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Summer suits CBS, Fox

Eye shines while Frog, Peacock droop

CBS and Fox dominated the primetime ratings races last week, while summer circulation remains low for struggling NBC and the WB.

ABC also didn’t have much going on, save solid firstrun performer “Brat Camp,” which remained in the top five among adults 18-49 despite opposing the frame’s hottest new entry, Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Overall, Fox notched victories in adults 18-49 (2.5 rating/8 share) and younger categories, according to Nielsen Media Research, and CBS stayed on top in both adults 25-54 (2.8/8) and total viewers (7.33 million). Fox claimed seven of the top 11 shows among adults 18-34, and CBS had nine of the top 13 in adults 25-54.

Fox’s second straight weekly victory in 18-49 virtually assured the net’s first-ever demo victory in the July sweep, which ends tonight. Net also won the year’s first two sweeps months in 18-49, in February and May.

Leading the way for Fox last week was the impressive two-hour premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance” (4.6/15 in 18-49, 10.30 million viewers overall), the net’s top-rated telecast of the summer in 18-49 (Daily Variety, July 22).

Net also scored again with Monday unscripted series “Hell’s Kitchen” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 6.70m) and popped Sunday with laffers “The Simpsons” (3.3/10 in 18-49), “Family Guy” (3.5/10) and “American Dad” (3.1/8); with unscripted dud “Princes of Malibu” pulled from the night after two airings, the comedy lineup flowed better.

CBS dominated Thursday, with “CSI” (4.8/14 in 18-49, 14.64m) standing as the week’s top show in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, and “Without a Trace” leading easily at 10 (3.9/12, 12.68m).

“Big Brother 6” remains sturdy although a bit behind last year’s pace, winning its hours Tuesday (3.4/10 in 18-49, 8.12m) and Thursday (3.1/11, 7.85m) and placing a close second to Fox’s “Cops” on Saturday (1.9/8, 4.93m).

“Rock Star” still isn’t doing much, though, with Tuesday’s hourlong performance edition (3.0/8 in 18-49, 6.22m) looking OK behind “Big Brother,” but the half-hour segs on Monday and Wednesday both performed tamely.

ABC did well Wednesday with week two of “Brat Camp” (3.7/11 in 18-49, 9.36m) and led Friday at 10 with “20/20” (2.1/7, 6.87m) but was again dragged down by the poor-performing firstrun pair of “The Scholar” (1.4/4, 3.89m) and “Empire” (1.6/4, 4.82m).

NBC fared OK with the “Law & Order” franchise — with each of the three editions landing among the week’s top 20 in 18-49 — but had little else to crow about during the week.

Especially embarrassing were Saturday’s repeats of “West Wing” and “Revelations,” which averaged a tiny 0.5 rating/2 share in adults 18-49 — the lowest-rated night on record for a major network. Peacock even lagged behind sister cablers Sci Fi and USA that night.

Also tanking was Tuesday’s firstrun “I Want to Be a Hilton” (1.3/4 in 18-49), which barely beat out repeats of UPN comedies in the hour.

UPN ranked fifth for the week in most categories, getting a boost from “WWE Smackdown” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.01m). Wrestling skein placed second Thursday in 18-49 and is up 11% vs. its summer average of a year ago.

Faltering Frog

The WB is really hurting now that “Beauty and the Geek” has ended its run, as the Frog fell to ninth place for the sesh in adults 18-49 (0.7/2) — behind the other broadcasters as well as cablers TBS, TNT and USA. Netlet, like NBC, was down more than 20% vs. the same sesh a year ago.

Among ad-supported cable nets, multiple Sunday runs of “The Waterboy” helped TBS (0.81) edge past TNT (0.78) and USA (0.77) in adults 18-49. Discovery moved up to fourth in 18-49 (0.63) and No. 1 in men 25-54 (0.89), getting a lift from the final four nights of “Shark Week.”

Spike’s “WWE Raw” on Monday was the week’s top cable draw in 18-49 (2.4/7), 18-34 (2.5/8) and total viewers (5.49m).

TNT reported that more than 81 million unique viewers watched some of its six-week Western miniseries “Into the West,” which played five or more times each weekend. Friday’s premiere of the final installment averaged a 1.1/4 in adults 25-54 and nearly 3.6 million viewers overall.

And although its shows run outside of traditional primetime, Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network claimed 14 of the week’s top 20 cablecasts among persons 12-34, paced by episodes of “Family Guy” and “Futurama” in the 11 p.m. hour. MTV’s “Real World XVI” was the top cable show in that demo for the week (2.9/9).

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