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Reality Vets Shine Wednesday as They Approach Finish Line

'America's Got Talent' is top show; 'Big Brother' draws its largest audience on night this summer

After being eclipsed by Fox’s “MasterChef” in recent weeks, NBC summer stalwart “America’s Got Talent” was back on top in key demos Wednesday as both shows near the end of their seasons. CBS’ “Big Brother” was neck and neck with these reality veterans, winning the opening hour and drawing its largest overall audience on the night this summer.

A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” was expected to easily rule as TV’s No. 1 series for the night in young adults, but according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “America’s Got Talent” averaged a 2.3 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 9.9 million viewers overall to stand as Wednesday’s top broadcast program in both categories.

Also for NBC, a repeat of “America’s Got Talent” opened the night (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), and drama “Camp” closed things (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall), on par with last week in the demo.

At Fox, “MasterChef” averaged a 1.9/6 in 18-49 and 4.9 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, and then followed that up with a 2.1/6 in the demo and 5.5 million viewers overall at 9 p.m. — down in the latter by 12% (0.3) week to week.

CBS saw week-to-week gains for “Big Brother” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), which was followed by repeats of “Criminal Minds” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall). “Big Brother” wraps its season on Sept. 18.

ABC aired repeat hours of comedies “The Middle” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) and “Modern Family” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), followed by the finale of “The Lookout” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), which matched its best demo score since June while hitting a 12-week high in total viewers.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.0/6; NBC, 1.6/5; CBS and Univision, 1.4/4; ABC, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.5/2; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 6.5 million; CBS, 5.7 million; Fox, 5.2 million; ABC, 3.8 million; Univision, 3.5 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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