'Hell's Kitchen,' 'MasterChef' draw night's top demos

Fox has racked up its best summer Monday ratings in several years with cooking contests ”Hell’s Kitchen” and ”MasterChef,” which lifted the net to victory in key demos as well as total viewers.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”Hell’s Kitchen” kicked off Monday a winner for Fox (2.8/8 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) , on par with last week and again the night’s top show among young adults. It was followed by the Monday finale of ”MasterChef” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), which was up a tick from last week to match its best delivery on the night this summer.

For the night, Fox led the broadcast pack in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers. It was its best showing with a regular Monday lineup in summer since 2008 in adults 18-49 and since 2007 in total viewers.

At ABC, the two-hour episode of ”Bachelor Pad” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) was down 9% from last week’s three-hour premiere but up vs. the second installment of last summer. It was followed by the return of ”Castle” to the time period, with a repeat pulling a 0.9/3 in 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers overall.

CBS hung in there with repeats of ”How I Met Your Mother” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall for a second episode at 8:30), ”Two and a Half Men” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), ”Mike and Molly” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) and ”Hawaii Five-0” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall). These numbers could come down a bit in the nationals since the preliminaries include a football preemption in Houston for the ”Monday Night Football” game between the Texans and New York Jets.

And NBC had a weak showing with its two-hour encore of ”America’s Got Talent” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) followed by a repeat of ”Harry’s Law” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.6/7; ABC, 1.7/5; CBS, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.3/4; NBC, 0.9/3; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 6.4 million; ABC, 5.5 million; CBS, 5.0 million; NBC, 4.0 million; Univision, 3.3 million; CW, 0.5 million.

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