'Wipeout'-led ABC takes second on Thursday

Led by the night’s top-rated show, “Big Brother,” and boosted by good repeat numbers for its opening-hour comedies, CBS notched a primetime ratings victory in key demos Thursday.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS opened the night a winner with an encore of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.9/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and then remained in the hunt at 8:30 p.m. with a repeat of “Rules of Engagement” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), with both shows seeing nice week-to-week gains. “Big Brother” followed at 9 with winning numbers (2.6/8 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), on par with last week, and a repeat of “The Mentalist” capped things at 10 p.m. (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall).

In addition to winning in adults 18-49 and 25-54, CBS also was the most-watched network overall on Thursday, averaging 6.5 million.

Elsewhere, ABC was a solid second with its three hours of original fare, led by a timeslot victory in the 8 o’clock hour for “Wipeout” (1.9/7 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), which was flat week to week. At 9, “Expedition Impossible” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) rebounded from its season low of last week to place second in its slot, and “Rookie Blue” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) scored a narrow 18-49 victory over its repeat 10 o’clock drama competition on CBS and NBC and matched its score of last week.

Third-place Fox was up a tick both at 8 p.m. with “So You Think You Can Dance” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) and at 9 with its repeat episode of “Glee” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall).

And NBC continues to be a non-factor on Thursdays this summer with repeats of “Community” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall), “Parks & Recreation” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall), “The Office” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) and “30 Rock” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.9/6; ABC, 1.6/5; Fox, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.2/4; NBC, 0.8/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.5 million; ABC, 5.5 million; Fox, 4.4 million; Univision, 3.2 million; NBC, 2.5 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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