TV Ratings: Series Struggle in Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are taking their toll on TV ratings.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” always a hit during the summer, held onto its No. 1 spot in the ratings, but the competition show drew its second smallest audience of the summer with 10.3 million tuning in.

Another casualty of the summer slump was Fox reality show “Knock Knock Live,” hosted by Ryan Seacrest, which was cancelled after just two episodes. And ABC series “Bachelor In Paradise” fizzled  with a lackluster premiere audience of 3.6 million viewers.

The week was not without its bright spots, though. ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” for example, hit a season high with its finale, which drew 8.1 million viewers. Kaitlyn’s season finished 5% higher than last season did, and the show was No. 1 in the key 18-49 demo.

Disney Channel’s “The Descendants” scared up a relatively large audience of 6.55 million viewers in its Friday night premiere, leading all cable programming for the week. The TV movie, which follows the children of iconic Disney villains, netted a larger aud than the network’s “Teen Beach 2” did in June (5.83 million).

“Dateline Mystery,” NBC’s two-hour deep-dives into crime stories on Thursday nights, continues to generate solid numbers. The true-life series averaged 5.6 million viewers last week, and has consistently been pulling audiences twice as large as those for scripted crime dramas “Aquarius” and “Hannibal,” which had been airing in the same 9-11 p.m. Thursday timeslot earlier this summer for NBC.

CBS reality veteran “Big Brother” remains a draw, with its Sunday edition drawing a summer-high 6.4 million viewers, making it the 11th most popular program of the week.

TNT dramas “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Major Crimes” continue to pull in the largest cable series audiences, with “Rizzoli” drawing 4.4 million viewers and “Crimes” drawing 4.39 million viewers last week.

Broadcast networks were led by CBS, which averaged an audience of 5.14 million viewers per night. NBC’s average was close behind at 4.85 million, followed by ABC’s 3.93 million.

For the week of July 27 to Aug. 2, the top 10 programs, their networks and their viewerships:
“America’s Got Talent,” NBC, 10.3 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 8.5 million; “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 8.1 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 8 million; “AGT: Best Ofs,” NBC, 7.9 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 7.2 million; “Zoo,” CBS, 7.1 million; Movie: “Descendants,” Disney, 6.6 million; “Big Brother – Thursday,” CBS, 6.4 million.

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