Two-hour seg tops night; 'Ninja' spec OK for NBC

A full-night’s serving of ”Hell’s Kitchen” lifted Fox to victory among the broadcasters Monday, a night on which ESPN was expected to be competitive with its ”Monday Night Football” preseason contest.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”Hell’s Kitchen” averaged a 2.6 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., down a bit from last week’s hourlong episode. Still, it was the top-rated broadcast program on the night, as Fox led its rivals in 18-49 all four half-hours.

ABC ran second as ”Bachelor Pad” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) and ”Castle” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) were in line with last week, although their averages could be revised downward in the nationals due to a preemption for Bears football on the Alphabet station in Chicago.

NBC started slowly with a repeat of ”America’s Got Talent” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) before picking up steam with the season finale of ”American Ninja Warrior” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall), which easily topped the demo scores of repeat dramas airing opposite it on ABC and CBS. ”Warrior,” which airs on NBC’s sister cable network G4, gave NBC its best showing in the Monday 9-11 p.m. block since July 4 when it aired its annual ”Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks” special.

CBS hung in there as always with repeats of regular Monday programs ”How I Met Your Mother” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall at 8:30), ”Two and a Half Men” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), ”Mike and Molly” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) and ”Hawaii Five-0” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall).

Ratings won’t be available until this afternoon for ESPN’s ”Monday Night Football” matchup between the New York Giants and Chicago Bears, which was expected to win the night in male demos while challenging Fox for the primetime 18-49 lead.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.6/7; ABC, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.4/4; CBS, 1.3/3; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 6.1 million; ABC, 5.9 million; CBS, 4.7 million; NBC, 4.0 million; Univision, 3.6 million; CW, 0.5 million.

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