It was a night of winners and wannabe winners Wednesday, with NBC’s America’s Got Talent (2.5/7) and CBS’ Big Brother (2.4/7) wrapping their latest cycles just in time for the fall season, On CBS it was veterans night as Big Brother’s Season 15 came to an end and Survivor (2.6/8) started its 27th cycle with 90-minute episodes each. After a season marred by racial slurs among its contestants, the Julie Chen-hosted Big Brother found its $500,000 grand prize winner. Although the 9:30-11 PM finale dipped just 4% compared with its Season 14 finale on September 19, 2012 and week-to-week it bopped up 4% from its September 11 show, last night ended up being the show’s lowest finale of the last six seasons. With a few new twists on the formula, Survivor: Blood & Water, on the other hand, took a real tumble compared to its Season 25 opener on September 19, 2012. Marking the show’s 400th episode and the top-rated show of the night, last night’s 8-9:30 PM Survivor fell 19% from its previous fall premiere. That makes last night the show’s lowest fall debut in its long long history. Compared to its 90-minute Season 26 opener on February 13, the Mark Burnett-produced show saw an 8% rise among the key demo. With a 2.5/8 rating CBS won the night among adults 18-49 and NBC topped the night in viewers with 9.203 million.
Finishing its eighth season live from Radio City Music Hall with a winner plus a sorta visit to Inside The Actor’s Studio and performances from Josh Groban, Earth Wind & Fire and the Rockettes among others, America’s Got Talent was up a slender 4% among adults 18-49 over last year’s 8-10 PM September 13, 2012 finale. In a season that saw brand new lows for Mr. Nice Guy judge Howard Stern and the rest of the AGT crew, Wednesday’s finale was also up in viewership over Season 7’s ender. AGT pulled in 11.344 million viewers, 7% more than the 10.590 million who watched last year’s finale, making it the night’s most-watched show. In week-to-week comparisons, it was up 14% over its September 11 episode.
The AGT season finale was preceded by another night of The Million Second Quiz (1.2/4) at 8 PM. On its second-to-ast night, the live multi-platform Ryan Seacrest-hosted game show slipped 8% from last week. Still, with all of NBC’s primetime offerings live last night, expect greater than usual adjustments in the final numbers later today.
Fox’s 8-10 PM The X Factor(2.2/7) kicked off its second week of its third season with more auditions and stayed steady with last week’s debut in adults 18-49. In hour-to-hour comparisons to the final numbers for last week’s one-hour season premiere, X Factor was down a tenth last night. Fast nationals to fast nationals over the 8 PM to 9 PM hour, Wednesday’s show was even with the Season 3 debut. Fox project that last night’s X-Factor will see a 20% to 25% rise to a 2.7 or 2.8 rating when the Live+7 numbers come in.
ABC was all encores last night.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.