'Macy's 4th of July Fireworks' Only

NBC easily wins night with annual special

NBC was once again the ratings winner on an Independence Day, dominating Thursday night’s network ratings battle with its annual “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.”

According to Nielsen estimates, NBC drew as many young adults in primetime Thursday as the next two closest broadcast networks — CBS and Fox — combined. The two-hour Macy’s special averaged a 1.5 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 7.1 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., and then repeated well at 10 p.m. (1.3/6 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).

Thursday’s two-hour average demo score was down 17% (0.3) from last year’s hourlong event (1.8) but its delivery from 9 to 10 p.m. (1.9 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) was up from the comparable hour a year ago.

CBS had been in the Fourth of July game in recent years with its “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular,” but the net opted not to renew the annual telecast due to lower ratings amid tough competition from the Macy’s special on NBC.

Instead the net went with encores of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.2/6 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall), “Person of Interest” (0.6/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (0.6/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall).

“Big Bang” was Thursday’s No. 1 series, beating NBC’s fireworks special in the 8 o’clock half-hour (1.2 to 0.9 in 18-49 and 5.4 million to 5.2 million in total viewers).

Fox aired a two-hour “Hell’s Kitchen” (0.6/3 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall), and ABC went with encores of its Thursday summer lineup: “Wipeout” (0.4/2 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall), “Motive” (0.4/2 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall) and “Rookie Blue” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).

Next Thursday will be a busy one on the Big Four, with NBC premiering singing competition series “The Winner Is” (which had two preview episodes last month) and “Hollywood Game Night” while CBS’ “Big Brother” makes its return to the night.

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