ABC's 'Downfall' struggles against stiff competition

Audiences flocked to unscripted programming on Tuesday, a night that saw three of summer’s top vets — NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and ABC’s “Wiepout” — in action. The Alphabet’s premiere of “Downfall” struggled to do much opposite stiff competition.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, ABC opened the evening on a winning note with the season premiere of “Wipeout” (3.1/10 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), which will also be airing on Thursdays to serve as a lead-in to new cop drama “Rookie Blue.” Following “Wipeout” on Tuesday, it was slower going for new gameshow “Downfall” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), which ranked third in its tough hour behind “America’s Got Talent” and “Hell’s Kitchen,” and dropped to a 5 share in its second half-hour. And closing things out was a rather soft debut for new limited-run newsmag series “Primetime: Mind Games” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall).

Fox aired a two-hour installment of “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), which placed second among young adults in its first hour and tied with NBC’s “Talent” in its second. Show’s two-hour average was enough to win the night for Fox in 18-49 and younger demos.

At NBC, “Losing It With Jillian” continues to struggle opening the night (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), but lead-out “America’s Got Talent” didn’t seem to mind, winning its 9-11 p.m. block in 18-49 (3.3/10) and standing as the night’s most-watched program overall (11.4 million viewers overall).

CBS ran fourth among the English-language broadcasters in all under-55 demos with its repeat lineup of “NCIS” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall). Still, the net placed second in total viewers.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.9/9; NBC, 2.6/8; ABC, 2.1/7; Univision, 1.7/5; CBS, 1.3/4.

In total viewers: NBC, 8.8 million, CBS, 7.8 million; ABC, 6.4 million; Fox, 6.1 million; Univision, 4.1 million; CW, 0.8 million.

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