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Discovery, VH1 among the cable standouts

The return of football put NBC on top in the young adults demo last week, ending Univision’s record-setting five-week run ahead of its English-speaking competitors.

CBS, meanwhile, continues to perform better than last summer as its strategy of adding original dramas to its slate has paid off. Fox, on the other hand, has aired more repeats than usual this summer and is down sharply as a result.

The Eye’s “Under the Dome” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” were the frame’s top series in key demos — but they paled in comparison to the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame Game, which signals the start of preseason action. Sunday’s game between Miami and Dallas, broadcast by NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” crew, averaged a big 3.8 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 while drawing 10.11 million viewers overall — the highest demo rating for any NFL preseason telecast in three years.

Overall for the week of July 29-Aug. 4, according to Nielsen, NBC led in adults 18-49 with a 1.6 rating/5 share, followed by CBS and Univision (both at 1.2/4), ABC (1.0/3) and Fox (0.9/3). The Peacock also narrowly led in adults 25-54 (1.6/5) while the Eye was on top once again in total viewers.

While football put NBC over the top for the week, the net had solid showings earlier in the frame from “America’s Got Talent” on both Tuesday (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.28 million viewers overall) and Wednesday (2.4/7 in 18-49, 10.28m); the latter results show spiked by 20% over its comparable telecast of a year ago and was the night’s No. 1 show.

NBC also got contributions from “American Ninja Warrior” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.11m) and first-year Thursday series “Hollywood Game Night” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.12m), the latter of which beat its ABC and CBS timeslot competition. Leading into “Game Night” was another first-year series, “The Winner Is…” (1.0/3, 4.29m) which posted its best Thursday scores yet.

At CBS, “Under the Dome” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 11.41m) was the week’s No. 1 show in 18-49, 25-54 (3.8/10) and total viewers and has more than tripled the net’s time-period perf in Monday’s 10 p.m. hour last summer.

“Unforgettable” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 7.10 million viewers overall) tied with ABC’s “Mistresses” as the week’s No. 3 original drama in 18-49 while edging out TNT’s “Falling Skies” to stand as the No. 2 original drama of the week in 25-54 (1.7/4) — behind only “Under the Dome.” And in total viewers, it cracked the week’s top 10 programs and was the No. 2 drama behind “Dome.”

Like, “Under the Dome,” “Unforgettable” is providing CBS with huge time-period gains and is contributing to the overall growth this summer for the net.

And after a sluggish start, “Big Brother” is also in the black this summer, with all three nightly editions up in 18-49 and total viewers vs. last year, Last Thursday’s live eviction episode (2.5/8 in 18-49, 7.12m) was the night’s No. 1 program and ranked fourth for the week.

Fox, which aired all repeats on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, was led by Wednesday’s “MasterChef” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 5.56m), which finished just a smidge behind NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” head-to-head in 18-49.

At ABC, “The Bachelorette” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.94m) posted nice week-to-week gains with its penultimate episode, and lead-out “Mistresses” (1.2/4, 3.96m) matched its best deliveries in the last seven weeks.

“Secret Millionaire” kicked off its season Sunday (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.15m), down from last year but up vs. recent timeslot occupant “Celebrity Wife Swap.”

CW welcomed back “America’s Next Top Model,” whose two-hour premiere on Friday averaged a 0.6/2 in 18-49 and 1.55 million viewers overall — better than the show’s two previous cycles — and gave the net its top perf on the night in adults 18-34 (0.7/3) in nearly two years.

VH1 had a big Monday with the finales of reality show “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 4.15 million viewers overall) and drama “Hit the Floor” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 2.62m). The former ranked seventh among all primetime shows for the week in 18-49, and the latter rookie drama surged to a high and was the week’s No. 2 ad-supported drama (broadcast or cable) in the demo.

Discovery had a good week, ranking first among cable nets in adults 18-49 and 25-54 thanks to a strong showing Sunday for the premiere of “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 4.82m), which drew the largest audience for any Shark Week program in the event’s 26-year history.

And on Friday, Discovery’s “Gold Rush: South America” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.39m) was basic cable’s No. 1 program for the night in adults 25-54 (1.1/4) and men 25-54 (1.5/4).

At TNT, Monday’s “Major Crimes” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 4.99m) and “King & Maxwell” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 3.14m) hit seven-week highs, while Wednesday’s “Franklin & Bash” hit season highs (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.30m). Net’s “Crimes” was second among cable shows for the week in total viewers, behind only the net’s Tuesday drama “Rizzoli & Isles” (5.33 million).

USA’s “Royal Pains” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 3.54m) and “Necessary Roughness” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.51m) drew season highs in the demo, while “Burn Notice” hit four-week highs (1.0/3, 3.60m).

OWN’s first-year Tuesday soap “The Haves and the Have Nots” hit highs (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.87 million viewers overall) — drawing about four times the network’s overall primetime average for the week in total viewers (473,000).

History’s back-to-back episodes of “Counting Cars” averaged a 1.2/4 in 18-49 and a little over 3 million viewers on Tuesday as the series wrapped its second season. It was the show’s best ever Tuesday performance and “Cars” stood as cable’s No. 1 program on the night in 18-49 and men 18-49.

AMC’s “The Killing” drew 1.48 million viewers for its season finale on Sunday, on par with the show’s second-season finale a year ago (1.45m).

At the premium cablers, HBO’s “True Blood” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 4.17m) was on the low end of its range but ranked 10th in 18-49 among all programs for the week, while “Newsroom” hit a series low with 1.62 million viewers for its regular timeslot.

Showtime’s “Dexter” hit a season low (2.21 million) while “Ray Donovan” held steady (1.45 million), showing its best retention of the serial killer drama to date.

WEEK’S TOP PROGRAMS

Adults 18-49
1.  NFL Hall of Fame Game: Miami-Dallas (NBC), 3.8/11
2.  Under the Dome (CBS), 2.8/8
3.  America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 2.7/8
4.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 2.5/8
5.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 2.4/7
5.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 2.4/7
7.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 2.3/7
7.  MasterChef-Wednesday (CBS), 2.3/7
7.  Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1), 2.3/7
10.  Megalodon: Master Shark (DISC), 2.2/7
10.  True Blood (HBO), 2.2/7
——————————
12.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 2.1/8
12.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 2.1/7
14.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 1.8/6
15.  Family Guy 9:30-r (Fox), 1.7/5
16.  Family Guy-r (Fox), 1.6/4
17.  America’s Got Talent- Wed. 8 (NBC), 1.5/5
17.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 1.5/5
17.  So You Think You Can Dance (Fox), 1.5/5
20.  The Big Bang Theory-Wed. 10 (TBS), 1.4/4
20.  Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!), 1.4/4
20.  Hit the Floor (VH1), 1.4/4

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Under the Dome (CBS), 11.41
2.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 10.28
3.  NFL Hall of Fame Game: Miami-Dallas (NBC), 10.11
4.  America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 10.34
5.  60 Minutes (CBS), 8.22
6.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 8.03
7.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 7.94
8.  NCIS-r (CBS), 7.66
9.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 7.12
10.  Unforgettable (CBS), 7.10
——————————
11.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 6.79
12.  Two and a Half Men-r (CBS), 6.65
13.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 6.54
14.  CSI-r (CBS), 6.31
15.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 6.25
16.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 6.15
17.  MasterChef (Fox), 5.56
18.  Blue Bloods-r (CBS), 5.40
19.  Dateline-Friday (NBC), 5.34
20.  Rizzoli & Isles (TNT), 5.33

WEEK’S TOP NETWORKS
(in millions)

Total Viewers
CBS    5.78
NBC   5.42
ABC   3.96
UNI   3.06
USA   2.62
Disney   2.42
Fox   2.40
TNT   2.18
HIST   2.09
DISC   1.87

Adults 18-49
UNI   1.90    (1.5 rating/5 share)
Fox   1.61    (1.3/4)
CBS   1.52    (1.2/4)
NBC   1.43   (1.1/4)
ABC   1.23    (1.0/3)
USA   0.92
TBS    0.89
TEL    0.89
ADSM  0.77
TNT    0.68

Adults 25-54
CBS   1.93    (1.6/5)
UNI   1.77    (1.5/4)
NBC   1.73   (1.5/4)
Fox    1.71   (1.4/4)
ABC   1.53   (1.3/4)
USA   0.97
TBS    0.90
TEL    0.84
TNT   0.81
HIST   0.79

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