'Big Brother' down, still tops night

CBS edged out ABC for Thursday’s ratings lead thanks to ”Big Brother,” which was down from its premiere of last week but still delivered the night’s top numbers. ABC’s ”Expedition Impossible,” meanwhile, continues to decline.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS did decent business in the opening hour with repeats of ”The Big Bang Theory” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and ”Rules of Engagement” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) before rising at 9 p.m. with ”Big Brother” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), which was down about 18% from last week’s strong opener but still comfortably led its hour. At 10, a repeat of ”The Mentalist” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) placed a close second among the broadcasters in 18-49 while leading its ABC and NBC competition in both adults 25-54 and total viewers.

At ABC, ”Wipeout” again led the 8 o’clock hour (1.8/7 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), though it was down week to week. It was followed by ”Expedition Impossible” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), which saw its second straight week of meaningful declines following a strong premiere. And closing out the night, ”Rookie Blue” , which was recently renewed for a third summer season on ABC , led the broadcasters in 18-49 (1.4/4, 5.3 million viewers overall) but was down slightly vs. last week.

Fox earned a second-place demo finish in Thursday’s opening hour with ”So You Think You Can Dance” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), but then dropped off at 9 p.m. with a repeat of ”Glee” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall).

Thursday morning may have been a good one for NBC’s comedy block, as three of its four shows were nominated in the comedy category, but they continue to post puny repeat numbers this summer. Following ”Community” at 8 (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall), first-time best-comedy nominee ”Parks and Recreation” settled for a 0.7/3 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall. From 9 to 10, perennial Emmy nominees ”The Office” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) and ”30 Rock” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) couldn’t do much better, and a firstrun episode of romantic drama ”Love Bites” lagged its broadcast competition in the 10 o’clock hour (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.6/5; ABC, 1.5/5; Fox, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.1/4; NBC, 0.8/3;

In total viewers: CBS, 6.2 million; ABC, 5.4 million; Fox, 4.3 million; Univision, 2.8 million; NBC, 2.2 million; CW, 1.2 million.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more