MTV's return of 'Jersey Shore' expected to top everything

MTV’s return of ”Jersey Shore” figures to be the top-rated program in demos on Thursday, but it was a bigger-than-usual ”Big Brother” that paced the broadcasters and led CBS to victory.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”Big Brother” averaged a 2.7 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers overall , up a bit vs. last week and the top broadcast program of the night. Also for CBS, ”The Big Bang Theory” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and ”Rules of Engagement” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) continue to post solid numbers and easily top the comedy competition on NBC. And closing out the night, a repeat of ”The Mentalist” averaged a 1.1/3 in 18-49 and 5.9 million viewers overall.

CBS led the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

ABC ran second with its all-original lineup of ”Wipeout” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), ”Expedition Impossible” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and ”Rookie Blue” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), with the latter holding steady week to week and leading its broadcast rivals in 18-49 despite the added cable competition from MTV’s ”Jersey Shore.”

Fox was down a tad vs. last week with ”So You Think You Can Dance” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and a repeat of ”Glee” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall).

NBC struggled with its repeats of ”Community” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall), ”Parks and Recreation” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall), ”The Office” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), ”30 Rock” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall) and ”Law and Order: SVU” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall).

Ratings for the fourth-season premiere of ”Jersey Shore” are expected to be released this afternoon. The show opened last season with a 4.2 rating in adults 18-49 and peaked with a 4.7 a few weeks later.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.8/6; ABC, 1.6/5; Univision, 1.3/4; Fox, 1.2/4; NBC, 0.9/3; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.3 million; ABC, 5.5 million; Fox, 4.0 million; Univision, 3.2 million; NBC, 2.6 million.

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