CBS improves as 'Big Brother' returns well

NBC made it four straight weekly victories in key demos thanks to four firstrun hours of “America’s Got Talent” and a nice pop on Monday with “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks.”

CBS, meanwhile, got back in the ratings game thanks to the return of summer stalwart “Big Brother,” which opened better than last year, and ABC scored big with its Sunday interview special featuring kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard.

Overall, for the July 4-10 sesh, NBC’s 1.6 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 was enough to top ABC (1.4/5) and CBS, Fox and Univision, all of which averaged a 1.3/4. The Peacock also prevailed in adults 25-54 (2.0/6) and finished a close second to CBS in total viewers.

For NBC, whose winning streak is its longest in nearly three years, “America’s Got Talent” led the way. A Tuesday auditions special dominated (3.6/11 in 18-49, 12.58m), ranking third for the week in 18-49, and the night’s regular two-hour performance seg ranked first (4.6/13, 15.78m) — matching the show’s best-ever demo delivery.

The net also ruled Independence Day with its Macy’s fireworks spec (2.1/8 in 18-49, 8.71m), which hit a four-year high in 18-49 while drawing its largest overall aud in 11 years. On the down side, NBC was hampered by low-rated fare like U.S. Women’s Open golf (0.4/1 in 18-49), “Love Bites” (0.7/2 in 18-49), “Friday Night Lights” (0.7/3) and “The Marriage Ref” (0.8/2).

At ABC, Diane Sawyer’s interview of Dugard on a special “Primetime” ranked second among all programs (3.8/10, 15.07m) and racked up net’s top demo score on any night (excluding sports) since the “Modern Family” season finale in May.

New Tuesday series “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show” held up well (1.9/5, 4.92m), and the net had a solid Thursday with “Wipeout” (2.0/7, 6.81m), “Expedition Impossible” (1.7/5, 5.65m) and “Rookie Blue” (1.5/4, 5.70m).

CBS saw “Big Brother” open its 13th season a winner both Thursday (2.8/8, 7.89m) and Sunday (2.5/8, 7.18m) — the show’s best start in five years.

And Fox had a quiet week, though “So You Think You Can Dance” (2.4/8, 6.46m) rebounded nicely from its season low.

USA aired six original dramas that drew at least 4 million viewers — believed to be a weekly record for a cable net — and had seven of cable’s top 10 entertainment shows in 25-54. Top draw was “Royal Pains” on Wednesday (1.6/5, 5.02m), while lead-out “Necessary Roughness” was solid in week two (1.3/3, 4.42m).

Tuesday featured “Covert Affairs” (1.4/4, 4.81m) and “White Collar” (1.3/3, 4.19m), and Thursday had “Burn Notice” (1.4/4, 4.80m) and “Suits” (1.3/4, 4.53m), with the latter rookie rising week to week and retaining nearly all of its “Burn” demo lead-in.

Elsewhere, MTV’s “Teen Mom” kicked off its third season strong on Tuesday (2.1/6 in 18-49, 3.65m), finishing behind only “America’s Got Talent” for the night in adults 18-34 (3.1/10).

Starz’s “Torchwood: Miracle Day” averaged 819,000 for its series preem Friday and 1.51 million total for two airings on the night — about on par with the 1.57 million “Camelot” drew on its premiere night earlier this year.

On Tuesday, the day of the guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial, HLN moved up to third in adults 25-54 among all cablers in primetime (901,000, behind only USA and Discovery). And for the week, which included recap Anthony specs over the weekend, it was No. 1 among cable news nets in the demo and No. 2 to Fox News in total viewers.

In its fourth airing, TV Land’s “Happily Divorced” hit a high in adults 25-54 (0.74 rating), retaining 80% of its lead-in from “Hot in Cleveland” (0.93).

HBO’s “True Blood” bounced back in its third week (2.8/8 in 18-49, 5.04m), leading into the eighth-season preem of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (0.9/2, 1.71m), which drew its largest aud since 2004.Thanks to its Harry Potter weekend, including Sunday airings of “Goblet of Fire” and “Order of the Phoenix,” ABC Family led all cable nets for the frame in adults 18-34 with its largest aud of the calendar year (492,000).

And Oxygen’s “The Glee Project” hit a high Sunday (745,000), reaching more than 1 million viewers when both of its Sunday airings are counted.

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