'Hell's Kitchen,' 'Talent' win the night

Reality vets “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox and “America’s Got Talent” on NBC led the ratings race on Tuesday while two first-year unscripted series — ABC’s “Shaq Vs.” and Fox’s “More to Love” — hung in there with decent numbers.

On a night loaded with reality programming, especially in the middle hour, Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” ruled as the top program in adults 18-49 (3.4 rating/11 share) while averaging 7.5 million viewers overall, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen. “Kitchen” dominated opposite repeats of reality shows on ABC and NBC as well as repeat CBS drama “NCIS” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), which was the hour’s most-watched program overall.

Action intensified at 9 o’clock as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox all aired unscripted programming. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” prevailed, averaging a 3.0/9 in 18-49 and 11.2 million viewers overall for its full two hours, and CBS’ “Big Brother” was a solid second (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), coming back to earth after hitting a nearly two-year high the previous week.

Also at 9, Fox’s “More to Love” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and ABC’s “Shaq Vs.” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) put up similar numbers, with both shows in line with their performance from the previous week.

With NBC’s “Talent” winning with ease during the 10 o’clock hour, the battle for second-place crumbs went to CBS’ special repeat of “The Mentalist” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) over ABC newsmag “Primetime: The Outsiders” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.6/8; NBC, 2.5/7; CBS, 1.9/6; Univision, 1.5/4; ABC, 1.3/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 9.5 million; CBS, 8.2 million; Fox, 5.9 million; ABC and Univision, 3.6 million; CW, 0.8 million.

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