‘Big Brother’ Down in Return, ‘MasterChef’ Tops in Demos

CBS reality vet, starting earlier this summer, ranks second Wednesday to Fox's cooking show

CBS summer perennial “Big Brother” opened its 15th season Wednesday down from last year, enabling Fox’s rising “MasterChef” to remain the night’s top draw in key demos.

Nielsen estimates that “Big Brother” averaged a 2.1 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 6.3 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, on par with Fox’s “MasterChef” in demos and leading the timeslot in total viewers. But “Big Brother” was down from its mid-July season premiere of last year (2.6/8 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), which aired at 9 p.m. after a highly rated repeat of “The Big Bang Theory.”

Compared to its first Wednesday episode of last year (2.0/7 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), “Big Brother” was up a little. The show will again air three times this summer, including twice in a 24-hour period over Tuesday and Wednesday. This is the first time “Big Brother” has premiered in June, and this season — at nearly three months in length — will be the show’s longest to date.

Following “Big Brother,” the timeslot premiere of “The American Baking Competition” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) was on par with its performance in the 8 o’clock hour last week. And at 10, a special repeat of “Criminal Minds” led the broadcast networks with a 1.2/4 in 18-49 and 5.6 million viewers overall.

Fox won the night in demos with back-to-back hours of “MasterChef” at 8 (2.1/7 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) and 9 (2.4/8 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), both of which were up a tick from last week.  The 9 p.m. installment of “MasterChef” was Wednesday’s No. 1 broadcast in 18-49 and 25-54 (2.9/8).

NBC aired an original “Dateline” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), which was up slightly vs. its most recent Wednesday original, and encores of dramas “Law & Order: SVU” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and “Chicago Fire” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall).

And ABC was led by a repeat “Modern Family” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), the finale of “How to Live With Your Parents” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) and new series “The Lookout” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall), which was down from the 1.1 demo rating it had done the last few weeks. Opening the night for the Alphabet were a repeat “The Middle” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and a new “Family Tools” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall), which hit a low as it nears the end of its run.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.3/7; CBS and Univision, 1.5/5; NBC, 1.0/3; ABC, 0.9/3; Telemundo, 0.7/2; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS and Fox, 5.7 million; NBC, 4.5 million; Univision, 3.9 million; ABC, 3.3 million; Telemundo, 1.6 million; CW, 1.4 million.

More TV

  • Russian Doll

    2019 Emmy Nominations Did Right By a Great Year in Comedy (Column)

    Even before the 2019 Emmy nominations were announced, the biggest and most obvious story belonged to the fact that last year’s drama nominees almost completely cleared the way for the final season of “Game of Thrones.” But for as weak as the drama categories are overall (give or take a “Pose”), the comedy categories have [...]

  • Big Little Lies Stranger Things

    Here's Why 'Big Little Lies' and 'Stranger Things' Weren't Nominated for 2019 Emmys

    Meryl Streep joined “Big Little Lies” this season, and “Stranger Things” broke a Netflix record — so why didn’t either show score an Emmy nomination? Every year, critically acclaimed and fan-favorite shows are noticeably omitted from the Emmy nominations, but not because they were snubbed. It’s because they’re not eligible.  This year, ineligible series include [...]

  • Game of Thrones Finale

    'Game of Thrones' Emmy Love Confounds the Show's Critics (Column)

    Today’s widespread Emmy recognition for “Game of Thrones” — now the most-Emmy-nominated series for a single season, a record that it seems odd the heavily-decorated drama didn’t already have — comes in most senses as no surprise. This series is both an awards favorite, having won the top prize at the ceremony for its last [...]

  • Elisabeth Moss Handmaid's Tale

    Emmys 2019: Writing, Directing Nominations Far From Parity

    While big name television writers and directors including Amy Sherman-Palladino and Ava DuVernay saw Emmy nominations this year, overall, the state of parity in such behind-the-scenes nods is far from being achieved. Looking closely at the directing fields for scripted series this year, the drama category is 75% male and 25% female nominees, while the [...]

  • Emmy Queen Bey? Beyonce's 'Homecoming' Lands

    Beyoncé's 'Homecoming' Documentary Lands Six Emmy Nominations

    It’s going to be a busy awards season for Beyonce. She could be up for Grammys or Oscars in the next six months, but she’s already made a splash with the fresh crop of Emmy nominations. Her documentary/concert movie “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” has been nominated for six Emmys, and a win in most [...]

  • Astronomy Club

    Astronomy Club Sets Netflix Sketch Comedy Series With Kenya Barris Producing (EXCLUSIVE)

    The sketch and improv group Astronomy Club has landed a self-titled variety sketch series at Netflix, Variety has learned exclusively. The streamer has given the half-hour series a six episode order. Kenya Barris will executive produce under his Khalabo Ink Society banner at Netflix, with the show falling under the “Black-ish” creator’s overall deal. Daniel [...]

  • tur-soboroff-msnbc

    MSNBC Plans Launch of 'American Swamp' Docuseries with Katy Tur, Jacob Soboroff

    Katy Tur and Jacob Soboroff have been talking to each other since they were teenagers growing up around Los Angeles. Now MSNBC audiences will get to see them discuss what are likely to be much more serious subjects. The two NBC News journalists will lead the new four-part MSNBC documentary series “American Swamp,” which launches [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content