‘Spouses’ spikes Fox

New Fox skein shows strength on Tuesday

It hasn’t been a great summer for Fox, whose ambitious rollout of original programming has yielded mostly tepid ratings. The net appears to have found a hit, however, in unscripted makeover skein “Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.”

On Tuesday, “Spouses” dominated its all-repeat broadcast competition with demo scores that figure to put it among the week’s top five programs.

According to Nielsen, it averaged a hearty 4.5 rating/14 share among adults 18-49 and 9.26 million viewers overall, up sharply over its previous week’s premiere (3.4/11 in 18-49, 7.48m). Fox said no reality skein in the past five years has seen a bigger spike in its second week.

“Spouses” also ruled in adults 25-54 (4.5/13), adults 18-34 (5.0/17) and persons 12-34 (4.7/17), achieving a 19 share in women 18-34. Skein topped the combined 18-49 deliveries of the repeat reality series it opposed in the 8 o’clock hour: NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (both 2.2/7).

Although the second edition of “The Simple Life” has been a ratings winner this summer, Fox’s batch of new programs hasn’t generated much ratings heat. Family laffer “Quintuplets” has done OK, but dramas “The Jury” and “North Shore” and reality skein “The Casino” have disappointed.

But with “Trading Spouses,” which is similar to ABC’s upcoming “Wife Swap,” Fox now has another piece to work with as it tweaks its planned sked for the upcoming season.

Elsewhere Tuesday, firstrun 9 o’clock programming on the broadcast nets seemed to benefit from Fox’s larger aud at 8, as CBS’ “Big Brother 5” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 8.77m) NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” (3.5/10, 7.34m) and the WB’s “Summerland” (1.7/5, 3.96m) were all up week-to-week.

“Brother” led the hour in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers; “Comic” in adults 18-34 and male demos; and “Summerland” in female teens (5.6/17).

“Summerland,” which will return to the WB sked at midseason, ran second for its hour in femmes 12-34 and matched a series high in the demo (3.6/10). It also had its best 18-49 rating since its two-hour premiere.

‘Race’ revs up auds

CBS’ “Amazing Race 5” led at 10 (4.3/12 in 18-49, 10.05m) and was the night’s most-watched program overall. In the same hour, FX drama “Nip/Tuck” drew the largest aud since its June 22 season preem (3.74m) and racked up a 1.8/5 in 18-49.

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