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CBS’ ‘Big Brother’ Tops Weekly Ratings — At Least For Now

For the first time this summer, CBS reality stalwart “Big Brother” moved ahead of an original installment of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” as the week’s most popular program among young adults.

Of course, neither of these shows may be atop the list when Nielsen issues its “live plus 7” numbers, which include a full week’s worth of DVR playback. Reality shows in general don’t gain as much in delayed viewing as scripted series, especially 10 p.m. dramas, and it’s not uncommon for them to get knocked down a few pegs in the rankings when comparing “live plus same-day” to “live plus 7.”

In recent weeks for example, CBS’ “Under the Dome” has averaged a lift of 1.3 ratings points in adults 18-49, enabling it to leapfrog reality series like “The Bachelorette” and “Hell’s Kitchen.” A similar lift for last Monday’s telecast would figure to vault the second-year drama from No. 11 (where it stood in “live plus same-day”) into the top 5 — perhaps ahead of both “Big Brother” and “America’s Got Talent” — in L7.

Looking at the Nielsen “live plus same-day” results for the Aug. 4-10 frame, it was Univision narrowly on top in adults 18-49 with a 1.3 rating/5 share — the second time this summer it has beaten all of the English-language broadcasters. It was followed by CBS (1.2/4), NBC (1.1/4), ABC (1.0/3) and Fox (0.8/3). CBS won in adults 25-54 (1.6/5) as well as total viewers (5.79 million).

The “Big Brother” episodes on Wednesday (2.2 rating/share in adults 18-49, 6.49 million viewers overall) and Thursday (2.1/7 in 18-49, 6.09 million viewers overall ) were able to rule as the week’s top telecasts in 18-49 because “America’s Got Talent” hit season lows for regular originals on both Tuesday (2.0/6 in 18-49, 9.04 million viewers overall) and Wednesday (2.0/7 in 18-49, 10.12 million viewers overall).

The talent competition still led the way in total viewers, as no other program could draw as many as 9 million viewers last week.

Elsewhere, ABC bowed “Bachelor in Paradise,” a spinoff of the “Bachelor” franchise, to OK numbers on Monday (1.4/5 in 18-49, 5.31), but Thursday’s “The Quest” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.20 million viewers overall) was down a tick from its already-low bow of the previous week, and “Rising Star” fell to a low on Sunday (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.17 million viewers overall).

The Alphabet had a big Tuesday with the country special “CMA Music Festival” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.27 million viewers overall). It drew the annual event’s second highest 18-49 rating in five years and gave ABC its top-rated Tuesday during the summer (excluding sports) in four years.

At NBC, “American Ninja Warrior” remained hot (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.59 million viewers overall), matching a two-year high in 18-49 and tying with “America’s Got Talent” as the net’s top show for the week. “Ninja” was the week’s No. 1 broadcast in all key male demos.

Fox was again led by Monday’s “MasterChef” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 5.41 million viewers overall), which tied with “America’s Got Talent” and “American Ninja Warrior” as primetime’s No. 3 show for the week in 18-49.

On Sunday, the net’s “Teen Choice Awards” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.64 million viewers overall) were steady year to year in 18-49 and down 7% in teens 12-17 (2.7 vs. 2.9).

At CW, Wednesday’s “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” held up well in its second week (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.45 million viewers overall), matching its premiere demo rating, while Friday’s “Masters of Illusion” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 1.07 million viewers overall) was about in line with its soft bow.

In cable, Shark Week got off to a good start for Discovery on Sunday with the movie “Shark of Darkness” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 3.83 million viewers overall) as well as the hourlong “Air Jaws: Fin of Fury” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.30 million viewers overall ). Excluding CBS (which aired two hours of golf), Discovery was the night’s top-rated network in 18-49.

Discovery also scored kicking off the week, with Monday’s “Street Outlaws” hitting series highs (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and tying for No. 19 in the week’s 18-49 rankings.

USA’s rookie drama “Rush” hit season highs with its fourth episode (0.49 in 18-49, 1.83 million viewers overall).

FX premiere Kelsey Grammer-Martin Lawrence comedy “Partners” to modest numbers on Monday (0.35 in 18-49, 1.12 million viewers overall). Three nights later, fellow first-year comedies “Married” (0.39 in 18-49, 634,000 million viewers overall) and “You’re the Worst” (0.36 in 18-49, 565,000) bounced back from their lows of the previous week.

A&E’s “Longmire” (0.56 in 18-49, 3.68 million viewers overall) wrapped its third season down sharply from last year, when it followed the series finale of “The Glades.”

At the premium networks, “True Blood” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 1.80 million viewers overall) and “The Leftovers” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.58 million viewers overall) were both up week to week, with the former picking up steam two weeks from its series finale. And Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” drew a season-high 971,000 viewers for its regular-timeslot airing.

And outside of primetime, Fox News Channel’s mid-day series “Outnumbered” had its best week to date in both adults 25-54 (220,000) and total viewers (1.06 million). Since its premiere on April 28, the show has been beating the combined noon-1 p.m. averages of competitors “Legal View” on CNN (87,000 in 25-54 and 402,000 total viewers) and “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC (54,000 and 248,000).

For the fifth time in the past six weeks, Nickelodeon — paced by “iCarly” and “SpongeBob” — topped the week’s total-day cable rankings in total viewers. “SpongeBob” was also the week’s top draw among kids 2-11.


(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
UNI  1.3/5
CBS  1.2/4
NBC  1.1/4
ABC  1.0/3
Fox  0.8/3
Discovery  0.7/2
TBS   0.6/2
USA  0.6/2
Adult Swim  0.5/2
TEL  0.5/2

Total Viewers
CBS                5.79 million
NBC               4.70 million
ABC                4.25 million
UNI                3.33 million
Fox                 2.30 million
USA               2.03 million
TNT               1.92 million
Disney           1.78 million
Fox News      1.75 million
History          1.67 million

(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 2.2/8
2.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 2.1/7
3.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 2.0/7
3.  MasterChef (Fox), 2.0/7
3.  America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 2.0/6
3.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 2.0/6
3.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 2.0/6
8.  CMA Music Festival (ABC), 1.9/6
8.  Movie: Shark of Darkness (Discovery), 1.9/6
10.  True Blood (HBO)*, 1.8/6
11.  Under the Dome (CBS), 1.6/5
12.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 1.5/6
12.  Air Jaws: Fin of Fury (Discovery), 1.5/5
14.  WWE Raw (USA), 1.4/5
14.  Bachelor in Paradise (ABC), 1.4/5
14.  60 Minutes (CBS), 1.4/4
14.  Hotel Hell (Fox), 1.4/4
18.  Running Wild with Bear Grylls (NBC), 1.3/5
19.  Food Fighters (NBC), 1.2/5
19.  Mom-r (CBS), 1.2/5
19.  Modern Family-r (ABC), 1.2/4
19.  Street Outlaws (Discovery), 1.2/4
19.  Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1), 1.2/4

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 10.12
2. America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 9.04
3.  60 Minutes (CBS), 8.22
4.  NCIS-r (CBS), 7.91
5.  CMA Music Festival (ABC), 7.27
6.  Under the Dome (CBS), 6.83
7.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 6.53
8.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 6.49
9.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 6.09
10.  America’s Got Talent, 8 p.m.-r (NBC), 6.06
11.  Extant (CBS), 5.94
12.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 5.93
13.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 5.63
14.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 5.59
15.  Blue Bloods-r (CBS), 5.57
16.  MasterChef (Fox), 5.42
17.  Bachelor in Paradise (ABC), 5.31
18.  Major Crimes (TNT), 5.24
19.  Taxi Brooklyn (NBC), 5.23
20.  Rizzoli & Isles (TNT), 5.09

Source: Nielsen (English-language programs only)
Each 18-49 ratings point represents roughly 1.3 million viewers

*not supported by advertising

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