The week featuring the Independence Day holiday is traditionally the least-watched of the calendar year, and this year didn’t disappoint.
Nielsen estimates that only 51% of American households were watching in primetime during the June 28-July 4 frame, with that number tumbling to 41 on Sunday.
This number was in the 55-58 range for most of June, and is typically at its highest average in January and early February, when the NFL postseason and return of “American Idol” boost the percentage of homes watching television to roughly 70.
There were some ratings fireworks, but as expected, they came well before the start of the long weekend, which extended into Monday of the current week.
Among the early-week shows making their mark were NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” ABC’s “The Bachelorette” and Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch.”
Fox, with the biggest percentage of its sked in firstrun (60%), captured the week among adults 18-49 with a 1.5 rating/6 share, followed by Univision (1.4/5), ABC and NBC (1.3/5), CBS (1.1/4) and top cabler USA (0.8/3). Univision moved to first place for the frame in adults 18-34 (1.6/7 to 1.4/6 for runner-up Fox).
CBS, relying heavily on scripted repeats, still led the way in total viewers (5.6 million).
For Fox, its best numbers came courtesy of unscripted summer staples “Hell’s Kitchen” on Tuesday (2.8/9 in 18-49, 6.39 million viewers overall for its 9 p.m. hour) and “So You Think You Can Dance” on Wednesday (2.2/7, 5.88m).
The net also did fairly well with an original episode of “Lie to Me” on Monday (1.9/6, 6.20m) but followed it up with another not-so-good score for “The Good Guys” (1.2/3, 4.13m).
At ABC, “The Bachelorette” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 9.77m) shot up to its best scores of the season, placing second among all programs for the week in 18-49. And excluding finales, this repped the franchise’s best showing in more than five years.
The Alphabet also had reason to be happy with the second-week performance of Thursday drama “Rookie Blue” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.78m), which aired behind “Wipeout” (2.8/11, 8.74m) and placed second in its 9 p.m. timeslot. “Wipeout” continues to perform well both on Thursday and Tuesday (2.6/9, 8.24m), although its lead-in on the latter night was wasted on gameshow “Downfall” (1.4/4, 3.88m).
At NBC, Wednesday’s hourlong seg of “America’s Got Talent” ruled as the frame’s No. 1 program (3.5/11 in 18-49, 12.94m), and Tuesday’s installment also led its timeslot (2.8/9, 6.39m) to place third for the week.
The Peacock’s annual “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” stood as the top-rated draw on the holiday (1.4/7, 6.92m), with the special’s best numbers in three years.
CBS, whose thrice-weekly summer regular “Big Brother” bows tonight, was paced by encores of Monday comedies “Two and a Half Men” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 8.84m) and “The Big Bang Theory” (2.3/6, 8.07m).
In cable, USA led once again behind “WWE Raw” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.55m for its two hours) and original Thursday dramas “Royal Pains” (1.6/6, 5.32m) and “Burn Notice” (1.5/5, 5.21m).
The top 18-49 cable scores for the week, though, came from a pair of hot alternative series: Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” (2.4/7, 5.24m), which ranked eighth among all primetime skeins, and History’s “Pawn Stars” (2.1/6, 5.27m), which placed 12th.
Scoring a sizable aud over the weekend was TNT’s Sprint Cup Racing coverage from Daytona (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.13m), which was cable’s most-watched show of the week.