Fox wins night while NBC nabs most viewers

Despite the series or season premieres of several summer series, Fox’s “Glee” drew the highest primetime ratings Tuesday in the 18-49 demo, lifting the network to a narrow victory over NBC. Fox actually finished fourth in total viewers, behind NBC (powered by “America’s Got Talent”), CBS and ABC.

Airing at 9 p.m., “Glee” (3.8 rating/11 share in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) posted its best numbers ever without an “American Idol” lead-in. Instead, airing on Fox at 8 p.m. was the season premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.9/9, 6.2 million), which rose 4% over last year’s July season premiere and improved 27% among adults 18-34.

Faring best among the summer premieres was NBC’s two-hour “America’s Got Talent” (3.6/11, 12.3 million), which won both the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. hours in 18-49 and total viewers, improving 13% compared with its premiere last June 23.

ABC’s first “Wipeout” of the year (2.9/9, 8.1 million) — technically a sneak preview rather than a season premiere, with the show beginning its weekly run June 22 — was in second place at 8 p.m. despite being 9% below its 2009 season premiere in late May. The special gave the Alphabet net its top non-sports ratings for 8 p.m. Tuesday programming in the summer since July 8, 2008.

The one brand new series launching Tuesday was NBC’s “Losing It With Jillian” (2.7/8, 6.7 million), which captured the 10 p.m. hour in the demo, while finishing third in total viewers behind ABC’s “A Special Edition of 20/20: Superhumans” (2.3/7, 7.4 million) and a CBS rerun of “The Good Wife” (1.3/4, 7.1 million). The “20/20″ special also won its timeslot among male and teen demos.

Earlier in the night, repeats of “NCIS” (1.7/7, 10.7 million) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.7/5, 9.3 million) posted identical numbers for CBS in 18-49.

The CW struggled with reruns of “90210″ and the pilot of “Life Unexpected” each registering 0.4/1, 0.8 million.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox 3.4/10, NBC 3.3/10, ABC 2.8/8, Univision 1.7/5, CBS 1.6/5, CW 0.4/1.

In total viewers: NBC 10.4 million, CBS 9.0 million, ABC 8.0 million, Fox 7.6 million, Univision 4.2 million, CW 0.8 million.

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