Regis tops all-stars

Baseball strikes out as big players sit out

With some of the game’s top players sidelined with injuries, Tuesday’s baseball All-Star Game on NBC was ailing in the ratings as well, slipping to all-time lows.

According to Nielsen, the 71st All-Star Game averaged a 10.1/18 in homes — 14% below the previous low-water mark (11.8/21) set in 1997 on Fox and 16% behind last year’s 12.0/22 (also on Fox). And in adults 18-49, the contest’s 5.3/16 is 13% off last year’s 6.1/20 and 23% below 1998’s 6.9/22.

Game peaked in the 9:30 half-hour with 16.53 million viewers.

Despite the drop, NBC was still the winner Tuesday in both total viewers (14.23 million) and adults 18-49 (5.1/16). It was the Peacock’s best Tuesday demo score since May 23 (“Will & Grace” finale) and largest aud overall on a Tuesday since another baseball contest: Game 3 of the World Series last October.

Big names on bench

The lower ratings don’t come as too much of a surprise, given the injuries that kept big-name draws like Mark McGwire and Mike Piazza on the bench and the stepped-up broadcast competition in the 8 o’clock hour.

Baseball, for the first time, had to deal with ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which outslugged the All-Star Game at 8:30 in both viewers (22.73 million vs. 12.94) and adults 18-49 (6.5 vs. 5.2).

The night also marked the first 8 p.m. tussle between “Millionaire” and CBS’ “Big Brother.” The quizzer easily won the half-hour in viewers (17.78 million vs. 8.56), but the advantage was a slimmer 29% in adults 18-49 (4.4 vs. 3.4), and “Brother” prevailed in adults 18-34 (3.6 vs. 3.5).

Although “Brother” slipped to its second lowest adults 18-49 rating to date, it improved on CBS’ Tuesday summer slot average by 31% (3.4 vs. 2.6) while the All-Star Game preshow boosted NBC’s Tuesday at 8 average by 68% (3.7 vs. 2.2). This combo took a bite out of “Millionaire’s” hourlong 18-49 rating (5.5/18), its lowest for a firstrun Tuesday seg this season (previous low, 6.4/20).

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