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'Maximum Bob' draws record auds

Firstrun programming is beginning to shake the networks out of their summer lethargy, at least on Tuesdays.

According to Nielsen Media Research, ABC’s Aug. 4 premiere of “Maximum Bob” earned an encouraging 8.1 rating, 14 share in homes and a 5.3/16 in adults 18-49, the best summer series premiere numbers on ABC in the seven years since “Hi Honey, I’m Home” in July 1991.

Meanwhile, Fox’s firstrun “Guinness World Records” (8.0/14) held onto much of its outstanding premiere-episode audience, though its second-week drop was 11% in adults 18-49 (5.7/17 vs. 6.4/20).

“Guinness” is still dominating its hour in that demo and more than doubling what Fox averaged in the slot earlier this summer.

ABC’s “Bob” improved on the summer-rerun average of slot regular “NYPD Blue” by 35% in adults 18-49 and by 27% in homes.

From 8-9 p.m., Fox’s second Tuesday try for “King of the Hill” averaged a 3.7/14 in adults 18-49, up from the 3.5/13 of “King’s” first try, but second for the hour to ABC’s sitcoms. “Guinness” then pulled Fox to the nightlong win in the 18-49 demo, while “Dateline” (10.4/19 in homes, 5.9/18 in adults 18-49) kept NBC first in homes.

ABC’s “Spin City” (6.0/10 in homes, 3.9/12 in adults 18-49) took a big return step toward respectability, improving by 28% from its previous-week 4.7/8 in homes, the lowest numbers ever in the Tuesday 9-9:30 slot for ABC. This week’s “Spin” gain helped ABC finish the night just 1 share out of the 18-49 lead, after having fallen 7 shares behind the previous Tuesday.

Each household rating point represents an estimated 980,000 homes, or 1% of the country’s TV households. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.23 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. A share is the same sort of percentage, except it’s measured against only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.

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