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Fox Goes Deep With All-Star Game, Wins Week in Demos; TNT Cable’s Scripted Leader

Strong numbers for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and improved results for scripted originals “24: Live Another Day” and “Gang Related” lifted Fox to a rare primetime ratings victory in young adults last week — its first in the nearly six months since it aired the Super Bowl in early February.

TNT, meanwhile, continues to be the dominant cable network in scripted programming this summer. Last week, hot newcomer “The Last Ship” drew its largest demo audience since its premiere, and for summer-to-date, the net possesses the top four scripted basic cable originals in adults 25-54 as well as six of the top 10 in total viewers.

Overall, according to “Live plus same-day” estimates from Nielsen, Fox led in adults 18-49 with a 1.4 rating/5 share, followed by Univision (1.2/4), CBS and NBC (both at 1.1/4), ABC (0.9/3), and Telemundo and top cabler TBS (both at 0.6/2).

CBS won for a fifth straight week in total viewers, with its “Extant” the frame’s most-watched show scripted program (7.96 million).

For Fox, the MLB All-Star Game from Minneapolis earned a 3.2 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 11.34 million viewers overall on Tuesday — making it the top show of the week in both categories and the highest-rated telecast on the network since a mid-February episode of “American Idol.” The game, won by the American League 5-3, was steady year-to-year in the demo and up a bit in total viewers.

Fox also had a good Monday with “MasterChef” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 5.62 million viewers overall) and “24: Live Another Day” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.47 million viewers overall), whose finale hit a six-week high in 18-49 and a summer high in total viewers. And following the rising “Hell’s Kitchen” on Thursday (1.7/7 in 18-49, 4.95 million viewers overall), original drama “Gang Related” rose two ticks (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.64 million viewers overall) for its best demo score since its second episode, in late May.

On a down note, “So You Think You Can Dance” seems to have run out of gas, down two tenths week to week for a series low (1.0/4 in 18-49, 3.70 million viewers overall).

At CBS, “Big Brother” had its highest-rated week of the summer, with its episodes standing as the frame’s top three series telecasts in adults 18-49. Both Thursday and Friday did a 2.2/8 in 18-49, and Wednesday’s came in just a smidge lower (2.1/8).

It was also a pretty good week for the Eye’s four scripted originals dramas: Monday saw week to week gains for “Under the Dome” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.64 million viewers overall), though it took a tumble to start the current week; Wednesday’s “Extant” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.96 million viewers overall) lost just one tenth in its second week; and Sunday’s “Unforgettable” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.39 million viewers overall) and “Reckless” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.96 million viewers overall) both were on the rise.

NBC’s highlights included Monday’s “American Ninja Warrior” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.44 million viewers overall), which matched its highest rating since June 2 while hitting a summer high in total viewers, and gains for Thursday’s “Hollywood Game Night” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 3.82 million viewers overall) and “Last Comic Standing” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 3.24 million viewers overall); in between, comedies “Welcome to Sweden” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.80m) and “Working the Engels” (0.6/2, 2.01m) both lost a tenth from their week-earlier premieres.

On Tuesday, opposite baseball’s All-Star Game on Fox, a special best-of-auditions episode of “America’s Got Talent” still put up good numbers (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.53 million viewers overall), ranking sixth among all primetime programs for the week in 18-49. Baseball may have taken some same-night viewers away from medical drama “The Night Shift” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 6.05 million viewers overall), which dipped to a low despite airing its season finale.

A solid summer performer for ABC remains Thursday docuseries “NY Med” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.29 million viewers overall), tying for its hour’s lead among adults 25-54 (1.3/4) and winning it for a fourth straight week in total viewers. Lead-in “Rookie Blue” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.43 million viewers overall) has been pretty steady, and was again the most-watched scripted original on the night.

CW couldn’t generate any interest in its scripted comedies “Backpackers” or “Seed,” both of which earned a mere 0.2 rating in 18-49 and less than 600,000 total viewers on Monday behind “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

In cable, ESPN’s coverage of baseball’s annual “Home Run Derby” led the week in both 18-49 (2.1/8) and total viewers (5.40 million). And most of the other top cable originals for the week in 18-49 were unscripted, including VH1’s “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” (1.9/6), A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (1.4/5) and MTV’s “Teen Mom II” (1.3/4).

TNT, which was the most-watched cabler overall for a fourth straight week, could claim the week’s three most popular scripted cable series with “Major Crimes” (5.25 million), “Rizzoli & Isles” (4.86 million) and “The Last Ship” (4.06 million). “Last Ship” hit a three-week high in 18-49 (1.1/4) and was the week’s No. 1 basic cable scripted series in the demo as well as adults 25-54 (1.3/4), tying in the latter with the net’s “Major Crimes,” which matched its season high in the demo while drawing its largest overall audience of the summer.

TNT’s summer originals are averaging 5.8 million viewers in Live+7 delivery, a 38% increase over the same time last year. These shows, which include rising unscripted series “Cold Justice,” are also up 20% in adults 25-54 and 13% in adults 18-49 vs. last summer.

HBO’s “True Blood” (3.57 million) and “The Leftovers” (1.62 million) both saw week-to-week bumps. While over at Showtime, “Ray Donovan” was up slightly in its second week (1.27 million), but “Masters of Sex” was down (716,000).

At FX, “The Strain” dropped off among adults 18-49 by 16% in its second week (0.99 vs. 1.18) and by 29% in total viewers (2.12 million vs. 2.99 million).

At MTV, “Finding Carter” (0.56 in 18-49, 1.27 million viewers overall) on Tuesday declined by about 20% from its series premiere of the previous week. One night later, “Teen Mom II” returned strong (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.20m).

USA’s new drama “Rush” got off to a slow start on Thursday (0.39 rating in 18-49, 1.70 million viewers overall), but fellow rookie “Satisfaction” showed something behind it (0.49 in 18-49, 1.71 million viewers overall) by building on its lead-in by 26% in the demo.

At A&E, “Longmire” (0.55 in 18-49, 3.58 million viewers overall) continues to have a solid third season, up slightly vs. the comparable night a year ago; ABC Family’s “The Fosters” (0.65 in 18-49, 1.62 million viewers overall) grew for a fourth straight week since its season premiere; and Syfy’s “Defiance” (0.53 in 18-49, 1.64 million viewers overall) and “Dominion” (0.49 in 18-49, 1.58 million viewers overall) delivered their best numbers since their June 19 premieres.

Hallmark’s second-season premiere of original drama “Cedar Cove” on Saturday did a 0.25 rating in 18-49, a 0.35 in adults 25-54 and 1.69 million viewers overall; excluding “The Big Bang Theory” repeats on TBS, it was cable’s top series for the night in women 25-54 (0.61).

FYI’s provocative new series “Married at First Sight” grew in its second week by 29% in adults 18-49 (to 192,000 viewers) and 67% in total viewers (to 452,000). This makes it the top-rated telecast of 2014 on the network, which had been Bio up until earlier this month.


(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
Fox 1.4/5
UNI 1.2/4
CBS 1.1/4
NBC 1.1/4
ABC 0.9/3
TEL 0.6/2
TBS  0.6/2
USA  0.6/2
ESPN  0.6/2
ADSM  0.6/2

Total Viewers
CBS 5.37 million
NBC 4.50 million
ABC 4.08 million
Fox 4.52 million
UNI 3.02 million
TNT  2.04 million
USA  1.98 million
Fox News  1.93 million
Disney  1.92 million
HIST  1.65 million

(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1. MLB All-Star Game (Fox), 3.2/11
2. Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 2.2/8
3. Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 2.2/8
3. Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 2.1/8
5. MLB Home Run Derby (ESPN), 2.1/8
6. America’s Got Talent (NBC), 2.0/7
7. Under the Dome (CBS), 1.9/6
7. True Blood (HBO)*, 1.9/6
7.  Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1), 1.9/6
10.  MasterChef (Fox), 1.8/6
11.  Hell’s Kitchen (Fox), 1.7/7
11.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 1.7/5
11.  24: Live Another Day (Fox), 1.7/5
11.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 1.7/5
15.  The Big Bang Theory, Monday-r (CBS), 1.6/5
15.  Family Guy-r (Fox), 1.6/5
17.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 1.5/6
17.  Extant (CBS), 1.5/5
19.  20/20 (ABC), 1.4/5
19.  American Dad (Fox), 1.4/5
19.  Duck Dynasty (A&E), 1.4/5

Total Viewers (in millions)
1. MLB All-Star Game (Fox), 11.34
2. America’s Got Talent (NBC), 8.53
3.  Extant (CBS), 7.96
4.  NCIS-r (CBS), 7.93
5.  60 Minutes (CBS), 7.90
6.  Under the Dome (CBS), 7.64
7.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 7.10
8.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 6.91
9.  24: Live Another Day (Fox), 6.47
10.  Unforgettable (CBS), 6.39
11.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 6.27
12.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 6.22
13.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 6.21
14.  Blue Bloods-r (CBS), 6.19
15.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 6.11
16.  Dateline-Friday (NBC), 6.07
17.  The Night Shift (NBC), 6.05
18.  20/20 (ABC), 5.97
19.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 5.93
20.  The Big Bang Theory, Monday-r (CBS), 5.81

Source: Nielsen (English-language programs only)

*not supported by advertising

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