‘Wipeout’ tops summer freshmen

Obstacle course show emerges ratings standout

For the second straight year, there are no game-changers among the summer premieres on the broadcast nets. But thanks to ABC’s wacky “Wipeout,” summer hasn’t been a total washout.

An extreme obstacle course skein inspired by the likes of Spike’s “Most Extreme Elimination Challenge,” “Wipeout” has emerged as summer’s standout. It’s averaging a 3.8 rating/12 share among adults 18-49, and has racked up strong numbers among teens and tykes as well.

And while there have been some downright duds among the frosh crop — including ABC’s “High School Musical”-related skein “Get in the Picture” — there have been some other modest successes, like CBS drama “Flashpoint” and ABC newsmag “Hopkins.”

Overall, the Big Four broadcasters have held their own this summer, matching or slightly exceeding their (admittedly weak) perf of a year ago. Fox is the leader in adults 18-49, followed by ABC, NBC and CBS.

On cable, the most impressive new series have been dramas “In Plain Sight” on USA and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” on ABC Family.

“Sight,” one of five firstrun USA dramas currently on the air, has been a winning performer on Sunday, while “Teenager” set network records in its Tuesday slot last week, logging a huge 28 share in female teens.

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