Hot reality series made all the difference in the primetime standings last week, as NBC and CBS both delivered winning weeks courtesy of their hits.
The Peacock, with a strong showing from the finale of “Last Comic Standing,” took the Aug. 4-10 frame in the key demo of adults 18-49 (2.7/9) for its 11th straight weekly victory, according to Nielsen.
And the Eye, with more summer highs from “Big Brother,” was runner-up in 18-49 for a second straight week (2.4/8) and moved into a tie with NBC for first in adults 25-54 (3.0/9), the Eye’s first trip to the demo winner’s circle in 13 weeks.
Dominating among older viewers, CBS also led the week easily in overall audience (7.88 million). For the summer, the net’s “CSI,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “CSI: Miami” are the three most-watched programs.
ABC and Fox tied for third in adults 18-49 (2.3/8), a tick behind CBS, with preseason NFL action boosting the Alphabet to a share of the week’s lead in men 18-49. The Murdoch net remained on top in adults 18-34 (2.7/10), winning for the 28th time in the last 31 weeks.
For NBC, “Last Comic” wrapped nicely, winning its two hours in 18-49 and other categories (Daily Variety, Aug. 7), while “The Restaurant” (3.5/10 in 18-49) also shone, building by a best-yet 13% on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (3.1/8).
Net got good news from the move of “Law & Order: SVU” to Tuesday, where it dominated in its second week (4.3/13 in A18-49, 10.61m), but “Boomtown” finished third in its first Friday try at 10 (1.7/6, 5.09m) — behind ABC’s “20/20” and a special repeat of CBS’ “CSI.”
CBS, which won both Wednesday and Thursday in adults 18-49, saw “Big Brother 4” achieve new highs on Wednesday (4.1/12) and Friday (3.0/13), ranking as the highest-rated program on both nights in the demo. “Big Bro” has won 14 of 15 hours this summer in 18-49 and 25-54.
The net’s “Amazing Race 4” won its Thursday hour in 25-54 (3.6/12) and total viewers, but relationship show “Cupid” struggled in its first Tuesday outing, ranking fourth in 18-49 (2.4/7).
Among scripted shows, Thursday drama “CSI” was the week’s top show in 18-49 (4.7/14), 25-54 (5.9/16) and total viewers (13.96m) for a second straight week.
ABC, like CBS, was up across the board vs. the same week a year ago, led by the best results in four years for football’s AFC-NFC Hall of Fame Game on Monday (4.4/14 in A18-49, 11.05m).
In reality, the bow of “The Real Roseanne Show” and week two of “The Family” didn’t do much (Daily Variety, Aug. 8). However, a repeat of “Extreme Makeover” in its new Thursday at 9 slot edged out a repeat of NBC’s “Scrubs” for second in 18-49.
Fox, which won Saturday and Sunday in 18-49, had a rather uneventful week elsewhere.
The premiere of the well-reviewed soap “The OC” settled for modest numbers (second-place 2.9/8 in A18-49), although it received solid sampling in two extra airings on Thursday and Monday of the current week. Overall, the net reported, an unduplicated audience of 22 million has watched at least 6 minutes of the show.
TNT, boosted by a Sunday repeat of “Jerry Maguire,” led primetime among ad-supported cable networks in adults 18-49 (1.1/3), adults 25-54 (1.2/3) and total viewers (2.54 million).
Comedy Central did very well with its “Roast of Denis Leary” on Sunday (1.9/6 in A18-49, 3.25m), as it beat all of its cable and broadcast competish in the 10 o’clock hour among men 18-34 (3.6/13). It’s the highest-rated of the cabler’s six “Roasts” to date.
Among entertainment series, USA’s “Monk” was No. 1 in both adults 25-54 and total viewers; FX’s “Nip/Tuck” led among adults 18-49 and MTV’s “Road Rules” was first among adults 18-34.
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On Monday of the current week, NBC led easily in key demos behind the finale of “Who Wants to Marry My Dad?” (series-high 4.7/13 in A18-49, 11.11m) and a strong showing from “For Love or Money 2” (4.4/12 in A18-49, 9.87m), which beat competing reality show “Paradise Hotel” on Fox (2.9/8, 5.55m) by 52% in 18-49.
Lifetime’s “A Date With Darkness: The Trial and Capture of Andrew Luster” (1.2/3 in A18-49, 3.26m) became the net’s third highest-rated movie of the calendar year. It delivered 5 shares in key female demos.