'Hell's Kitchen' heats up primetime

Auds didn’t turn out in especially hefty numbers Tuesday for Fox’s new dating show “More to Love,” whose premiere episode finished behind competing unscripted series on NBC and CBS. According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “More to Love” — a twist on “The Bachelor” in which a 300-plus pound man seeks a mate from a pool of overweight women — averaged a 1.9 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 4.2 million viewers overall during the 9 o’clock hour. It placed third in most categories behind NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” (3.3/10 in 18-49, 12.8 million viewers overall) and CBS’ “Big Brother” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall.

If there was a bright spot for the Fox newcomer it’s that its audience did grow slightly in its second half-hour. Also, dating shows like “The Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” often start slowly before building a loyal audience.

Fox had dominated the night’s opening hour with “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.3/11 in 18-49, 6.8 million), which was up in the hour by more than 15% week to week, easily topping in demos NBC’s repeat of “America’s Got Talent” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) and CBS’ encore of “NCIS” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall).

ABC didn’t do much from 8 to 10 p.m. — but was actually up week to week — with a repeat of the previous night’s finale of “The Bachelorette” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) airing in place of the network’s low-rated Tuesday originals “The Superstars” and “Better Off Ted.”

The Alphabet then dominated at 10 p.m. with the special “The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall). NBC’s repeat of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” ran second (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), well ahead of an episode of “Medium on CBS that had previously aired on NBC (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.6/8; NBC, 2.5/8; CBS, 1.6/5; ABC, 1.5/5; Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 9.5 million; CBS, 6.7 million; Fox, 5.5 million; ABC, 4.8 million; Univision, 3.4 million; CW, 1.1 million.

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