Exit of Controversial Contestant Puts CBS’ ‘Big Brother’ on Top


Aaryn Gries denies being a racist in exit chat with host Julie Chen on Thursday night

UPDATE: As expected, the ratings for all broadcast programs were revised downward in the nationals released Friday afternoon by Nielsen. Though “Big Brother” was still the top show in young adults (1.8 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 5.05 million viewers overall), it was actually below average due to preemptions and delays in about 40% of the country for preseason NFL action. Among originals on other networks, NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night” fell to a 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 2.82 million viewers overall — a bit ahead in the demo of ABC’s “Rookie Blue” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.42 million viewers overall) and “Motive” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.72 million viewers overall).

“Big Brother” was the top program on Thursday as the CBS reality veteran got a boost from the episode that saw the eviction of one of the season’s controversial contestants.

Ratings for all programs on Thursday are likely inflated due to preemptions on local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox stations for preseason NFL action, but in the early Nielsens, “Big Brother” was up week to week. In the 9 o’clock hour, its 2.6 rating/8 share was about as big as the next two closest nets combined.

Aaryn Gries, who had caused a ruckus earlier in the season by making derogatory statements about Asians, blacks and gays, was the contestant voted out of the game on Thursday — and on her way out she was confronted by host Julie Chen.

Chen, who earlier this summer used her daytime talkshow “The Talk” to voice her displeasure with the actions of some of the houseguests, got a chance to confront Gries face to face in her exit interview Thursday night.

Gries told Chen she’s a misunderstood Texan and that “I did not mean to ever comes off as racist. … “In Texas, we say things. Sometimes we joke and we don’t mean it. I feel how bad it is being seen and how I’ve come across to people. I don’t want to seem like that person.”

Chen read some of the offensive comments to Gries, who couldn’t mount much of a defense. “I apologize to anyone I offended for that,” she said. “That was not meant to be serious and if I said those things, I feel horrible for that. I regret that.”

Gries lost her model agency job after some of her incendiary comments earlier this summer, but, due to the sequestered nature of the game, she will not learn that until after the show ends in a couple of weeks.

As for the night’s ratings, “Big Brother” will likely remain the top program but figures to come down in the nationals due to preemptions or delays in some cities. In the early numbers, “Brother” was up half a ratings point from the previous week.

Elsewhere, CBS opened the night with encores of “Two and a Half Men” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall at 8 and 1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall at 8:30) and closed with an encore of “Elementary” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall).

At NBC, a repeat of “America’s Got Talent” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) was followed by an encore of “Hollywood Game Night” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) and then an original episode of “Game Night” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall). A 1.5 would be a series high for “Game Night,” which has been renewed for a second season, but it’s unlikely to stay that high in the nationals due to football.

Similarly, “Motive” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall for its two-hour finale) and “Rookie Blue” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) were at season highs and will come down in the nationals.

Fox aired repeats of “Glee” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), “New Girl” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and “The Mindy Project” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.0/6; NBC, 1.5/5; ABC and Fox, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.3/4; Telemundo, 0.5/2; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 7.2 million; ABC, 6.3 million; NBC, 4.9 million; Fox, 4.5 million; Univision, 3.4 million; Telemundo, 1.3 million; CW, 1.1 million.

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  1. justsayin says:

    I have watched since BB-1 and this is by far the worst! I feel Aaryn was out of line but so was Julie Chen for being so cruel to her upon exiting. I have heard every kind of name calling and horrible remarks over the years and Julie never has embarresed the houseguest like this. Perhaps it was the rice comment that really angered Julie. I have always thought she was a class act but I now have a different opinion of her. Maybe she doesn’t hear the things that are being said on late night when they are whispering.. I am curious to see if she has any negative comments for Spencer and Andy? Jm has made some real mean remarks also. Prior to Julie calling out Aaryn I didn’t give these things much thought because it is after all…….a game but it seems as if the rules are different for some people. If there wasn’t the dirty dicks and others…..would we even watch? THINK NOT!!!!

  2. there was no need for this public shaming BB & JC exploited the comments Aaryn made for ratings and nothing more everyone involved in the incident in the house Aaryn apologize to the people in the house who she may have offended and they moved on but JC played the race card for ratings and the headline on this article proves it . JC she made no mention to when Candice made many she left the house of derogatory remarks she made . Aaryn was called a blond bimbo and a Barbie doll . Amanda was called a stripper multiple times it drove her to tears but no one had a problem with that . it works both ways if you are going to condemn somebody from something they said then you need to it to everyone who said but if your a minority or a sister of a BB champion then I guess it all good.

  3. Tresa says:

    I find it absolutely insulting the remark that Aaryn made that people in Texas talk like that. I’m from Texas and that is not the way we talk. That is pure ignorance speaking. However with that said. I am appalled that CBS has allowed the bullying to go on in the house. That is not game. This is a problem in this country and CBS seems to have the green light to allow this vile behavior. I am very upset about this network allowing and glamorizing this on national television. This is as wrong as the racist statements that were spoken by Aaryn and should not be tolerated. Bullying is and continues to be a problem and CBS just proved that ratings come first.

  4. Kari Wood says:

    I really like Julie and while I agree with what she said to Aaryn–I think she came on too strong and it was uncomfortable to watch. The show has a disclaimer and ultimately Aaryn is responsible for her comments. I think political correctness can go too far. PS hair extensions look horrible on everyone–save your money,

  5. bobbueabb55 says:

    Aaryn was controversial, to say the least. But so is Amanda, and Elissa! I can’t stand Elissa when she speaks. She sounds like a 2 year old, who has to stop mid-sentence, and take a breath—like everything and everyone is beneath her!! What a beotch!! To tell you the truth, I think this is the worst season!! Amanda is the only one doing game playing, too many floaters, too many throw pov’s, etc….I can’t wait for “Survivor”!! That is how little I care for this season!!!

    • justsayin says:

      You are so correct. Amanda & Aaryn are the only two people that have been playing the game. Allisa is a total waste & very difficult to watch. I believe the game is over for me when Amanda leaves because that house will be too boring. I cannot listen to A’s phony voice.

  6. Sal Ignab says:

    Why was she “controversial?” There was nothing “controversial” about her. She was a convicted racist who got caught. This headline should have read “Exit of Racist Contestant Gives ‘Big Brother’ a Lift.” Who is going to (legitimately) disagree with that? Why does Variety soft-shoe around something that CBS handled head-on? Arian was many things, but she was not “controversial.”

  7. Pam says:

    Big Brother 15 should give the jury members a 3rd option when choosing the winner. The 3rd key should be to vote for ‘Neither”. A person should have to get 5 votes to win but if 5 or more of the votes are ‘neither’, the prize money should be donated to an organization that focuses on doing away with discrimination.

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