TV Ratings: 'Big Brother' Slips (And Still Wins) in Season 20 Bow

BIG BROTHER - Group shot- Publicity-H 2018
Sonja Flemming/CBS

CBS perennial summer favorite Big Brother led the night for the broadcast networks in its Wednesday return, though the episode marked a premiere low for the venerable reality franchise.

Big Brother's 20th season started down roughly 15 percent from summer 2017, its previous low, averaging a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 and earning 5.3 million viewers. Both scores were easily enough to drive CBS to a nightly victory — and, while down, its showing in the key demo only trails NBC's unstoppable pairing of America's Got Talent and World of Dance in the summer ratings race thus far.

The series also helped lift Code Black, which earned a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' now-canceled drama is looking mighty good compared with some of the new scripted originals out there this summer. The latest episode of NBC's Reverie sank to a 0.3 rating among adults 18-49 and couldn't even muster 2 million viewers. Considering reality repeats do more than double that for the network, don't expect to see it on the schedule much longer.

Fox ranked No. 2 for the night with steady episodes of MasterChef (1.0 adults) and the speedily renewed 24 Hours to Hell and Back (1.1 adults), the latter improving ever so slightly from its second outing last week.