Fox hit one out of the park last week, winning for the seventh time in eight summer frames thanks in large part to baseball’s All-Star Game.
Most of the other highlights for the week, meanwhile, came on cable, including ESPN’s “Home Run Derby” on the eve of the Midsummer Classic. Also, Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” had a strong finish to its third season, Spike scored big Saturday with UFC action, and TNT’s “The Closer” and USA’s “Psych” and “Monk” shined in their summer bows.
Overall for the week ended Sunday, Fox cruised to victory in adults 18-49 with a 2.3 rating/8 share, according to Nielsen, a big 3 shares ahead of ABC, CBS, NBC and Univision, each of which logged a 1.5/5. USA was the top cable net with a 1.0/3.
Fox also led in adults 25-54 (2.6/8) and persons 12-34 (2.0/8) and even topped CBS in total viewers (7.1 million to 6.4 million).
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game (4.5/14 in 18-49, 14.54m) was easily the week’s top program, rising 10% in 18-49 vs. last year while collecting its largest overall aud since the 2002 contest. The pregame show also rated high (3.0/11, 10.37m), ranking sixth for the week and shooting up 20% vs. last year.
Also for Fox, “So You Think You Dance” placed among the top 10 programs with both Wednesday’s two-hour perf seg (3.1/10, 9.01m) and Thursday’s hourlong results show (2.7/8, 8.40m).
There wasn’t a whole lot else going on among the broadcast nets for the week, with ABC’s “Wipeout” standing as the top nonsports program (3.2/11, 8.65m) despite taking a hit opposite baseball on Fox. It remains the summer’s top new program.
The Alphabet’s reality contest “High School Musical: Get in the Picture” didn’t strike a chord with auds on Sunday, posting surprisingly small numbers (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.97m).
A standout for ABC was the news series “Hopkins,” which hit season highs and led its Thursday hour for the first time (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.01m), building by 64% over its repeat “Grey’s Anatomy” lead-in. Another newsmag, “Primetime: Family Secrets,” led in its Tuesday slot (2.5/7, 6.97m).
At CBS, “Greatest American Dog” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.97m) tumbled 24% in 18-49 vs. its OK bow of a week earlier, and “Big Brother 10” continues to perform less well than in previous seasons, though it led its Sunday hour (1.9/6, 5.72m).
NBC was paced by “America’s Got Talent” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 12.79m) — the week’s most-watched nonsports program — and also got solid-enough scores from first-year reality skeins “Baby Borrowers” (2.4/7, 5.93m) and “Celebrity Family Feud” (2.0/7, 7.82m). One show clearly not working is Thursday’s “Fear Itself” (1.0/3, 2.93m).
Univision had a good week, bolstered by Thursday’s three-hour youth awards show “Premios Juventud” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 5.20m). The Spanish-language broadcaster was the top network on television for the night in both 18-49 and 18-34 (2.8/10).
USA set the pace among the cable nets thanks to a balanced lineup that included strong performances on Monday (“WWE Raw”), Thursday (“Burn Notice”), Friday (“Psych,” “Monk”) and Sunday (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “In Plain Sight”).
In their summer preems, “Psych” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.89m) and “Monk” (1.5/5, 4.64m) were both up vs. last year, with the former standing as the night’s top program — broadcast or cable — in 18-49.
At ESPN, “Home Run Derby” (3.6/11, 7.81m) ran second for the week in most categories, setting all-time highs for the longball competish. The sports net also closed the week in style with “The Espy Awards” (1.5/5, 3.26m), which were up vs. last year.
TNT could crow about the returns of “The Closer” (1.9/5, 7.81m) and “Saving Grace” (1.2/4, 5.16m), although both were down from last year, when they bowed in June. “Closer” ranked 14th for the week in total viewers.
Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” hit series highs with its third-season finale on Saturday (1.1/4, 5.59m). It logged the skein’s best-ever scores in categories including kids 6-11 (1.9 million) and tweens 9-14 (2.0 million).
Also on Saturday, Spike’s telecast of a live “UFC Fight Night” averaged a strong 1.7/6 in 18-49 and 3.11 million viewers overall from 9 p.m. to midnight. It was the top male draw for the night, pulling a 9 share in men 18-49 and a 12 share in men 18-34.