Weekly Ratings: ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ ‘Power’ Exit Summer Strong; NBC Reality Rules

This has not been a good summer in the ratings for scripted programming — viewership for nearly all returning shows are down versus last year and cable has been hit particularly hard — but there were a few cable standouts last week.

The big “A” reveal on the summer finale of ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” delivered the show’s best rating in both adults 18-49 (1.4) and adults 18-34 (2.1) in nearly two years and its largest overall audience (3.09 million) in 18 months, according to Nielsen “live plus same-day” estimates. The 18-49 rating was also the best for any ad-supported scripted program this summer, and the 18-34 score was the best for any scripted series since the season finale of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” in May.

(And on the social media front, “Liars” had another monster showing: With 1.6 million Tweets, Tuesday’s hour ranks as the No. 3 most popular cable TV series episode on record.)

Over at Starz, the Omari Hardwick-fronted drama “Power” (0.66 rating in 18-49, 1.54 million viewers overall) hit summer highs across the board as it wrapped its second season. Despite airing on Saturday, it ranked No. 11 among all scripted series last week in adults 18-49 and No. 6 in adults 18-34 (0.44 rating). For the season, it’s averaging about a 1 demo rating and 2 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates.

Other hot scripted cable series include OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” (0.95 in 18-49, 3.12 million viewers overall) and HBO’s “Ballers” (0.77 in 18-49, 1.57 million), with the latter holding up pretty well despite losing its sizable “True Detective” lead-in.

FX’s “Tyrant” surged week to week to season highs (0.49 in 18-49, 1.35 million viewers overall), and has been nearly doubling its totals in Live+3. TNT’s “Proof” (0.40 rating in 18-49, 2.33 million viewers overall) hit a series high, airing behind the steady “Rizzoli & Isles” (0.75 in 18-49, 4.33 million viewers overall), which virtually matched its summer-best score. And over at USA, “Suits” (0.68 rating in 18-49, 2.31 million viewers overall) hit a season high in 18-49.

On the comedy front, TBS’ “Clipped” (0.52 in 18-49, 1.31 million viewers overall) has been picking up steam late in its first season, last week matching its high in 18-49 while surging to its outright series high in adults 25-54 (0.66).

The standout on the unscripted side for cable this summer has been VH1’s vet “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta” (1.4/6 in 18-49, 2.94 million viewers overall). Discovery’s “Naked and Afraid XL” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 2.83 million viewers overall) has been the strongest newcomer, last week ranking among the week’s top 20 primetime programs in 18-49 — and No. 1 among cable shows on Sunday night.

Overall for the week of Aug. 10-16, NBC was the primetime ratings leader in 18-49 (1.1 rating) for a fourth straight week, edging out CBS (1.0). It also won in adults 25-54 (1.5) while the Eye finished on top in total viewers (5.3 million).

A week after the first Republican Presidential Debate lifted it to its best week in 12 years, Fox News Channel stayed atop the primetime cable rankings in total viewers (1.87 million) — its fourth win in the last five weeks. Its most-watched telecast for the frame was Wednesday’s “Kelly File” (2.96 million).

Looking at the week’s broadcast action, NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 7.19 million viewers overall) matched a three-year high in 18-49 (2.1/7) while setting a series high in total viewers, and Tuesday’s two-hour “America’s Got Talent” (2.5/9 in 18-49, 11.43 million viewers overall) was the week’s No. 1 program in both categories. The Peacock is also closing these nights well, with “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” rising for a third straight week Monday and hitting season highs, and “Hollywood Game Night” hitting a four-week high (1.4/5 in 18-49, 5.00 million viewers overall).

NBC’s new Wednesday comedy “Mr. Robinson” also contributed, with both half-hours doing a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 to rank among the week’s top five scripted series, while the 9 p.m. episode (4.39 million) retained 96% of the previous week’s total-viewer tally. The Craig Robinson comedy also is skewing upscale, standing as the night’s top broadcast show in concentration of adults 18-49 living in homes with income of $100,000 or more, according to Nielsen.

At CBS, “Zoo” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.69 million viewers overall) was back on the upswing, standing as the week’s No. 2 scripted program in 18-49 and No. 1 in total viewers. “Big Brother” again placed all three of its editions among the week’s top five programs in 18-49, including Sunday’s hour (2.1/7), which hit a season high in total viewers (6.89 million).

Of note at ABC were gains for both nights of “Bachelor in Paradise” (1.5/6 in 18-49, 5.09 million viewers overall on Monday; 1.3/5 on Sunday, 3.98 million on Sunday), while Monday drama “The Whispers” continued its fade (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.68 million viewers overall) nearing its finale.

Fox had another forgettable week, with “MasterChef” the network’s only top-20 program in adults 18-49 (1.4/6) and its only top-40 performer in total viewers (4.76 million). Sunday’s “Teen Choice Awards” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.57 million viewers overall) was on par with the previous two years, with about one-quarter of its viewership coming from teens 12-17 (2.5/14 or 618,000 viewers in the demo).

At Showtime, “Ray Donovan” (1.61 million) and “Masters of Sex” (734,000) hit season highs in live plus same-day, and the latter went on to post a new season high in live+3 (1.20 million) for the third straight week.

Other cable notes: Lifetime’s “Dance Moms” hit summer highs (0.54 in 18-49, 1.40 million viewers overall); after dropping off in its second week, E!’s “I Am Cait” leveled off in 18-49 (0.53) while rising in total viewers (1.32 million); ABC Family squandered its big “Pretty Little Liars” ratings on little-watched reality premieres “Next Step Reality: NYC” (518,000) and “Startup U” (223,000); and in Live+3, Bravo’s “Flipping Out” hit season highs for a third straight week (0.57 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall).

 

TOP PRIMETIME NETWORKS
(August 3-9, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
NBC ……………………….  1.1/4
CBS ……………………….  1.0/4
ABC ………………………   0.8/3
UNI ……………………….   0.7/3
Fox ………………………..  0.6/3
TEL ………………………..  0.6/2
TBS ……………………….  0.5/2
USA ……………………….  0.5/2
Adult Swim ………………..  0.4/1
FX …………………………. 0.4/1
NFLN ……………………..  0.4/1

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS ………………………..  5.29
NBC ………………………..  4.67
ABC ………………………..  3.28
Fox …………………………  2.26
UNI …………………………  2.01
FNC ………………………… 1.87
Disney ……………………..  1.71
TNT ………………………..  1.64
TEL …………………………  1.38
CW …………………………  1.13

TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
(Aug. 10-16, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
1.  America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 2.5/9
2.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 2.2/9
3.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 2.1/7
3.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 2.1/7
5.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 1.9/7
6.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 1.6/7
7.  60 Minutes (CBS), 1.5/6
7.  Bachelor in Paradise-Monday (ABC), 1.5/6
9.  MasterChef (Fox), 1.4/6
9.  Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1), 1.4/6
9.  Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family), 1.4/6
9.  Hollywood Game Night (NBC), 1.4/5
9.  Running Wild with Bear Grylls (NBC), 1.4/5
14.  Bachelor in Paradise-Sunday (ABC), 1.3/5
14.  WWE Raw (USA), 1.3/5
16.  Zoo (CBS), 1.2/4
16.  Last Comic Standing (NBC), 1.2/4
18.  Modern Family (ABC), 1.1/4
18.  Naked and Afraid XL (Discovery), 1.1/4
18.  The Big Bang Theory, Wed.-r (TBS), 1.1/4

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 11.42
2.  60 Minutes (CBS), 9.54
3.  NCIS-r (CBS), 8.41
4.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 8.38
5.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 7.19
6.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 6.89
7.  Zoo (CBS), 6.69
8.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 6.89
9.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 6.17
10.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 6.08
11.  NCIS: New Orleans-r (CBS), 6.06
12.  Scorpion-r (CBS), 5.16
13.  Bachelor in Paradise-Monday (ABC), 5.09
14.  Hollywood Game Night (NBC), 5.00
15.  2 Broke Girls-r (CBS), 4.87
16.  America’s Funniest Home Videos-r (ABC), 4.86
17.  Blue Bloods-r (CBS), 4.79
18.  MasterChef (Fox), 4.76
19.  48 Hours (CBS), 4.70
20.  Dateline Mystery-Thursday (NBC), 4.67

TOP PRIMETIME SCRIPTED ORIGINALS IN 18-49 RATING
(Aug. 10-16, 2015; live plus same-day)
 1.  Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family), 1.39
2.  Zoo (CBS), 1.16
3.  Mr. Robinson-9 p.m. (NBC), 1.03
4.  The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN), 0.95
4.  Mr. Robinson-9:30 p.m. (NBC), 0.95
6.  Under the Dome (CBS), 0.81
7.  Ballers* (HBO), 0.77
8.  Rizzoli & Isles (TNT), 0.75
9.  Extant (CBS), 0.70
10.  The Last Ship (TNT), 0.69

Source: Nielsen
*aired commercial-free

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