CBS nabs solid numbers with 'NCIS,' 'Mentalist'

A bummer of a summer for the broadcasters continued Tuesday night as ABC’s new version of “The Superstars” flopped and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” opened up on the low side.

Cable has exploded in the early going this summer, with USA finishing behind only Fox and CBS in key young-adult demos last week and programs on several other cablers putting up broadcast-size numbers. Tuesday’s results are the latest proof that auds aren’t so interested in typical summer fare on the Big Four.

Alternative skein “The Superstars,” a new take on the classic “Wide World of Sports” series of the 1970s, was seen as ABC’s best hope for a summer hit, but it bowed to a 1.5/5 in adults 18-49 and 4.27 million viewers overall for its 90-minute premiere, according to Nielsen.

The net was looking to attract a sizable young aud by promoting it often during the NBA Finals earlier this month, but the median age for the “Superstars” premiere aud stood at 46.5 years. It earned a 4 share in adults 18-34 and 3 shares in kids and teens.

“Superstars” also spoiled any hope ABC had of getting new auds to sample its young comedy “Better Off Ted,” which followed “Superstars” at 9:30 p.m. with puny numbers for its firstrun seg (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.83m).

Over at NBC, the fourth-season preem of “America’s Got Talent” was solid enough, but its 3.2 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 was 14% lower than the numbers for its bow last year, when it faced much stiffer competition (including the final game of the NBA Finals on ABC).

Still, its 11.46 million viewers overall makes it the most-watched season or series premiere this summer.

Leading into “Talent” was the finale of “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.33m), which was down 18% from the previous Tuesday (1.7/6) and 36% from its premiere-week Tuesday (2.2/7).

Like ABC’s “Superstars,” “I’m a Celebrity” was beaten in adults 18-49 by a CBS repeat of “NCIS” (1.8/6).

Of note in cable on Tuesday, TNT nurse drama “Hawthorne” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.76m) held up well in its second outing, retaining 92% of its premiere week 18-49 aud and 98% of its overall audience. It also grew a tick week to week in adults 25-54 (1.4/4 vs. 1.3/4), benefiting from a repeat “Bones” lead-in instead of reality show “Wedding Day,” which was pulled after its anemic opening leading into the “Hawthorne” preem last Tuesday.

Also potent were Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.49m) and Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” reunion show (1.5/5, 2.89m), while it was a quiet second-season bow for A&E’s “The Cleaner” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.75m).

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