8:35am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: '$100,000 Pyramid' Tops Strong First Night for ABC's New Game Block
ABC rolled out its three-hour block of game shows on Sunday. Despite last year's successful launch of Celebrity Family Feud, it was the Michael Strahan-hosted $100,000 Pyramid that topped broadcast for night — even though it went head-to-head with HBO's finale of Game of Thrones.
Pyramid, one of three nostalgic games ABC is banking on this summer, bowed with a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 and nearly 8 million viewers. That made it the most-watched Big Four telecast of the evening, and it narrowly out-rated the three-way tie for runner-up in the key demographic.
Neighboring ABC games Celebrity Family Feud (off 37 percent from last summer's exceptionally strong launch) and the launch of Match Game both averaged solid 1.5 ratings among adults 18-49. They tied the Sunday bow of Big Brother, which was off slightly from the 2015 time slot premiere.
It's a promising start for ABC, which went all-in on the on revamped game shows after last summer's strong initial primetime run from the Steve Harvey-hosted Feud. Current Disney golden boy Strahan was recruited for Pyramid, and Alec Baldwin signed on for Match Game. The coming Sundays won't be quite so competitive with HBO's winningest line-up — Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep — now off the air until 2017.
Gearing up for Rio De Janeiro, NBC saw a solid performance from U.S. Olympic trials for diving (0.7 adults), swimming (1.0 adults) and gymnastics (1.4 adults).