Weekly Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Power NBC

The one-two punch of “America’s Got Talent” and “American Ninja Warrior” put NBC back on top of the ratings leaderboard last week, with the network also getting a nice boost from the return of “Last Comic Standing.”

In a summer when reality has ruled over scripted originals, NBC has prevailed in the weeks not dominated by major sporting events. Last week, according to Nielsen “live plus same-day” estimates, its 1.1 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 edged out Spanish-language network Univision (1.0/4) as well as rivals ABC (0.9/4), CBS (0.9/4) and Fox (0.8/3).

The Peacock also won in adults 25-54 and adults 18-34 while CBS led as usual in total viewers.

“America’s Got Talent” was on the low side of its summer range but still set the week’s pace in both 18-49 (2.3/9) and total viewers (10.50 million), while “American Ninja Warrior” surged 17% to match a three-year demo high (2.1/7 in 18-49, 6.68 million viewers overall).

“Last Comic Standing” returned to good numbers on Wednesday (1.5/6 in 18-49, 6.10 million viewers overall), with its total-viewer count the highest in 36 episodes (since the 2007 season finale). It made the week’s top 10 in multiple categories.

At ABC, “Celebrity Family Feud” wrapped its six-week run on Sunday (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.71 million viewers overall), ruling as the week’s No. 3 program in 18-49. And behind it, “Battlebots” also concluded (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.61 million viewers overall), up a tick for the second straight week.

On the scripted front, “The Astronaut Wives Club” fell off (0.6/3 in 18-49, 3.81 million viewers overall) but “Rookie Blue” hit  a season high (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.83 million viewers overall) and has now gained young-adult viewers in each of the four weeks since its June 25 premiere.

Things were status quo at CBS, with “Zoo” holding steady (1.0/4 in 18-49, 6.69 million viewers overall) and all three nights”Big Brother” again placing in the week’s top 10. A timeslot switch for “Extant” gave it a slight boost Wednesday (0.7/2 in 18-49, 4.39 million viewers overall), but it remains a modest performer.

Fox’s “Wayward Pines” ended its run Thursday (1.2/5 in 18-49, 3.98 million viewers overall), spiking week to week to match its 18-49 high. It is summer’s top-rated new series among 18-49ers in Live+3 (1.93 rating).

“MasterChef” was the lone bright spot among reality shows for Fox (1.5/6 in 18-49, 4.66 million viewers overall), whose Ryan Seacrest-hosted series “Knock Knock Live” opened to tiny numbers on Tuesday (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.75 million viewers). The net’s other new reality series, “Home Free,” fared a little better on Wednesday (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.99 million viewers overall), benefiting from a “MasterChef” lead-in.

The final of soccer’s Gold Cup scored big for Univision on Sunday (2.6/9 in 18-49, 3.35 million viewers overall), out-rating all English-language programs for the week in 18-49 and helping the network rank No. 1 for a third straight week in adults 18-34 (0.9/4).

Rival Telemundo, meanwhile, achieved a network first Wednesday by beating Univision’s regular weeknight lineup in adults 18-49 for the first time. “El Senor de los Cielos 3” (Lord of the Skies) is leading the way, averaging a 1.3 rating/5 share in the demo for its four airings last week.

The week’s top cable program in 18-49 was VH1’s “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta” (1.5/6 in 18-49, 2.97 million viewers overall), and the most-watched cable programs overall were the TNT crime dramas “Major Crimes” (4.31 million) and “Rizzoli & Isles” (4.16 million). “Crimes” also hit a season high in 18-49 (0.65).

Elsewhere, the premiere of “I Am Cait” on Sunday gave E! its top-rated start for a series in 18-49 since “Khloe & Lamar” (April 2011) and in total viewers since “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” (January 2011). This was the third most-watched E! program of 2015, behind only its “Live From the Red Carpet” coverage from the Oscars in February (3.3 million) and the opening night of the two-part “All About Bruce” special episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” in May (2.9 million).

Syfy’s “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No” (0.9 in 18-49, 2.81 million viewers overall) was down from last year’s “Sharknado 2: The Second One” (1.3/ in 18-49, 2.81 million viewers overall) but still stood as cable’s top-rated original on Wednesday in both adults 25-54 (1.0) and total viewers.

ABC Family’s “The Fosters” hit “live plus same-day” season highs across the board, including 18-49 (0.54), 18-34 (0.66) and total viewers (1.33 million), in live plus same-day.

Starz’ “Power,” coming off season-high “live plus-3” scores the previous week (0.98 rating in 18-49, 2.12 million viewers overall), hit a six-week 18-49 high in “live plus same-day” (0.57 rating).

Spike’s “Tut,” the network’s first scripted event series in eight years, drew about 1.5 million viewers for its concluding parts on Monday and Tuesday, and overall its three nights averaged 2.2 million in “live plus-3.”

USA’s “Chrisley Knows Best” hit a six-week high in 18-49 (0.63 rating) and an eight-week high in total viewers (1.88 million) with its summer finale Tuesday.

Wednesday’s premiere of “Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything” became the biggest series debut in Disney XD history in its primary demo of kids 6-11 (398,000), according to Nielsen’s Live+3 estimates. On the same night, “Kirby Buckets” hit an eight-month high in the demo (292,000) and the premiere of crossover special “Lab Rats vs. Mighty Med” surged to 1.25 million viewers (a series high for “Mighty Med”), including 589,000 kids 6-11.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most-watched ad-supported cable network for the second week in a row and the fifth time this year, and that capped a second-place finish for the month of July (behind only Discovery).

FNC dominated its news rivals in primetime as usual but CNN was the only cable newser up in July in both 25-54 and total viewers. CNN solidified its No. 2 standing in 25-54, rising 6% (to an average nightly audience of 178,000 in the demo) while MSNBC dipped 3% (to 152,000); FNC was up 2% to 317,000. MSNBC rose 12% in total viewers, but its demo decline suggests this spike was driven by viewers 55 and older.


(July 20-26, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
NBC ………………………  1.1/4
UNI ……………………….  1.0/4
ABC ………………………   0.9/4
CBS ………………………   0.9/4
Fox ………………………..  0.8/3
TEL ……………………….  0.6/2
USA …………………….  0.51/2
Discovery ………………  0.49/2
TBS ……………………..  0.47/2
FX ……………………….  0.45/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS ………………………..  5.13
NBC ………………………..  4.47
ABC ………………………..  3.79
Fox …………………………  2.50
UNI …………………………  2.38
Fox News ………………….  1.63
Disney ……………………..  1.59
HGTV ……………………..   1.57
USA ……………………….   1.55
TNT ……………………….   1.53

(July 20-26, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
1.  America’s Got Talent (NBC), 2.3/9
2.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 2.1/7
3.  Celebrity Family Feud (ABC), 2.0/7
4.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 1.9/7
4.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 1.9/7
4.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 1.9/7
7.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 1.8/7
8.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 1.5/7
8.  Last Comic Standing (NBC), 1.5/7
8.  MasterChef (Fox), 1.5/6
8.  Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1), 1.5/6
12. Battlebots (ABC), 1.4/5
13.  Hollywood Game Night (NBC), 1.3/5
14.  America’s Got Talent special-Wednesday (NBC), 1.2/5
14.  Mom-r (CBS), 1.2/5
14.  Wayward Pines (Fox), 1.2/5
14.  I Am Cait (E!), 1.2/4
18.  UFC Fight Night (Fox), 1.1/5
18.  Running Wild with Bear Grylls (NBC), 1.1/4
18.  Naked and Afraid XL (Discovery), 1.1/4

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  America’s Got Talent (NBC), 10.50
2.  Celebrity Family Feud (ABC), 8.71
3.  60 Minutes (CBS), 7.91
4.  NCIS-r (CBS), 7.52
5.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 7.34
6.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 6.97
7.  Zoo (CBS), 6.69
8.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 6.68
9.  Last Comic Standing (NBC), 6.10
10.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 5.95
11.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 5.89
12.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 5.80
13.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 5.79
14.  America’s Got Talent special-Wednesday (NBC), 5.74
15.  Mom-r (CBS), 5.70
16.  Blue Bloods-r (CBS), 5.56
17.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 5.45
18.  Dateline Mystery-Thursday (NBC), 5.26
19.  Criminal Minds-r (CBS), 4.94
20.  Mike & Molly-r (CBS), 4.82

(July 20-26, 2015; live plus same-day)
 1.  Wayward Pines (Fox), 1.20
2.  True Detective* (HBO), 1.02
3.  Zoo (CBS), 1.01
4.  Under the Dome (CBS), 1.00
5.  Ballers* (HBO), 0.92
5.  The Whispers (ABC), 0.84
6.  Rookie Blue (ABC), 0.81
6.  The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN), 0.81
8.  Mistresses (ABC), 0.70
9.  Extant (CBS), 0.69
9.  The Last Ship (TNT), 0.69

*aired commercial-free

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