TV Ratings: 'Big Brother' Leads, '20/20' Aretha Franklin Tribute Boosts ABC

Aretha Franklin onstage 2 - Elton John AIDS Foundation New York Fall Gala 2017 - Getty-H 2018
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NFL preseason games preempted regular lineups on ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates in some major markets Thursday, so numbers for those networks are more likely than usual to change in the final ratings.

With that said, Big Brother will once again hold onto its title as Thursday's top show among adults 18-49. It's currently at a 1.8 rating, and while that number will probably adjust down (CBS had preemptions in Boston and Pittsburgh), it's still well ahead of everything else that aired in primetime Thursday.

A 20/20 special about the life of Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday, scored a 0.8 for ABC, pending updates. Match Game (0.8) and Take Two (0.6) are also on the high side and will probably adjust down after factoring out preemptions in New York City and Washington, D.C.

NBC's Trial & Error is currently at 0.9 and 0.7 for its two episodes. The network was preempted for NFL games in Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Green Bay, so the show will probably end up around its usual 0.4-0.5. 

Fox aired a NASCAR Truck Series race in primetime — priming the pump for the arrival of primetime NFL games Thursdays starting in late September — and averaged 0.4.

CBS averaged a 1.2 in the 18-49 demo in primetime, pending updates. ABC and NBC tied for second at 0.8, followed by Fox at 0.4 and The CW at 0.2.

In late night, The Late Show and The Tonight Show tied for the 18-49 lead at 11:35 p.m., each scoring a 0.5 in metered markets. Jimmy Kimmel Live! came in at 0.4. At 12:35 a.m., The Late Late Show, Late Night and Nightline all averaged 0.3.

As predicted, the final numbers brought downward adjustments after factoring out the local NFL broadcasts. Here are the final 18-49 ratings for Thursday's original shows.

ABC: 20/20 Aretha Franklin special, 0.6; Match Game, 0.5; Take Two, 0.4

CBS: Big Brother, 1.7 (ties season high)

Fox: NASCAR Truck Series (live), 0.3

NBC: Trial & Error, 0.5 at 9 p.m.; 0.4 at 9:30

Final network averages: CBS 1.0, NBC 0.6, ABC 0.5, Fox 0.3, The CW 0.2.

Aug. 17, 1:30 p.m. Updated with final ratings numbers.