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Fox’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Heats Up; ABC’s ‘Rookie Blue’ OK in Return

Fox won Thursday’s primetime ratings race in key demos behind a three-month high for “Hell’s Kitchen,” while the net’s new drama “Gang Related” continues to hang in there. Over at ABC, the season premiere of “Rookie Blue” was down in demo and up in total viewers from last year.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Hell’s Kitchen” averaged a 1.8 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 4.9 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, rising 13% (0.2) from last week, when it went up against the NBA Finals in some of the country, and the show’s best demo delivery since late March. It tied with CBS’ encore of “The Big Bang Theory” as Thursday’s No. 1 show in 18-49.

Gang Related” followed (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), up a tenth from last week when it opposed basketball but about on average; the drama consistently holds its audience, with its rating again the same at 9:30 p.m. as at 9.

ABC opened with “Black Box” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall), which moved to a new 8 p.m. timeslot after a two-week break for the NBA Finals. It was followed by the two-hour return of “Rookie Blue” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), which was down in 18-49 from last year’s opener (a 1.2 when it followed the series premiere of “Motive” in late May) but in line with where it ended its season last September. In total viewers, “Rookie Blue” gained about 1 million from last year and drew its best number since last summer’s third episode.

Starting next week, “Rookie Blue” airs at 9, followed by the season premiere of documentary series “NY Med.”

At NBC, a repeat “Hollywood Game Night” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) was just a tick below the previous week’s score for an original, beating out ABC’s “Black Box.” It was followed by sitcom “Undateable,” which once again delivered the same demo rating in both of its half-hour (a 0.9/3 share), averaging about 2.5 million total viewers. And closing out the night, “Last Comic Standing” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) won its timeslot in 18-49, rising 17% (0.2) above its week-ago average opposite the NBA Finals.

CBS aired repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.8/7 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall), the night’s top program in 18-49 (tie), 25-54 and total viewers, “Mom” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), “The Millers” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall). “Big Brother” joins the net’s Thursday lineup next week.

And at CW, the “4th Annual Critics Choice Television Awards” from Los Angeles averaged a 0.3/1 in 18-49 and about 1 million viewers overall from 8 to 10.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 1.3/5; CBS, NBC and Univision, 1.1/4; ABC, 0.9/3; Telemundo, 0.7/2; CW, 0.3/1

In total viewers: CBS, 5.2 million; ABC, 5.1 million; Fox, 3.8 million; NBC, 3.3 million; Univision, 2.7 million; Telemundo, 1.7 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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