A day after Fox brought powerhouse “American Idol” to a conclusion, the network premiered reality skein “So You Think You Can Dance” to win a very weak Thursday dominated by repeats. With May sweeps over, audiences only had two original scripted shows to choose from the entire night: NBC’s “Southland” and ABC’s “Ugly Betty.”
According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, a two-hour “So You Think You Can Dance” (3.4 rating/11 share in the 18-49 demo, 8.7 million viewers and similar to last year’s premiere episode) dominated between 8 and 10 p.m. Fox was happy with the status quo as overall viewing was down 10% from the same night a year ago, meaning the share went up slightly.
The two-hour season finale of “Ugly Betty” (1.9/6, 6.2m), which many thought would be canceled but is returning to the Alphabet lineup in the fall, was slightly off last week’s rating and down 21% from the year’s average.
“Southland” (2.0/6, 6.3m) won the 10 p.m. hour but against repeats of “Flashpoint” (1.8/5, 7.4m) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (1.1/3, 3.6m). The L.A. cop drama, after launching in early April, has seen its ratings consistently drop in the timeslot and moves to 9 p.m. Fridays in the fall where it will compete against “Ugly Betty” and CBS’ “Medium.”
Eye drama stalwart “CSI” (1.9/6) drew 9.6 million viewers, the most-watched show Thursday.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.4/11; CBS, 1.7/5; ABC, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.5/5; Univision, 1.5/5; CW, 0.5/2.
In total viewers: Fox, 8.7 million; CBS, 8.1 million; ABC, 5.3 million; NBC, 4.2 million; Univision, 3.6 million, CW, 1.3 million.