Turner's research team just sent out their summer-to-date round up of broadcast and cable performance. Above, an interesting ten-year track of the Big 4 broadcast nets' summer ratings. No surprise here: It's a mostly downward trend. But if there's any consolation, it's that the nets managed to stop the bleeding this summer, as ABC, NBC and Fox saw gains (offsetting CBS' declines).
By the way, check out those summer 2000 ratings (helped out by "Millionaire" on ABC and "Survivor" on CBS). The networks would kill now to get those ratings IN SEASON.
Now, on to ad-supported cable. In total viewers, USA dominates in prime, while Nick has the whole day wrapped up (thanks, out-of-school kiddies!). Big events "LeBron: The Decision" and the special "Deadliest Catch" episode led the summer cable viewership — but check it out, new TNT drama "Rizzoli & Isles" scored four of the ten most-viewed telecasts of summer in cable. That's a hit.
Among adults 18-49, USA dominates in prime… but look at total day, as Adult Swim leads. (Granted, it's apples-to-oranges, as Adult Swim only programs a few hours in late night). You might also notice that Fox News is No. 3 with total viewers, but doesn't make the top ten with young adults.
Also, it's worth noting that while scripted series held many of the total viewers slots, when you look at the adults 18-49 top ten programs of summer, they are *all* unscripted. And yes, "Jersey Shore" is repped twice, while "Deadliest Catch" scores a whopping five of the top ten slots.
Here's another decade trend chart — again, not exactly a surprise, as cable's summer performance increased over the decade thanks to an upsurge in original programming. But in 2010, at least, broadcast is slightly up — while ad-supported cable is slightly down.