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Lovers lift ABC to weekly victory

Net wins in demos despite struggles for new reality shows

ABC has had more than its share of rookie misfires this summer, but the conclusion of a summer staple — “The Bachelorette” — helped the net score a ratings victory among young adults last week.

The Alphabet aired five hours of “Bachelorette” programming, including Sunday’s special two-hour finale, which was up from last year. That helped make up some for rookie duds like “The Glass House,” “Trust Us With Your Life” and “Duets.”

As for ongoing summer series, the competition is heating up as Fox’s hot “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” have basically caught NBC’s slowing “America’s Got Talent” for 18-49 supremacy. Another vet, CBS’ “Big Brother,” has started off cooler than last year.

Overall, according to Nielsen estimates for July 16-22, ABC led in adults 18-49 with a 1.5 rating/5 share, followed by Fox (1.4/5), Univision (1.4/4), CBS (1.2/4) and NBC (1.1/4). The Alphabet also narrowly won in adults 25-54 (1.8/5) while CBS prevailed in total viewers.

For ABC, Sunday’s “Bachelorette” finale (3.1/9 in 18-49, 7.16 million viewers) tied with the show that followed, “After the Final Rose” (3.1/8, 8.80m), as the week’s No. 1 program in 18-49. Both rose 11% vs. the comparable telecasts a year ago.

As for other series, Thursday drama “Rookie Blue” hit a four-week high (1.4/4, 5.02m), and 10 p.m. midweek shows “NY Med” (1.2/3, 4.82m) and “Final Witness” (1.2/4, 4.28m) are hanging in there. But “Duets” ended its run quietly (1.0/3, 4.48m), and “Glass House” (0.8/2, 2.35m) and “Trust Us With Your Life” (0.9/3, 2.63m) aren’t clicking either.

Fox rolled early with its winning nights of the compatible “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 6.33m on Monday and 2.5/8, 6.02m on Tuesday) and “MasterChef” (2.6/7, 6.33m and 2.5/7, 6.16m).

On Sunday, its “Teen Choice Awards” (1.0/3, 3.02m) was down year to year, including a sharp falloff in male teens (1.0/4 vs. 1.8/7 last year).

At CBS, “Big Brother” placed all three hours among the week’s top 15 programs but the show’s first full-week averages (2.1/7 in 18-49 and 5.8 million viewers overall) are down about 15% from a year ago.

Also of note was a solid start in its new Thursday 8:30 p.m. slot for “Two and a Half Men” in repeat (2.1/7, 7.43m), retaining about 85% of its repeat lead-in from “The Big Bang Theory” (2.5/9, 8.99m).

NBC was led by “America’s Got Talent” on Tuesday (2.6/8, 10.17m) and Wednesday (2.0/6, 7.61m), with the former standing as the week’s most-watched program despite overall softening for the show as summer has progressed. Net’s strongest performer otherwise was Monday’s “American Ninja Warrior” (1.8/5, 4.59m).

Univision saw more good numbers for its 10 p.m. novela “Que No Podia Amar,” which won the hour in 18-49 on four nights and averaged a 1.9 rating in 18-49 and about 5 million viewers overall.

It was tight in cable, with TNT edging USA in 18-49 while the reverse held true in 25-54 and total viewers.

USA was paced by “WWE Raw” (1.8/5, 5.04m) and dramas “Burn Notice” (1.3/4, 4.97m), “Suits” (1.2/4, 3.73m) and “Royal Pains” (1.1/3, 4.25m), with “Burn” drawing more young adults than any scripted basic cable series for the week. Not so hot was the second week of new series “Political Animals” (0.5/1, 2.28m).

TNT was boosted by dramas including “Falling Skies” (1.2/4, 3.45m), “Rizzoli & Isles” (1.1/4, 5.84m) and “Dallas” (1.0/3, 3.88m), with the soap reboot hitting a three-week high.

Also for the Turner net, “The Closer” (1.0/3, 6.36m) was cable’s most-watched program for the week, and crime drama “Perception” followed (1.0/3, 5.33m) by retaining more than 90% of that aud in demos and edging up week to week. And replays of “The Dark Knight” led all of TV in 18-49 on Saturday (1.3/5, 2.76m).

FX’s “Anger Management” bounced back in its fourth week (1.1/3, 2.65m), ranking among the top five basic cable shows in its Thursday slot. Faring nearly as well a half-hour later was TBS’ premiere of “Sullivan & Son” (1.0/3, 2.50m), which was up about 10% from the first-season finale of “Men at Work” for the net in the same slot a week earlier.

A&E’s “Longmire” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.54m) achieved a viewership high for the third straight week and was Sunday’s most popular cable show.

At HBO, it was status quo for “True Blood” (2.6/7, 4.46m) and “The Newsroom” (0.9/3, 1.95m).

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