Reality’s hot for CBS, NBC

'Last Comic,' 'Summerland' see solid numbers despite competish

Viewers flocked to a pair of unscripted faves Tuesday night as the fifth editions of “Big Brother” and “The Amazing Race” revved up with strong ratings for CBS.

Ninety-minute premieres of “Brother” and “Race” won their timeslots in key demos Tuesday, a night that also saw NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” stand tall despite increased competish.

Eye web, which has more than held its own this summer with repeats of hit dramas and comedies, figures to kick things into high gear the rest of the way with three hours of “Brother” and a weekly dose of “Race” added to its sked.

CBS captured Tuesday across the board, according to Nielsen, with “Big Brother 5” (3.8/12 in 18-49, 9.55 million viewers overall) in control from 8 to 9:30 — on par with last year’s hourlong premiere.

CBS had its strongest perf in Tuesday’s opening hour since “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in December.

From 9:30 to 11, “Amazing Race 5” (4.3/12 in 18-49, 10.30m) built on “Big Brother” and led its time period in 18-49 as well as 25-54 (4.6/12) and 18-34 (4.1/12).

Taking advantage of a strong lead-in, “Amazing Race” posted the best numbers for any installment since the finale of “Race 3” in December 2002. It was also the Eye’s strongest perf in the Tuesday-at-10 hour in 18-49 since February 2003 (“Judging Amy”).

The Emmy-winning “Race” will regularly air at 10 on Tuesdays with a repeat skedded for Saturdays at 8. “Brother” will air Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9 and Thursdays at 8.

NBC’s “Last Comic Standing 2” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 8.39m) remained solid from 9 to 10, benefiting by having a repeat “Comic” at 8 as a lead-in (2.5/8 in 18-49, 5.84m). Standup reality skein was up vs. the same night a year ago despite going head to head with the CBS reality skeins.

At the WB, drama “Summerland” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.21m) remained solid despite tougher competish and was up a bit vs. recent weeks in its core demo of femmes 12-34 (3.0/9).

Nationals for Monday, meanwhile, showed a nice finish for NBC’s “For Love or Money 3” (3.8/11 in 18-49), although it still ran second behind repeat laffers on CBS. At 8, Fox’s “North Shore” had its best numbers in three weeks (2.0/6 in 18-49, 4.51m), placing second in 18-34 (2.5/8).

In cable, A&E’s docusoap “Airline” saw a solid second-season preem (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall). Seg built on its “Family Plots” lead-in.

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