You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Discovery Has Bite With Sharks as CBS Tops Week Despite Blackout

AMC's 'Breaking Bad' is No. 1 show in adults 18-49

It may be blocked out to some viewers in major markets, but CBS was the top-rated network in primetime last week.

In the first full week of the Time Warner blackout, CBS led primetime in the key categories of adults 18-49 (tied with Univision), adults 25-54 and total viewers. It’s the net’s first weekly victory in 18-49 since May.

Univision was the clear leader in adults 18-34 while Discovery moved up to second in the demo — and first among cablers in all key demos — thanks to its Shark Week programming.

The top-rated program in adults 18-49 was AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” an impressive feat and the second show on the network this year to lead all of primetime for a week (joining megahit “The Walking Dead”). It was one of eight cable shows to rank among the week’s top 20 programs in the demo.

Overall, according to Nielsen estimates for Aug. 5-11, CBS and Univision led among adults 18-49 with a 1.2 rating/4 share, followed closely by ABC and NBC (1.1/3) and Discovery and Fox (0.9/3). CBS also won in adults 25-54 and total viewers.

At the Eye, “Under the Dome” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 10.42 million viewers overall) was down week to week but still ranked second for the week in adults 18-49 and first in both adults 25-54 (3.4/8) and total viewers. It saw meaningful declines in both Los Angeles and Dallas, two of the markets in which Time Warner has blacked out the CBS signal.

“Big Brother” had another good week, with all three editions cracking the top 10 in 18-49, and Sunday’s hour (2.4/8 in 18-49, 7.14m) drawing the largest overall audience for any night of the show this summer.

Original Sunday drama “Unforgettable” was down a bit (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.88m) opposite the big return of “Breaking Bad” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 5.92 million viewers overall), which more than doubled last year’s premiere .

Elsewhere, ABC saw a strong finish for “The Bachelorette” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.94 million viewers overall) and the post-show “After the Final Rose” special (2.5/7, 8.31m), even though the night was down about 15% from last year’s concluding three hours, which aired on a Sunday.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” placed its editions on both Tuesday (2.5/7 in 18-49, 9.39 million viewers overall) and Wednesday (2.5/8, 10.26m) among the week’s top 5. And it was the No. 2 show of the week in men 18-49 and 18-34 (behind only “Breaking Bad”).

CW continued to do well on Tuesdays with “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.25 million viewers overall), while leadout “Capture” remains a modest performer (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.81m),

Of note at Telemundo was a season high for the Monday finale of “El Senor de los Cielos” (Lord of the Skies), which averaged a 1.8/5 in 18-49 and 3.63 million viewers overall. It’s the net’s second highest-rated novela to date, behind only “Reina del Sur.”

DIscovery led all cable networks in 18-49 and 25-54, boosted by the closing five days of Shark Week. The top programs were Monday’s “Voodoo Sharks” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.42 million viewers overall) and “Return of Jaws” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.39 million viewers overall), Wednesday’s “Great White Serial Killer” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.22m) and Thursday’s “Alien Sharks” (1.5/5, 3.15m).

Overall, Discovery said that this was the most-watched Shark Week event to date, and the net’s 18-49 delivery last week (averaging 1.181 million viewers in this age group during primetime) was its best ever.

Finishing a distant second to “Breaking Bad,” but joining the Discovery shark programs in the week’s overall top 20 were VH1’s Monday “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta 2” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 4.19 million viewers overall for a reunion show) and the premiere of “T.I. and Tiny 3” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 3.50m).

And behind “Breaking Bad” among scripted originals on cable were BET’s “The Game” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.50 million viewers overall) and TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.50 million viewers overall), the latter of which hit five-week highs.

Other scripted shows on the upswing included ABC Family’s “The Fosters,” which hit highs with its summer finale (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.07 million viewers overall), including a big 2.5/8 in females 12-34. MTV’s “Teen Wolf” had its best scores in six weeks (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.97 million viewers overall, while FX’s “The Bridge” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.92 million viewers overall) posted best-since-premiere scores on Wednesday.

And at OWN, hot Tuesday rookie “The Haves and the Have Nots” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.02 million viewers overall) established highs for a second straight week.

TLC’s season premiere of “What Not to Wear” was a standout on Friday (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.65m), placing as cable’s No. 1 program for the night in women 18-49 and 18-34. The net also scored Sunday with season highs for both “Breaking Amish: LA” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.03m) and “Sister Wives” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.13m).

At the premium cablers, Showtime’s “Dexter” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 1.90 million viewers overall) hit a season but “Ray Donovan” was in line with its recent deliveries (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.44m). HBO’s “The Newsroom” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.82m) bounced back after three straight weeks of declines.

Starz said goodbye to “Magic City” (526,000 viewers) on Friday, followed by a sneak preview of limited series “White Queen” (457,000). When it aired again in its regular Saturday timeslot, “White Queen” drew 418,000, and the network says viewership for all airings over the weekend, including on Starz sister network Encore, was 2.6 million.


Adults 18-49
1.  Breaking Bad (AMC), 2.9/8
2.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 2.6/8
2.  Under the Dome (CBS), 2.6/7
4.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 2.5/8
4.  America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 2.5/7
4.  The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose (ABC), 2.5/7
7.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 2.4/8
7.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 2.4/7
9.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 2.2/8
9.  Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta 2 (VH1), 2.2/8
9.  MasterChef (Fox), 2.2/7
9.  True Blood (HBO), 2.2/7
13.  T.I. and Tiny 3 (VH1), 1.9/6
14.  Voodoo Sharks (DISC), 1.7/5
15.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 1.6/6
15.  Return of Jaws (DISC), 1.6/5
15.  Great White Serial Killer (DISC), 1.6/5
18.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 1.5/5
18.  Two and a Half Men-r (CBS), 1.5/5
18.  WWE Raw (USA), 1.5/4

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Under the Dome (CBS), 10.42
2.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 10.26
3.  America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 9.39
4.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 8.94
5.  60 Minutes (CBS), 8.62
6.  The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose (ABC), 8.31
7.  NCIS-r (CBS), 7.96
8.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 7.14
9.  Unforgettable (CBS), 6.88
10.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 6.61
11.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 6.58
12.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 6.43
13.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (CBS), 6.35
14.  CSI-r (CBS), 5.99
15.  Breaking Bad (AMC), 5.92
16.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 5.86
17.  MasterChef (Fox), 5.66
18.  Two and a Half Men-r (CBS), 5.51
19.  Rizzoli & Isles (TNT), 5.50
20.  Dateline Classic (NBC), 5.36

(in millions)

Total Viewers
CBS    5.51
NBC   4.18
ABC   4.17
UNI   3.03
Disney   2.74
USA    2.68
Fox    2.56
HIS    2.16
DISC   2.06
TNT    1.76

Adults 18-49
CBS    1.48    (1.2 rating/4 share)
UNI    1.47    (1.2/4)
NBC   1.39    (1.1/4)
ABC    1.37    (1.1/3)
DISC   1.18
Fox     1.13   (0.9/3)
TBS     0.99
USA    0.91
ADSM   0.76
HIST     0.74

Adults 25-54
CBS   1.93    (1.6/5)
UNI   1.77    (1.5/4)
NBC   1.73   (1.5/4)
Fox    1.71   (1.4/4)
ABC   1.53   (1.3/4)
USA   0.97
TBS    0.90
TEL    0.84
TNT   0.81
HIST   0.79

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Actor Aron Eisenberg during the Creation

    'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' Actor Aron Eisenberg Dies at 50

    “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” actor Aron Eisenberg, who played Nog in the 1990s series, died Saturday. He was 50. His character Nog, who appeared for all seven seasons, was a member of the alien race Ferengi, and joined Starfleet after a recommendation from Captain Sisko. Eisenberg returned for a guest spot on “Star Trek: [...]

  • ALL RISE -- A drama that

    TV Review: 'All Rise' Starring Simone Missick

    Finding a new way to do a legal procedural is such a difficult prospect at this point that it would be hard to blame TV for giving up entirely and just going on autopilot. “All Rise,” however, both indulges the basics of the genre and finds some refreshing ways to twist them into slightly new, [...]

  • An Emmy statue stands outside the

    Expect High Heat and Traffic for Emmys Sunday

    If you work in TV, are a fan of TV, or are in fact a TV yourself, the 71st Primetime Emmys promise to be a treat. Television’s biggest awards show takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday night, with some of Hollywood’s brightest stars set to appear as the entertainment community honors the best of [...]

  • Roma Cinematography

    'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' and 'Roma' Win LMGI Awards for Motion Pictures

    Two major 2018 releases – actioner “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and critics’ darling “Roma” – were honored for film location work by the Location Managers Guild International at a ceremony this evening at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The 6th Annual LMGI Awards also recognized “Chernobyl” and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” [...]

  • Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun

    Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun Rights

    Viacom has sealed a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the cable rights to “Seinfeld” starting in October 2021. The deal comes on the heels of a blockbuster new deal between Sony and Netflix for the streaming rights to the beloved NBC sitcom that also begins in 2021. “Seinfeld” reruns have been a staple of [...]

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content