but ESPN’s baseball game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, HBO’s hot “True Blood” and Comedy Central’s roast of Joan Rivers were among the offerings that took viewers away from the Big Four.

Looking at Sunday’s broadcast action, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” — airing on ABC for the first time since 2004 — settled for a fourth-place demo finish (1.5 rating/5 share) and averaged about 7 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen prelims. That put it on par with its lead-in from a repeat of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (prelim 1.5/5, 5.8 million).

ABC certainly was hoping for a higher tune-in, but don’t count out the once-unstoppable show just yet. The Alphabet’s circulation has been pretty low this summer, and the quizzer could bounce back as it continues its special run of 11 episodes over a 15-night stretch to commemorate the show’s 10-year anniversary in the U.S.

Leading out of “Millionaire” was the preem of “Shark Tank,” which averaged a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 4.2 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen prelims, placing fourth among the broadcasters. If there was a bright spot, it’s that the business-related reality skein added some young adults in its second half-hour.

“Shark” is scheduled to shift to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. next month.

Closing out a rough night for the Alphabet was the second seg of new drama “Defying Gravity” (prelim 1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million), which was off slightly from its weak premiere.

At CBS, “Big Brother” achieved its highest ratings for any night yet, standing as the top entertainment series in the 8 o’clock hour (prelim 2.5/8 in 18-49, 7.2 million). But there was a big drop off at 9 o’clock for “There Goes the Neighborhood” (prelim 1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million), which also declined in its second half-hour (1.7 to 1.5 in 18-49).

Still, CBS could point to time period gains, as “Neighborhood” came in 45% ahead of the net’s 18-49 summer average in the timeslot with repeats (1.1/3).

NBC Sports’ coverage of the NFL’s Hall of Fame Game between the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills averaged a 2.6/8 in 18-49 and 7.4 million viewers overall on the net’s affils from 8 to 11 p.m. — winning the night and coming in a bit ahead of last year’s comparable contest.

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