Shows featuring dancing, dating, dousing woo summer viewers; World Cup final sets US record

By David Bauder, AP
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dancing, dating, dousing shows dominate prime time

NEW YORK — As befitting a lazy week in midsummer, prime-time television was dominated by mentally untaxing fare with dancing, dating and dousings.

None of them involved LeBron James. The Miami Heat forward’s ESPN special to announce his new employer was seen Thursday by nearly 10 million people, higher than all but three prime-time programs on the broadcast networks last week.

The Nielsen Co.’s top 15 programs included two editions of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” contest, two editions of CBS’ crowded house reality series “Big Brother” and two editions of ABC’s “Wipeout,” where hapless contestants try to avoid being dunked in water while circumventing a huge obstacle course. ABC’s “The Bachelorette” was behind only NBC’s talent show as the top reality series.

One of the few new scripted programs on a broadcast network, ABC’s “Rookie Blue,” earned an order from the network for a second season after drawing 6.2 million viewers last week. It will probably be back next summer.

That bodes well for the new TNT drama with Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, “Rizzoli & Isles,” another police show that drew 7.6 million people for its premiere this Monday. That’s the biggest audience ever for the debut of a scripted series on a basic cable network, TNT said.

Spain’s victory over the Netherlands for soccer’s World Cup on Sunday afternoon was seen by 24.4 million on ABC and Univision, setting a record for a men’s soccer telecast in the United States, Nielsen said.

For the week, CBS led with an average of 6.3 million viewers in prime time (4.0 rating, 7 share). NBC had 5.2 million (3.2, 6), ABC had 4.9 million (3.1, 6), Fox had 4.3 million (2.7, 5), ION Television had 1.1 million and the CW had 1 million (both 0.7, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.5 million average (1.8, 3) and for the second straight week was the third-ranked network of any language among viewers ages 18 to 49. Telemundo had 620,000 (0.4, 1), Telefutura had 480,000 (0.3, 1), Estrella had 90,000 and Azteca had 80,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.6 million viewers (5, 11). ABC’s “World News” was second with 6.9 million (4.7, 10) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million viewers (3.5, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,149,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of July 5-11, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 11.95 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 11.82 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 10.74 million; “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 9.15 million; “Wipeout” (Tuesday), ABC, 8.76 million; “The Mentalist,” CBS, 8.64 million; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 8.58 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 8.51 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 8.32 million; “Wipeout” (Thursday), 7.89 million.

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.


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