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Female crimefighters score

New dramas on TNT and USA bag big ratings

Catches in the rough ocean waters and on the baseball diamond grabbed the most young adults in primetime last week, a frame that also saw a good start for a pair of femme-fronted cable crime dramas.

TNT’s “Rizzoli and Isles” and USA’s “Covert Affairs” came out of the gate strong, with both improving on the demo deliveries of the hit shows leading into them. “Rizzoli” also held up very well in its second outing on Monday of this week.

Tuesday was where most of the action was last week, as auds showed up in big numbers for an emotional goodbye to Capt. Phil Harris on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch,” which edged out baseball’s All-Star Game as the frame’s top primetime program among young adults. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” also airing on Tuesday, ranked third for the week.

Though the All-Star Game was off noticeably from last year, Fox prevailed for the week among young adults. The net’s 1.9 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 put it well ahead of the pack, followed by ABC and Univision (1.5/5), NBC (1.4/5), CBS (1.3/4) and top cabler USA (0.9/3).

Fox also led in adults 25-54 (2.1/6) and persons 12-34 (1.5/6), but CBS still held the advantage in total viewers (6 million to 5.6 million).

But aside from baseball and some hot reality programs, theweek really belonged to cable.

TNT successfully launched Angie Harmon-Sasha Alexander drama “Rizzoli and Isles” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 7.55m), which built slightly in demos over its lead-in from the season preem of “The Closer” (1.5/4, 7.66m) while drawing the largest overall audience on record for an ad-supported cable bow. And on Monday of the current week, “Rizzoli” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 7.27m) retained nearly all of its week-earlier audience — especially impressive given that “Closer” dipped week to week (1.3/4, 6.97m).

Over at USA, the series preem of “Covert Affairs” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.88m) built on its lead-in from the season preem of “White Collar” (1.3/4, 4.29m), clocking in slightly ahead of TNT’s “Rizzoli” to rule as the top 18-49 drama preem of the year in cable. USA also had a strong showing on Thursday with “Burn Notice” (1.8/6, 5.65m) and “Royal Pains” (1.6/5, 5.20m), both of which topped the original and repeat drama competish they faced on the broadcast networks among adults 18-49.

None of the scripted dramas, though, came close to the demo delivery of “Deadliest Catch” (3.9/12 in 18-49, 8.55m), which drew the net’s biggest overall audience in 10 years with an episode that featured the final regular appearance of Harris, who died in February days after suffering a stroke. The “After the Catch” spec that followed it also drew big numbers (3.2/10, 6.85m), ranking fourth for the week.

Also of note, MTV’s “The Hills” ended its run as the top cable series among young adults (1.7/5, 2.95m), with its score among women 18-34 (4.2/13) the best last week for any primetime telecast — broadcast or cable.

History’s “Pawn Stars” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 5.17m) again impressed despite tougher cable competition this week, and remained in the week’s top 20.

And Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.29m) set records for a nonfinale episode of the series, as well as the net’s best-ever rating for a Monday telecast.

At the broadcast networks, baseball’s All-Star Game on Fox (3.8/12 in 18-49, 12.12m) dipped to what appears to be the event’s smallest overall aud on record — down 19% from last year’s contest, which set a 10-year high in various categories; still, it was the week’s No. 2 show in 18-49, and No. 1 in total viewers. The previous night’s “Home Run Derby” on ESPN drew solid-enough numbers (2.6/8, 6.42m) and ranked 10th for the week but also was down markedly year to year.

Fox’s top series performer was “So You Think You Can Dance” on Wednesday (2.3/8, 6.02m).

ABC was paced by “The Bachelorette” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 9.64m), fifth for the week in demos, and installments of “Wipeout” on Tuesday (2.7/9, 7.82m) and Thursday (2.5/9, 7.83m). Also, “Rookie Blue” edged up on Thursday (1.7/6, 6.38m), following the announcement of the show’s pickup for a second season next summer.

NBC claimed two of the week’s top five programs in “America’s Got Talent” segs on Tuesday (3.3/10, 11.63m) and Wednesday (3.1/10, 11.44m), while the net’s gameshow “Minute to Win It” sneaked into the top 20 (2.0/7, 6.73m).

At CBS, the thrice-weekly “Big Brother” continues to perform well, with Thursday’s first eviction seg (2.3/9 in 18-49, 7.05m) rising 20% or more in most categories vs. last year.

A standout for Univision was Thursday’s “Premios Juventud” Youth Awards (2.3/8, 5.19m), which put the network in first place for the night in 18-49.

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