TV Ratings: 'Big Brother' Leads Football-Inflated Night

Early ratings are artificially high thanks to a host of football pre-emptions in teams' local markets.
Monty Brinton/CBS

A majority of NFL teams played their first preseason games Thursday night, inflating ratings across the broadcast networks as stations in a host of markets pre-empted regular programming. Fast national numbers for just about every show are inflated and will likely come down in the afternoon's final ratings.

With that caveat, CBS' Big Brother claimed its usual spot atop the adults 18-49 leaderboard, with a preliminary 1.3 rating in the demographic. Elementary is currently at a 0.6.

Fox's Masterchef was close behind with a 1.2 in adults 18-49, pending updates, while Spin the Wheel is at 1.0 in the fast nationals. ABC's Holey Moley (1.1), Family Food Fight (0.9) and Reef Break (0.7) are all well above their season averages with NFL pre-emptions factored in. 

At The CW, The Outpost is at 0.2 in the fast nationals, while Two Sentence Horror Stories premiered with a 0.3, pending updates.

The most obvious NFL inflation comes at NBC, where reruns of The Wall (1.0), Hollywood Game Night (1.1) and Law & Order: SVU are way above average. Two weeks ago the same lineup (with an original Game Night) averaged 0.5.

As expected, the final ratings brought significant downward adjustments. Adults 18-49 averages for individual shows (originals only) and the networks are below.

ABC: Holey Moley, 0.5; Family Food Fight, 0.3; Reef Break, 0.2
CBS: Big Brother, 1.0; Elementary, 0.4
Fox: Masterchef, 0.7; Spin the Wheel, 0.5
The CW: The Outpost, 0.1; Two Sentence Horror Stories, 0.1

Network averages: CBS, 0.6; Fox, 0.6; NBC, 0.4; ABC, 0.3; The CW, 0.1.

Bookmark THR.com/Ratings for more ratings news and numbers.

Aug. 9, 1:55 p.m. Updated with final ratings figures.