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Preseason Football Skews Results for Thursday Programs

CBS will win the night anyway; NBC's first-run alternative series appear to be up from last week

It’s tough to get an early ratings read on Thursday’s primetime action, as the first big night of preseason football games skewed the local-market preliminary estimates from Nielsen. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox all had some preemptions for football, likely resulting in downward adjustments from the numbers released this morning.

CBS figures to win the night regardless, with its lineup of repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” (2.2 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) and “Two and a Half Men” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), “Big Brother” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and an encore “Elementary” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall). As it stands now, “Big Brother” was on par with last week.

At NBC, a repeat of “America’s Got Talent” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) was followed by above-average preliminary scores for “The Winner Is…” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and “Hollywood Game Night” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall). “Winner” figured to be up this week with its finale, but it’s unclear how it will be adjusted in the nationals. And “Game Night” is currently at season-high Thursday levels.

ABC’s “Wipeout” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) was down a tick from last week, while “Motive” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Rookie Blue” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall). Though ABC is the only major network that doesn’t air NFL games during the regular season, Thursday night’s game between the Falcons and Bengals, which aired on ESPN, was shown on ABC’s stations in Atlanta and Cincinnati, so the net’s entertainment program averages should come down.

Fox aired repeats of “Glee” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), “New Girl” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall) and “The Mindy Project” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.9/6; NBC, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.3/4; ABC, 1.1/4; Fox, 0.8/3; Telemundo, 0.5/2; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.6 million; NBC, 5.0 million; ABC, 4.7 million; Univision, 3.2 million; Fox, 2.3 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million; CW, 0.8 million.

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