Fox connects with All-Star Game, reality

Net wins week in demos; return of 'Brother' buoys CBS

Baseball’s All-Star Game and reality series vets “Hell’s Kitchen,” “MasterChef” and “So You Think You Can Dance” helped Fox belt its competition in key demos last week.

Also of note in the frame, CBS welcomed back “Big Brother” to solid numbers that were down a bit from last year. And Sunday saw strong showings by AMC’s returning “Breaking Bad” and A&E’s rookie “Longmire,” but USA stumbled with “Political Animals.”

The second week of July also included the first five days since Viacom’s networks went dark on satcaster DirecTV (and its roughly 20 million customers) amid a carriage renewal wrangle.

Nickelodeon — whose ratings had already taken a tumble this year — continued its descent with big drops, and its kids’ network competitors took advantage. In total-day viewing, Disney Channel drew its second largest weekly 2-11 audience ever (1.27 million), while Disney XD (270,000) and Discovery-Hasbro’s Hub (107,000) had their best-ever weeks in the demo. Among the big primetime Viacom nets, BET, Comedy Central and MTV all showed significant ratings declines vs. the same week a year ago.

Overall for the week of July 9-15, Fox led in adults 18-49 with a 1.7 rating/6 share, followed by Univision (1.4/4), ABC (1.3/4) and CBS and NBC (both at 1.1/4). Fox also ruled in adults 25-54 (1.9/6) while CBS cruised as usual in total viewers (5.45 million).

Tuesday’s coverage of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the week’s No. 1 program (3.2 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall), on par with last year.

Fox was also the top-rated net in 18-49 on Monday with “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.5/8, 6.01m) and “MasterChef” (2,5.7, 5.92m) and Wednesday with “So You Think You Can Dance” (2.0/6, 5.88m).

However, the net’s first-year dating show “The Choice” (1.2/4, 3.04m) ended its run on a low note Thursday.

At CBS, “Big Brother” kicked off its 14th edition down about 7% from last year’s strong start, both on Thursday (2.6/8 in 18-49, 7.18m) and Sunday (2.3/7, 6.21m).Net’s “The Big Bang Theory” continues its strong summer of repeats, as Thursday’s special 8:30 p.m. encore (2.8/9, 9.03m) tied NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” original on Tuesday (2.8/9, 10.69m) as the week’s top-rated series in 18-49. And reruns of “Big Bang” continue to power TBS, which was cable’s No. 1 network in adults 18-49 as the show accounted for four of basic cable’s five top-rated scripted telecasts in the demo last week.

NBC was led by “America’s Got Talent” on Tuesday (2.8/9, 10.69m), though it was low opposite the baseball all-star game, and ABC by “The Bachelorette” (2.5/7, 8.11m).

The Alphabet’s new Tuesday improv show “Trust Us With Your Life” opened meekly (1.1/3, 3.34m) — about as well as the net’s other new series this summer like “The Glass House” (1.0/3, 2.80m), “Final Witness” (1.1/3, 4.29m) and “Duets” (1.0/4, 4.73m).

Univision again led the 10 p.m. hour on weeknights with “La Que No Podia Amar” (The One Who Couldn’t Love), which peaked with Thursday’s seg (2.1/7, 5.16m). And at Telemundo, the premiere week of “Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal” (Pablo Escobar: The Drug Lord) averaged 2.1 million viewers — the net’s second strongest opening sesh yet for a novela.

ESPN’s annual All-star Game eve special “Home Run Derby” was the week’s top cable show (2.7/9, 6.88m).

Cable standouts on the series side included a record-setting season preem for AMC’s “Breaking Bad” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 2.93m) — up about 30% from a year ago. Not so hot in the same time period was the premiere of USA drama “Political Animals,” starring Sigourney Weaver (0.5/2, 2.62m).

Also in the crowded hour were Lifetime’s “Army Wives” (1.1/3, 3.49m), HBO’s “The Newsroom” (0.9/2, 1.94m) and A&E’s “Longmire” (0.8/2, 4.45m). The rookie A&E Western grew about 10% week to week for its largest overall audience yet.

TNT drew sizable overall crowds with a very older skew for its Monday dramas “The Closer” (1.0/3, 6.15m), kicking off its final season, and “Perception” (0.9/2, 5.60m), in its series preem; both gained some younger viewers in their second time together, on Monday of the current week.

The new music-themed talent program “Opening Act” from Nigel Lythgoe opened quietly for E! on Monday, averaging just 627,000 viewers — despite a healthy lead-in from “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” (2.59 million).

More TV

  • Natalie Morales, Photo by Catie Laffoon

    'Dead to Me' Season 2 Casts Natalie Morales (EXCLUSIVE)

    Natalie Morales has been cast in “Dead to Me” Season 2 at Netflix, Variety has learned exclusively. Morales will appear in the recurring role of Michelle. Described as wry and down to earth, Michelle has a relaxed charm and infectious wit. She forms a connection with Judy (Linda Cardellini) at the Assisted Living Facility, where Michelle’s [...]

  • Kurt Sutter

    Kurt Sutter Fired From 'Mayans MC'

    UPDATED: Kurt Sutter has been fired from his role as co-showrunner on “Mayans MC,” Variety has learned from sources. Sutter notified the cast and crew of the show of his exit in an email after several complaints were made about his behavior on the set of the series. In the email, Sutter wrote that he had [...]

  • 'Watchmen' Boss Damon Lindelof on Building

    'Watchmen' Boss Damon Lindelof on Building an Alternate America

    In the fourth season of PBS’ “Finding Your Roots,” musician Questlove learns his ancestors came over to America on the very last slave ship in 1860. Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., who hosts the show shows him the ship manifest and tells him about the settlement in which they lived, and the musician begins to [...]

  • Kids' Programming Will Be a Battleground

    Why Kids' Programming Will Be a Major Battleground in the Streaming Wars

    When “Moana” left Netflix on Dec. 20, parents of little kids let out a collective wail of despair on Twitter and Facebook parenting groups everywhere. The phrase “ruined Christmas” was pointedly used in the streamer’s direction — sometimes facetiously, sometimes with the reflected ire of a preschooler who had awakened one morning to find her [...]

  • Wendy Williams Walk of Fame Honor

    Wendy Williams on Being 'Imortalized' With Walk of Fame Honor

    Just days after Wendy Williams learned she’d be receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the talk show host was in true form imagining how this honor would elevate her already storied career. “I’m already in the Smithsonian, so now I’ll be immortalized-immortalized,” Williams says. In addition to preparing for her star ceremony, [...]

  • Julia Garner

    'Ozark' Star Julia Garner Signs First-Look Deal With MRC Television

    “Ozark” producer Media Rights Capital (MRC) Television has entered into a first-look deal with series star Julia Garner. Under the deal, Garner will work with MRC to develop and produce television projects. She recently won the Emmy Award for best supporting actress in a drama for her work on the third season of “Ozark,” which [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content