‘Kitchen’ cleans up for Fox

NBC leads in total viewers with 'Talent'

The finale of “Hell’s Kitchen” and improved numbers for its culinary lead-out “MasterChef” led Fox to victory in key demos on Tuesday, with NBC placing a solid second and leading in total viewers behind “America’s Got Talent.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Hell’s Kitchen” wrapped its season as Tuesday’s top-rated program in adults 18-49 (3.2 rating/11 share) while drawing 7.1 million viewers overall during the 8 o’clock hour, which also featured reality competition on both ABC and NBC. “Kitchen” matched last week’s delivery for its best showing in the 8 p.m. timeslot this summer, and will rest for only six weeks before starting its new season, on Wednesdays beginning Sept. 22.

Following “Hell’s Kitchen,” first-year series “Masterchef” grew slightly week to week (2.7/8 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), finishing a close second to NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 18-49 while winning in adults 18-34 (2.5/8).

As for “Talent,” its two-hour installment averaged a 2.9/9 in 18-49 and 10.4 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m. — on par with last week and again drawing more viewers than any other program on the night. In the evening’s opening hour, a repeat of “Minute to Win It” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) fared considerably better than “Breakthrough With Tony Robbins,” which was canceled after a pair of anemic performances in the time period the previous two weeks.

At ABC, “Wipeout” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) was on the low end of its ratings range, placing second to “Kitchen” in the opening hour. It was followed by the second week of “Shaq Vs.” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall), which dropped as well week to week. The net then edged up with an encore of “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall).

CBS didn’t do much with repeats of its in-season dramas “NCIS” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), though the latter racked up one of its strongest scores of the summer.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.9/9; NBC, 2.4/7; ABC, 1.8/6; Univision, 1.4/4; CBS, 1.2/4; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 8.6 million; CBS, 7.0 million; Fox, 6.6 million; ABC, 5.3 million; Univision, 3.4 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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