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‘Rookie Blue,’ Other Thursday Originals Rise; Early Numbers Skewed by Preseason Football

UPDATE: In updated estimates released late Friday by Nielsen, ratings did indeed fall off for ABC’s “The Quest” (0.5 rating/2 share in adults 18-49 and 1.91 million viewers overall) and “Rookie Blue” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.32 million viewers overall), with the former airing in just 94% of the country and the latter in about 96%. “Quest” matched its week-ago demo rating, while “Rookie” was up a tenth to match its 2013 finale; in total viewers, the Canadian cop drama drew about 600,000 more than last year’s closer.

CBS’ “Big Brother” (2.3/8 in 18-49, 6.60 million viewers overall) held at its preliminary level, which matched the show’s best demo rating on any night this summer.

Also holding steady with its early estimates was NBC comedy “Welcome to Sweden” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.32 million viewers overall at 9 and 0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.99 million viewers overall at 9:30).

Of note in cable, Lifetime’s “Project Runway” hit a season high in its fifth week (0.75 rating in 18-49, 2.37 million viewers overall). And over at FXX, its “The Simpsons” marathon averaged a solid 0.49 in the demo and 1.01 million total viewers — more than tripling the network’s primetime average of last week.


It’s hard to get a read on the Thursday night ratings race, as local-market preemptions for preseason football may have artificially inflated the ratings for original shows “Quest” and “Rookie Blue” on ABC and “Big Brother” on CBS.

The CBS station in Pittsburgh and the ABC station in Philadelphia aired the NFL exhibition game between the Steelers and Eagles, which aired nationally on NFL Network. NBC stations in both Indianapolis and Jacksonville also had preemptions that may have skewed the net’s results.

CBS won the night, according to preliminary “live plus same-day” estimates from Nielsen, with repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.7/7 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) and “Mom” (1.5/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) easily leading their timeslots. They were followed by the night’s top program in demos, “Big Brother” (2.3/8 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), which was up a tenth from last week to match its Thursday demo high; as it currently stands, the 7 million would be a total-viewer summer high for the show. A repeat “Elementary” closed the night for the Eye (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall).

At ABC, “The Quest” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) was up two tenths from last week to match its July 31 premiere score (at least in the prelims). And from 9 to 11 p.m., the season finale of “Rookie Blue” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) was also up two tenths in the demo while gaining more than 1 million total viewers.

As the numbers currently stand, “Blue” matched its season high in 18-49 (set with its premiere) and had its largest overall audience since its premiere. A year ago, “Blue” averaged a 1.0 rating and 4.7 million total viewers for its mid-September season finale.

NBC opened with a repeat “Hollywood Game Night” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), followed by back-to-back originals of recently renewed comedy “Welcome to Sweden” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall at 9 and 0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall at 9:30), which was up two tenths from its most recent airing of two weeks ago. With “Last Comic Standing” wrapping last week, NBC filled out the night with a repeat “America’s Got Talent” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall).

Fox aired repeats of “Bones” at 8 (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) and 9 (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.5/6; Univision, 1.3/5; ABC, 1.0/3; NBC, Fox and Telemundo, 0.7/3; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 5.9 million; ABC, 4.7 million; Univision, 3.1 million; NBC and Fox, 2.8 million; Telemundo, 1.6 million; CW, 0.6 million.

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