TV Ratings: 'Big Brother' Stays on Top

The CBS competition's final Thursday episode of the season is fairly steady and leads NFL-inflated programs on ABC and Fox.
Monty Brinton/CBS

The final Thursday episode of Big Brother finished on top of the ratings on a night when early numbers for three of the five English-language broadcast networks are inflated by local preemptions for sports.

Big Brother, which is entering its endgame for the season, scored a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.41 million viewers, both of which are down slightly from last week. NFL Network's Thursday Night Football telecast between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans will likely end up No. 1 across cable and broadcast, but Big Brother has a comfortable lead among the broadcast networks.

The ABC affiliate in Jacksonville aired TNF, so the network's numbers will likely come down in the finals. News special The Last Days of Phil Hartman is currently at 0.7 in adults 18-49 and 3.93 million viewers.

Fox is also artificially high thanks to its Nashville affiliate airing football. The network's national Major League Baseball broadcast is at 2.95 million viewers and 0.7 in adults 18-49; last week, baseball drew about 1.75 million viewers. It's a similar situation with The CW, where The Outpost (0.2) and Two Sentence Horror Stories (0.2) are inflated because of a baseball preemption in New York.

On NBC, a Downton Abbey special ahead of the movie's release earned a 0.4 in adults 18-49 and 2.83 million viewers. A Paley Center salute to The Good Place, which is entering its final season, drew a 0.2 and 1.34 million viewers.

CBS, ABC and Fox all averaged 0.7 in adults 18-49 in primetime, pending updates for the latter two. NBC is at 0.3 and The CW at 0.2.

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