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

More TV

  • Globe Centred On Asia And Oceania,

    APOS: Online Video Headed for 15% Annual Growth, Disrupting Asia Markets

    A blistering 15% annual growth of online video will give the Asian video industry (TV, pay-TV, home entertainment and streaming) a growth rate nearly double that of North America for the next five years. According to a new report from Media Partners Asia, published on the eve of the APOS conference in Indonesia, Asia’s online [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    Writers Guild Says Over 7,000 Members Have Fired Agents

    Over 7,000 members of the Writers Guild of America have fired their talent agents, the Hollywood union said on Monday. As promised, the guild delivered a first round of termination letters to agents in a show of support for the WGA’s full-on war with the Association of Talent Agents. “Today the Guild delivered a first [...]

  • The Spanish Princess Starz

    TV Review: Starz's 'The Spanish Princess'

    With sumptuous costumes and a cast including a couple of familiar and beloved costume-drama players, Starz’s “The Spanish Princess,” about the travails of Catherine of Aragon, seems designed to appeal to lovers of broadly drawn historical romance. (It hits the air May 5 with a built-in fandom: Like past Starz miniseries including “The White Queen,” [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Jada Pinkett Smith's

    TV News Roundup: Amazon's 'Sneaky Pete' Releases Season 3 Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Amazon Prime Video releases a trailer for Season 3 of “Sneaky Pete,” and “Red Table Talk” with Jada Pinkett Smith sets a return date on Facebook Watch. FIRST LOOKS The official trailer for the third season of “Sneaky Pete” on Amazon Prime Video has been released, showing off the new [...]

  • Tammy Filler Nathan Najarian NBC

    E! Expands News Coverage, Brings 'Today' Vet Tammy Filler Aboard (EXCLUSIVE)

    E! is expanding its entertainment-news programming, with plans to add three more hours of coverage to its linear schedule in 2020, Variety has learned. To help spearhead the effort, the cable channel is bringing aboard Tammy Filler, a veteran producer on NBC’s “Today,” to lead creative and production for E! News. The expansion of news [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content