Controversy Lifts CBS’ ‘Big Brother’ to Season High

Thursday's eviction episode up 10% from last week; NBC's 'Hollywood Game Night' down slightly

Controversy and curiosity seem to be driving viewers to “Big Brother,” as Thursday’s installment delivered the CBS show’s best numbers of the summer and stood as the night’s top program in demos.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the live eviction episode of “Big Brother” averaged a 2.3 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 6.7 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour. This represents gains of about 10% vs. last week and season highs for the show, which has gotten off to a lackluster ratings start.

“Big Brother” made headlines recently for the racist, sexist and homophobic remarks made by some of the contestants, and Thursday’s hour saw one of the prime offenders, Aaryn, on the chopping block as one of the three houseguests nominated for eviction.

She survived last night’s vote, but the ratings boost suggests that viewers may be tuning in to see her ouster from the game —  which would mean a sitdown chat with “Big Brother” host Julie Chen, who voiced her displeasure with the bigoted comments on the CBS  talkshow “The Talk.”

“My heart is pounding,” Chen said after a clip of the comments aired earlier this week on the daytime show she co-hosts. “Am I the only one who feels so enraged?”

CBS aired an unprecedented on-air disclaimer ahead of the “Big Brother” episode last Sunday.

http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/cbs-slaps-disclaimer-on-big-brother-beware-prejudice-1200562722/has

Elsewhere for CBS on Thursday, repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.7/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and “Two and a Half Men” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) won the night’s opening hour.

The Eye finished a close second in 18-49 on the night to Univision, which was airing its annual “Premios Juventud” Youth Awards” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall).

At NBC, “Hollywood Game Night” held up pretty well in its second outing (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall), declining a tick from its preliminary demo score of last week and two ticks from its final national result (1.4). As it did a week ago, the Jayne Lynch-hosted series gained viewers in its second half-hour and beat out its ABC and CBS competition in the 10 o’clock hour among adults 18-49.

“Game Night” had to overcome a lackluster lead-in from new singing competition “The Winner Is…” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall), which was down 18% (0.2) from its week-ago timeslot premiere.

ABC’s night was up slightly from last week, as “Wipeout” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and “Rookie Blue” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) edged up while “Motive” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) held steady. Earlier this week, ABC and its Canadian partner on “Rookie Blue,” Global Television, renewed the cop drama for a fifth season.

Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) was down slightly week to week but ranked as Thursday’s No. 2 program in 18-49.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Univision, 1.8/6; CBS, 1.7/5; Fox, 1.6/5; ABC, 1.0/3; NBC, 0.9/3; Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.0 million; ABC, 4.7 million; Univision, 4.5 million; Fox, 3.9 million; NBC, 3.8 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million; CW, 0.7 million.

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