The Texan boys were truly back in town last night on the NFL on NBC. The network’s debut Sunday Night Football (9.1/23) of the regular season saw the Dallas Cowboys best the New York Giants 36-31. With Dallas forcing turnovers to clinch the victory over Eli Manning and NY at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and 23.25 million watching between 8:30 PM – 11 PM, the match-up dipped 7% from the fast nationals last season’s first Sunday regular game between the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 9, 2012. It was also down from the final nationals rating of 11.0/28 that last year’s game garnered. That 2012 result is the all-time record for Sunday Night Football. Last September’s first Sunday regular season game pulled in 27.567 million viewers overall, the third best result SNF has ever had. The top SNF viewership is 30.281 million that the December 30, 2012 Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins received with the January 1, 2012 Cowboys-Giant battled coming second with 27.624 million watching. Last year, the Cowboys and the Giants were the September 5 opening game of the regular season facing off against Bill Clinton and the Democratic National Convention. In metered-market results, Sunday’s game got a 16.6/27 for the 8:30 PM – 11:45 PM game. That’s down from the record breaking 18.0/29 that last year’s Sunday opener pulled in in the time adjusted results. Running prior …
UPDATE, 1:25 PM: The final score is in for last night’s NFL regular season opener on NBC. The numbers saw a slight rise that brought Thursday game within tackle distance of the best result of the past 11 years. In time zone-adjusted final ratings last night’s 9:15 PM-12:25 AM blowout victory by the Denver Broncos pulled in a 10.3/27 among adults 18-49. Fast nationals earlier today had the game getting a 10.0/27 ratings. Today’s final number is a 6% bump over last season’s 9.7/26 final numbers for the regular-season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Last night’s game was the third best result since the Thursday kickoff started back in 2002. Not that it was that far behind the top spot. The top two Kickoff results in the key demo are the 10.9 rating that 2011’s September 8 season opener between Green Bay Packers and New Orleans drew and the 10.7 rating that 2010′s New Orleans-Minnesota game pulled. Viewership from last night’s game was also up over 2012. The Broncos-Ravens game garnered 25.133 million viewers. Without Bill Clinton’s speech at last year’s DNC as competition, that’s up 5% from the 23.886 million who watched the Cowboys-Giants game. Last night’s game was also the third-most-watched NFL Kickoff in the last 11 years behind the 27.5 million of 2010’s New Orleans-Minnesota game and the 27.1 million of 2011’s Green Bay-New Orleans matchup.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:42 AM: What a difference a year makes. Last September 5th, the NFL regular season opened on NBC facing Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. Last night’s season opener (10.0/27) featuring the Denver Broncos soundly beating the Super Bowl champ Baltimore Ravens 49-27 didn’t face any such competition. Neither did NBC as it easily won the night in adults 18-49 with a 9.2/26 and among total viewers and 23.190 million watching. CBS came in second with a 1.5/5 rating and a viewership of 5.891 million.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘MasterChef’ Hits Season Low But Fox Wins Night, ‘America’s Got Talent’ & ‘Big Brother’ Rise, ‘The Lookout’ Finale Up Big
Things got very hot in the kitchen last night on MasterChef (2.0/6) as the last four contestants were sliced to the final two. Not sure if it was “The most. Explosive. Episode in history” as Gordon Ramsay’s voice-over promised, but for wannabe winners Luca Manfe and Natasha Crnjac it must have been a nail-biter as they head toward next week’s Season 4 finale. The two-hour MasterChef dropped 13 from its August 28 show, a season low for the fourth cycle’s two-hour block. Even so, Fox took the top spot in adults 18-49 on Wednesday with a 2.0/6 rating. That marks the 13th of the past 16 Wednesdays that Fox has won the demo with MasterChef this summer. On the viewership side, NBC was No. 1 with 6.519 million watching. NBC came in second in the key demo with a 1.6/5 rating, while CBS took No. 2 among viewers with 5.681 million.
RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Wins Night Amid NFL Pre-Emptions, ‘Hollywood Game Night’ & ‘Motive’ Finales Rise
The end of summer saw the end of the two summer series last night with freshmen Hollywood Game Night (1.5/5) and Motive (1.4/4) wrapping their seasons. With NFL pre-season football pre-emptions across the country, expect the inflated ratings for the broadcast networks to be adjusted downward in the final numbers later today. Having said that, with Terry Crews, Tom Arnold, Emilie de Ravin, David Giuntoli, Entourage’s Jerry Ferrara and morning-show host Hoda Kotb in the mix, NBC’s 10 PM Jane Lynch-hosted Game Night was up 25% over last week. That number will come down to Earth later, but Hollywood Game Night has already won the prize of another season with its renewal by NBC on August 20.
Last night’s live one-hour Big Brother (2.6/8) elimination episode saw an appearance from Season 10 winner Dan Gheesling and addressed some of the racial slurs that had stained this season. It also saw the veteran reality series rise 24% from its Thursday season low of August 22. Big Brother was not only the highest-rated show of the night but, with 8.36 million viewers, it also was the most watched. Otherwise, CBS was all repeats with a double of Two And A Half Men at 8 PM (1.8/6) and 8:30 PM (1.9/6) plus an Elementary (1.4/4) encore at 10 PM. CBS had NFL pre-emptions in 40% of the country, but in fast nationals it won the night with a 2.0/6 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.219 million viewers. CBS is of course still blacked out to 3.2 million Time Warner Cable subscribers in the LA, NYC and Dallas markets going on nearly a month. NBC was second in the key demo last night with a 1.5/5 and ABC was No. 2 among viewers with 6.264 million watching.
RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Wins Night With ‘MasterChef’, ‘Big Brother’ Dips, ‘America’s Got Talent’ Up Slightly
Last night’s double shot of Fox’s MasterChef saw judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot bring their kids on-air as well as a long-ago filmed cameo by the disgraced Paula Deen rear its head. Even with last week, the 9 PM MasterChef (2.4/7) was again the top show of the night in adults 18-49. As things heated up with the final four heading toward the September 11 season finale, the show was also up 13% in viewers to 6.3 million. Back after a month and a half, the 8 PM MasterChef (2.0/7) slipped 9% from its previous original July 10 but stayed about even with its last viewership numbers with 5.3 million watching. Pulling in a 2.2/7, the two-hour MasterChef block was down 4% overall from its last airing July 10, which scored a 2.3/7. However, with that 2.2/7, Fox won the night in the key demo while NBC was tops in viewers with an audience of 6.402 million. NBC finished a far second in adults 18-49 with a 1.5/5 while Fox was No. 2 in viewers with 5.820 million.
Comedy repeats and badly behaved Big Brother residents put CBS on top in the ratings Thursday night, in the demo and overall crowd. CBS’ lineup is still being blacked out by Time Warner Cable in three of the country’s top 5 TV markets, and last night its lineup was pre-empted in Boston for an NFL preseason game. NBC was pre-empted in Baltimore for football, ABC in Detroit, and CW in Charlotte — fast nationals are probably inflated. CBS comedy retreads The Big Bang Theory (2.1, 8 million viewers) and Two And A Half Men (2.0, 7.4 million) had little competition at 8 PM, though ABC’s Wipeout matched a season high in the demo (1.3).
Big Brother (2.3 rating) claimed the night’s No. 1 spot in the demo, and was up a tenth from last week at 9 PM. ABC’s Motive hit a 12-week high in the demo (1.1). At 10, NBC’s recently renewed Hollywood Game Night was No. 1 in the demo (1.3 rating), hitting a four-week high and up 8% compared to last week; it averaged 4 million viewers overall. ABC’s Rookie Blue was the slot’s most-watched show for the seventh week running with 5.3 million tuned in. Fox finished fifth for the night in the demo, with Glee and New Girl clocking 0.7 ratings in the demo, and The Mindy Project a 0.6.
Fox’s MasterChef again took Wednesday night in the 18-49 and 18-34 demos among English-language broadcasters. Fox has ranked tops in 18-49 on 11 of the past 13 Wednesdays, since MasterChef debuted. But NBC won Wednesday in total viewers with America’s Got Talent. Versus same night last year, Talent originals are up 7% in total viewers — 9.2 million compared to 8.6 million last year — but down a tick in the demo year to year, which is typical of an aging competition series.
ABC‘s reality series The Glass House is long forgotten following a low-rated run last summer, but the legal battle that it triggered is just now coming to an end. CBS announced this morning that the network has “reached a settlement in arbitration with the parties in The Glass House legal dispute.” CBS in May 2012 sued ABC, claiming that The Glass House was a rip-off of Big Brother while accusing former Big Brother producers who worked for Glass House of violating confidentiality agreements. CBS dropped its case against ABC last August while taking its legal action against the Glass House producers and network executives to arbitration. (The Big Brother alums in question — Glass House EP Kenny Rosen, producer Michael O’Sullivan and ABC VP Alternative Programming Corie Henson — fired back with a countersuit against CBS in November). According to CBS, the network “will receive financial compensation as part of the settlement. The producers have admitted that one of them used confidential Big Brother manuals in the production of The Glass House, and they have expressed regret for using this material. In addition, those involved have pledged not to misappropriate CBS trade secrets in the future.”
Fox ranked No. 1 for Sunday night in 18-49, 18-34, teens, and all key male demos with it NFL preseason game featuring the Indianapolis Colts against the New York Giants, according to very early stats. The game was the No. 2 program of the night in 18-34 and all key male breaks. According to fast nationals — not so accurate with live-across-country sporting events — the game clocked nearly 6 million viewers and a 1.9 in the 18-49 demo. Against the game in many various time zones, ABC’s rerun America’s Funniest Home Videos grew week to week by 5% in viewers (4.6 million) and 13% in 18-49 (0.9) to draw its biggest overall audience and match its best demo rating in four weeks. ABC’s Secret Millionaire also grew week to week by 9% in the demo (1.2) to equal its highest number in more than a year. The net’s 9 PM Whodunnit season finale was up 27% compared to last week in the demo (1.4) to mark a series high; it was also the show’s second-most-watched telecast (3.7 million).
The elimination votes came last night on Big Brother (2.5/8) and they doubled everyone’s expectations. The live one-hour airing of the veteran reality series saw not one but two contestants given the boot on Thursday. The other change of the night was NFL Pre-season football pre-empting the Big 4’s primetime in approximately 15% of the country. That means that last night’s likely inflated fast nationals will probably see a larger adjustment than usual later today. However, with that and the continuing blackout on Time Warner Cable in NY, LA and Dallas in mind, Big Brother remained even with last week’s season high show among adults 18-49. The show also had its second highest viewership of Season 15 so far with 7.08 million watching. Besides BB, CBS was all encores last night. The network won the night both among the key demo with a 1.9/6 and in terms of total viewers with 6.637 million watching.
RATINGS RAT RACE: NBC Wins Night With ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ‘Big Brother’ Even, ‘Camp’ Up, ‘MasterChef’ Dips
After the usual recap show (1.5/5) at 8 PM, Wednesday’s live America’s Got Talent (2.5/7) got down to the business of elimination at 9 PM as another round of 12 were cut down to four. With a performance by Jason Derulo and a very bright suit worn by host Nick Cannon, the American Spouses Choir, singer Jonathan Allen, dancer/martial artist Kenichi Ebina and dance troupe Chicago Boyz all made the cut and moved on to this season’s semifinals. AGT itself made the cut too with a 4% rise from its season low July 31 show. As is typical with live shows like last night’s AGT was on the East Coast, expect an adjustment later in the final numbers. The highest-rated and most watched show of the night with 10.03 million viewers, Wednesday’s AGT was up a solid 25% from the comparable results show from last year on July 18, 2012. AGT’s lead-out Camp (1.2/4) also saw a rise. The Australian dramedy was up 9% among adults 18-49 for a three-week high of its own. NBC won the night among adults 18-49 with a 1.7/5 and in total viewers with 6.790 million watching. Fox was No. 2 in the demo on Wednesday with a 1.6/5 while CBS was second in viewers with an audience of 5.628 million.
RATINGS RAT RACE: NBC Scores With NFL Preseason, ‘Secret Millionaire’ Hits Premiere Low, ‘Unforgettable’ Dips To Series Low
Cancelled in 2011 because of the lockout and knocked over to the NFL Network last year because of NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, the NFL Hall of Fame game (3.3/9) saw the Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 24-20 in their match up at Canton, Ohio’s Fawcett Stadium on Sunday. The pregame show pulled in a 3.4/11 from 8 PM – 8:30 PM with 9.97 million watching. The 8:30 PM to 11 PM game itself had a viewership of 8.90 million which was up a lot from the 1.971 million viewers last year’s game had on NFL Network. Among adults 18-49, the Cowboys/Dolphins battle was up from the 0.9 last year’s first preseason game received among adults 18-49 on NFL Network. While down 21% from the 3.7/11 that the 2010 game between Dallas and the Cincinnati Bengals received on August 8, 2010, Sunday’s game was also up 10% from the first game of the 2012 preseason that was broadcast on the main network last year. The Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers game on August 19, 2012 got 3.0/8 in fast nationals. The 8:10 PM to 11:03 PM 2010 Cowboys/Bengals game eventually got a 4.2/12 in final nationals.
In time zone adjusted metered-market households, the last night’s Hall of Fame game delivered a 6.7/12 result. That’s way up from the 1.3/5 last year’s game got on NFL Network but down from the …
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Big Brother’ Hits Viewership High, ‘Hollywood Game Night’ Ties Low, ‘Wipeout’ Rises
It was elimination night on Big Brother (2.5/8) on Thursday and the fifth house guest of the reality show’s 15th season was evicted. All of which meant a good night for the live one-hour show as Big Brother garnered its biggest viewership of the season with 7.04 million watching. The highest-rated show of Wednesday’s primetime, Big Brother was even with last week’s show to match its July 21 and July 25 shows for its best result of this cycle among adults 18-49. It could end up as the highest-rated show of the season among the key demo; as is typical of live shows, expect an adjustment in the final numbers later on today. Otherwise, CBS showed encores of The Big Bang Theory (2.1/8), which was the most-watched show of the night with 7.84 million viewers, and Two And A Half Men (1.7/6), with an Elementary (0.9/3) repeat ending the night. CBS won the night in total viewers with 6.267 million and in the demo with a 1.8/6. Univision was second in the demo with a 1.2/4, and ABC took the No. 2 spot in overall viewers with 4.662 million.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Hits Low, ‘MasterChef’ Dips, ‘Big Brother’ Down, ‘Camp’ Rises
With Hell’s Kitchen having wrapped up its latest season last week, Fox is down to only one Gordon Ramsay show on the air right now. Not that things have simmered much on MasterChef (2.2/7) with Ramsay and fellow judges Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, with last night’s show slipping a mere 4% from its July 24 airing. The second-highest-rated show of Wednesday’s primetime among adults 18-49, the 9 PM one-hour MasterChef saw former NFL player Eddie Johnson eliminated as the fourth season of the cooking competition trimmed to six remaining contestants. MasterChef will conclude its Season 4 with a winner September 11.
It was results night on America’s Got Talent (2.3/7) again and eight acts saw their dreams of that $1 million prize and Vegas show come to an end. Following a performance recap show, last night’s live AGT saw Robin Thicke and Brad Paisley take the stage at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall and four contestants move on to the semifinals. Even with last week’s fast nationals results, last night’s AGT dipped 4% from the final numbers of its July 23 show to hit a season low. Having said that, last night’s second results show was the night’s highest-rated and most-watched show. It was also up 15% from the comparable episode last year on July 11, 2012. As is common with live shows, expect to see an adjustment in the final numbers later today. AGT was followed by a new Camp (1.2/4). The freshman Australian dramedy was dramatically up double digits from last week’s show with a 20% rise in 18-49. NBC won the night in the demo with a 1.7/5 and in total viewers with 6.909 million.
“I find some of the behavior absolutely appalling,” CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said this morning of this season’s competition series Big Brother, which has been in the news over the racial slurs some of the competitors have been spewing at housemates. The season is reflective “of how many people feel in the country,” he suggested, noting, “I’ve watched every episode — obviously, my wife would kill me if I didn’t — we discuss it quite a bit (Moonves’ wife, Julie Chen hosts).” He insists the network has handled the season “appropriately.” Asked what he and Chen say about this season on the show, Moonves shot back, “I’m not going to tell you what goes on in my home.”
Moonves, who was filling in for CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler at the network’s TCA press tour executive session today, acknowledged he is still hands-on with the network’s reality competition series casting, and utterly dismissed a critics’ suggestion the Big Brother edition is evidence that “casting tries too hard.” “You don’t want wallflowers on reality show,” he said. “They are social experiments — trying too hard? I don’t think there’s any such thing.”
At the top of his Press Tour appearance, Moonves announced CBS had picked up another season of Stephen King’s summer miniseries Under The Dome and that King would write the first episode. When one critic noted people can’t survive under a dome indefinitely, Moonves wondered why not. “This is television! It’s a soap…In a lot of ways it’s Dallas in the future,” he said. The Amazon deal makes that show possible, Moonves said. “The whole model of putting on a big summer show has changed. We had to figure out financially how to put on a show of that size and scale. It came down to, the network license fee had to be small. There was a huge international sale and the participation of Amazon. We had to make a deal like never before.” The international market has become increasingly important, particularly for drama financing, Moonves explained, claiming it has, at CBS, jumped from “about $400 million” to “$1.2 billion” in six years.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Unforgettable’ Returns Soft, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ Finale Falls, ‘Whodunnit’ Up, ‘Big Brother’ Down
Back from the almost-dead for a second season, Unforgettable (1.3/4) returned last night to anchor CBS’ summer Sundays. The police procedural starring Poppy Montgomery as the remembers-everything Detective Carrie Wells and Dylan Walsh as Lt. Al Burns, started off its new 13-episode run down 55% from the 2.9/8 that its Season 1 premiere drew nearly two years ago. However, a lot has changed for Unforgettable since that September 20, 2011 premiere: The show, which was second in its time slot last night and tied with a Bob’s Burgers encore for the fifth highest rated show of the Big 4′s Primetime, has shifted from Tuesdays to Sundays, from a 10 PM time slot to 9 PM, and from being in season and having NCIS: LA as a lead-in to the summer with Big Brother as its lead-in now. While hitting a series low last night, Unforgettable, which CBS cancelled in May 2012 and then resurrected a month later, certainly bested its time-slot predecessor, up 160% in the adults 18-49 demo from encores of The Good Wife previously in the 9 PM Sunday slot this summer. With 7.02 million watching, it was also up 120% in viewers over Good Wife’s averages. With a cameo by Montgomery, Big Brother (2.2/7) kicked off the originals on CBS on Sunday. The highest-rated show of the night fell 12% from its July 22 episode. CBS started the night with a 60 Minutes (1.0/4) repeat, which was the most-watched show on Sunday night with 8.23 million viewers. With a 1.3/4, CBS tied with Univision for the top spot overall in the demo and was No. 1 among viewers with 6.665 million.
After hitting a high note with its first live show Tuesday, NBC’s America’s Got Talent hit a low one with its first live result show last night — as in a season low. The 9-10 PM telecast drew a 2.3/7 in adults 18-49, down 21% from last week but even with the same episode last year. Subsequently, AGT‘s lead-out, summer dramedy Camp (1.1/3), fell 15% from last week. Meanwhile, Fox’s Masterchef (2.3/7) was up a tenth from last Wednesday and led Fox to a nightly win in the 18-49 demo as it only aired two hours of primetime programming, along with a Masterchef recap (1.2/4). NBC also had an AGT recap at 8 PM (1.6/5). CBS’ Big Brother (2.2/8) was flat. Still pretty good to see three broadcast programs post demo ratings over 2 on a summer night. ABC’s The Lookout (0.8/3) was even with last week following comedy repeats.
Controversy continues to boost CBS’s glass-house competition series Big Brother, which delivered its largest audience of the summer for the second consecutive broadcast (6.84 million viewers) and matched Thursday’s summer high in adults 18-49 (2.4 rating). Big Brother was Sunday’s No. 1 ranked program in adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. That said, BB isn’t out of the weeds yet: through 11 telecasts, its collective ratings remain tied with its weakest start ever, matching its previous all-time low through eleven episodes, set in summers of ’09 and ’12. Meanwhile, Fox’s preview of its new Saturday Animation Domination High-Def exceeded the network’s internal expectations, ratings-wise. The collective half-hour premieres of Axe Cop and High School USA! clocked 2.51 million viewers and a 1.1 rating in the demo. Except total viewers and 18-49 isn’t the target audience — it’s young guys. The unveiling of the two shorts averaged 512,000 guys 18-34 – which is still a little old for this franchise. That was most closely followed in the half hour, among broadcasters, by NBC’s 269,000 in that demo — with a Law & Order: SVU repeat!
Here’s what’s happening this summer with CBS’ Big Brother:
What The Reporters Who Cover Television are saying: This season’s Big Brother housemates are the most heinous, tossing out racial slurs like party favors, or we’re just paying more attention because it’s the Summer of Paula Deen and the George Zimmerman Trial. What viewers are hearing: Best season ever on Big Brother!
What’s resulting: Big Brother on Thursday was the night’s No. 1-ranked program in all key measures, according to early stats, delivering half a million more viewers than last week, and season highs in the 18-49 demo (a 2.3 rating, up 10% from previous week), 25-54 (2.8), and total viewers (6.7 million). It was the only show to break a 2 rating in 18-49 – the Holy Grail of Madison Ave — besides Fox’s Gordon Ramsay Behaving Badly Show, aka Hell’s Kitchen. Last night’s episode was down 5% week to week, though it tied Big Brother in the 18-34 demo.
The rest of you guys — ABC’s Wipeout (1.1, best performance since the end of May, which may be damning with faint praise), Motive (0.8), Rookie Blue (1.1), NBC’s The Winner Is… (0.9, lowest to date) and Hollywood Game Night (1.2) — you’re playing in the minor leagues.
Let me know if you have any questions.
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