Fox stretches victory streak to 22 in demo

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Fox Broadcasting Co. last week made it 22 consecutive weeks atop the ratings heap in the adults 18-49 demographic.

The latest victory was fueled by "Hell's Kitchen" in a relatively tepid summer holiday week. Fox averaged an 1.8 rating/6 share in adults 18-49, ahead of second-place CBS' 1.6/5, according to Nielsen Media Research data. It was the first time a network has won 22 consecutive weeks since NBC did it in 1998.

Meanwhile, cable scored well over the weekend. Bravo saw its highest ratings ever for a Saturday with its 18-hour Live Earth telecast, much better than sibling NBC could boast for the primetime broadcast. And TNT's Pepsi 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup race, which didn't have national commercial interruptions, won the night Saturday among all of broadcast and cable in 18-49 and other demographics.

The holiday week began Monday with a win by Fox with "Kitchen" (8.1 million, 3.9/11), which was the top show for the night in 18-49, easily crushing NBC's "Age of Love" (4.8 million, 1.8/5). Tuesday belonged to NBC's "America's Got Talent" (6.7 million, 2.1/8).

Independence Day gave NBC the win thanks to the "Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks" special (7.6 million, 2.2/8), which did better than CBS' 10 p.m. "Boston Pops Fireworks" special (6.6 million, 1.5/6).

Two repeat hours of Fox's "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" (8.2 million, 2.6/5) gave the network the win against CBS, which had "Big Brother" (7.4 million, 2.7/9) and "Pirate Master" (5.1 million, 1.8/5). CBS won at 10 p.m. with a repeat of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (9.4 million, 2.7/8).

Saturday's TNT coverage of the Pepsi 400 scored 6.2 million viewers and was nearly the top show on either broadcast or cable, passed only by a 10 p.m. repeat of CBS' "48 Hours Mystery" (6.7 million, 1.7/6). The race was the top show in adults 18-49 for either broadcast or cable and far surpassed NBC's Live Earth primetime telecast (2.7 million viewers, 0.9/3).

Bravo had better luck with its all-day, all-night coverage from Giants Stadium in New Jersey, where it said at least 7.9 million viewers watched at least six minutes of the telecast that began at 9 a.m. EDT and ended at 2:30 a.m. EDT Sunday. Total viewers were 740,000, up 101% compared with Bravo's four-week average of 369,000 for a Saturday. There were an average 433,000 adults 18-49 compared with the four-week average of 203,000 for a Saturday. The peak was at 9 p.m. EDT Saturday, when 1.3 million viewers tuned in.

Nielsen Media Research doesn't rate the Sundance Channel, which carried the global feed of Live Earth.

Sunday belonged to CBS in viewership and Fox in the demo. But "Big Brother" (5.8 million, 2.1/7) was stomped by a repeat of "The Simpsons" (5.2 million, 2.6/8), while the second of repeat "Family Guy" episodes (6.3 million, 3.4/9) was the top show in the demo Sunday night.

ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" won the week in viewership and the adults 25-54 demographic for the 11th straight week. ABC's newscast averaged 7.5 million viewers and a 1.8/8 in adults 25-54, compared with "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" (6.8 million, 1.6/7) and "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" (5.6 million, 1.5/6). It was the largest gap between ABC and NBC since the week of May 14. It also marked NBC's lowest delivery in viewership and adults 25-54 in the history of people meters as well as the lowest in adults 25-54 in that er for both ABC and CBS as well.

In primetime, Fox (4.8 million, 1.8/6) was tops in adults 18-49, while CBS (6.3 million, 1.6/5) won the viewership crown for the week ending Sunday. The other networks were ABC (4.2 million, 1.4/5), NBC (4.9 million, 1.5/5) and the CW (0.6/2).
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