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‘Big Brother’ Rises, Tops Thursday; OK Start for ‘Welcome to Sweden’

CBS reality veteran “Big Brother” bounced back from its low of last week to rule Thursday night’s ratings race, while other shows joined it in improving upon their scores from the pre-holiday night. It was an OK start, meanwhile, for NBC comedy “Welcome to Sweden,” starring Amy Poehler’s brother Greg.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS followed repeats of comedies “The Big Bang Theory” (1.7 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) and “The Millers” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) with “Big Brother” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), which grew 25% (0.4) from last week to stand as the night’s top show in young adults. The rise was not unexpected given that last Thursday was the eve of Independence Day; also, the conclusion of Wednesday’s episode portended some explosive happenings in the house that were recapped early on in Thursday’s hour. CBS, which won the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, closed with a special replay of the previous night’s “Extant” premiere (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall).

Elsewhere, NBC opened with an average “Hollywood Game Night” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), which was back in original after a few weeks off or in repeats. It was followed by the series premiere of “Welcome to Sweden” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall), a well-reviewed comedy that fared unexceptionally but about as expected based on lead-in, and was able to match the demo score of ABC drama “Rookie Blue” while edging past Fox’s “Gang Related” (0.8). Earlier this summer, the net fared better with the premiere of “Undateable” (1.3 in 18-49), though that comedy had a stronger “Hollywood Game Night” lead-in (1.2 rating on May 29).

“Welcome to Sweden” was followed by the series premiere of another half-hour, “Working the Engels” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall), and the night was capped by “Last Comic Standing” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall).

At Fox, “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.5/6 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) gained back two tenths that it lost with its pre-holiday performance of last week, placing second for the 8 o’clock hour. And at 9 p.m., rookie drama “Gang Related” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) was up a tenth and in line with the 0.8 rating it has done for the most of summer.

ABC saw slight gains across the board for dramas “Black Box” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and “Rookie Blue” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) and medical documentary “NY Med” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall). “NY Med” again led its hour among the major networks in adults 25-54 and total viewers.

CW aired repeats of “The Vampire Diaries” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall) and its spinoff “The Originals” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.4/5; Fox and Univision, 1.1/4; NBC, 0.9/3; ABC, 0.8/3; Telemundo, 0.7/3; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 5.6 million; ABC, 4.6 million; Fox, 3.6 million; NBC, 3.4 million; Univision, 2.9 million; Telemundo, 1.5 million; CW, 0.7 million.

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