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Fox hits a home run

All-Star Game, 'Dance' score

Fox dominated in key young-adult demo categories in primetime last week, smacking a homer Tuesday with baseball’s All-Star Game and busting a move Wednesday and Thursday with “So You Think You Can Dance.”

With both “Dance” and Fox’s other unscripted skein, “Hell’s Kitchen,” placing in the top 10 and outperforming their pace of a year ago, the net has won four straight weeks in adults 18-49. Fox is the leader at the halfway point of the 14-week summer season, up 14% year-to-year, according to Nielsen.

Overall for the July 10-16 frame, Fox’s 2.5 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 easily topped rivals NBC (2.1/7), CBS (2.0/6) and ABC (1.7/5). Univision remained fifth (1.4/5), and the best week of summer for USA — thanks to big numbers for the net preem of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” — had that cabler within striking distance as well (1.2/4).

Fox, CBS and NBC all tied for the week’s lead in adults 25-54 with a 2.5 rating, while the Eye led as usual in total viewers with 7 million on average.

Tuesday’s coverage of the 77th annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Fox (4.6 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, 14.42 million viewers overall) was easily the top program for the sesh, followed in 18-49 by editions of “So You Think You Can Dance” on Wednesday (3.8/11, 9.65 million) and Thursday (3.7/11, 9.34 million).

The baseball game, won by the American League, was up 7% in adults 18-49 and 17% in total viewers vs. a year ago (Daily Variety, July 13).

Also for Fox, Monday’s “Hell’s Kitchen” won its hour in demos (3.1/9 in 18-49, 6.42m) as did Sunday’s repeat of “Family Guy” (2.9/8, 5.76m).

Net would be doing even better this summer if not for its weakly performing Friday repeats of “24,” which last week averaged a 0.6 in 18-49. Look for Fox to scratch the skein and shift to movies on the night in coming weeks.

NBC, up 10% vs. last summer in adults 18-49, was paced by Wednesday’s two-hour “America’s Got Talent” (3.5/11 in 18-49, 11.14m) — the week’s top series telecast in both adults 25-54 (4.1/12) and total viewers.

“Last Comic Standing” also continues to perform well for the net on Tuesday (3.3/9, 7.58m), but firstrun drama “Windfall” has faded on Thursday (1.8/6, 4.81m).

CBS is having a so-so summer, with “Big Brother: All-Stars” down by double digits vs. last year’s edition through the first four episodes. Skein won its Thursday slot (2.6/9, 7.03m) but ran fourth among viewers under 50 with its first Sunday airing (2.1/7, 5.82m).

“Rock Star: Supernova” placed third with its performance show Tuesday (2.7/8, 6.27m) and second Wednesday with its results edition (2.2/7, 5.15m).

ABC is down a steep 17% vs. last summer, when “Dancing With the Stars” emerged as a hit, but is hopeful that music talent show “The One” (which bowed Tuesday) can reverse its fortunes. Among the weak performers for the net last week were Thursday’s “Master of Champions” (1.2/4, 4.35m) and Wednesday’s regular-slot “Lost” repeat (0.9/3, 2.74m).

No cable series were among the top 30 shows of the week in adults 18-49, but USA’s premiere of the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” pic on Saturday tied for 10th (2.8/8, 7.37 million viewers overall). For the night, the cabler’s demo average doubled the 1.4 that ABC, NBC and Fox managed with their meager offerings.

ESPN also scored Monday with its annual “Home Run Derby” contest (2.6/8, 6.79m) on the eve of baseball’s All-Star Game, and it closed the week with best-ever scores for its annual kudocast “The ESPYs” (1.6/5, 3.62m).

USA was easily the cable leader for the week thanks to “Pirates,” Monday staple “WWE Raw” (1.8/5, 4.73m) and Friday dramas “Psych” (1.5/5, 4.71m) and “Monk” (1.3/5, 4.89m).

Although down from its strong preem of a week earlier, “Psych” again built on its “Monk” lead-in in key demos and was a close second for the week in 18-49 among cable dramas behind TNT’s “The Closer” (1.6/5, 6.40m). Running after “Closer” on Monday for TNT, new drama “Saved” (1.1/3, 3.34m) is doing OK after a nice start.

Week also saw a good bow Wednesday for Stephen King anthology series “Nightmares and Dreamscapes” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 5m), which became the top-rated scripted program on basic cable for the year in key demos.

On the same night, Bravo’s “Project Runway” opened with its best-ever season preem scores (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.41m).

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