ABC wipes out competition

Net's first series since '04 to debut atop the weekly ratings

The premiere of ABC's "Wipeout" was the highest-rated show last week, becoming the network's first series to debut in the weekly top spot since 2004's "Desperate Housewives."

"Wipeout" (10 million viewers, 3.7 rating/12 share in the key adults 18-49 demo) gave the network a foothold on what has become the most competitive night of the summer: The three top shows last week all aired Tuesday.

The obstacle-course competition also gave a strong lead-in for the premiere of "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" (8 million, 3.1/9). "Japanese Game Show" ranked seventh for the week and tied NBC's "America's Got Talent" (11.7 million, 3.1/9) for second place at 9 p.m., behind Fox's penultimate episode of "Hell's Kitchen" (7.8 million, 3./6/10). At 10 p.m., the premiere of ABC's "Primetime: The Outsiders" (6.6 million, 2.5/7) was second in the hour but ranked as the top-rated newsmagazine for the week.

ABC's premiere ratings streak was broken Friday night, however, with the debut of the reality series "Dance Machine" (3.6 million, 0.9/4) placing last at 8 p.m.

Overall, ABC came in third place for the week in the demo. Fox won the week led by "Kitchen," "So You Think You Can Dance" (8.3 million, 3.1/10) and "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (7.2 million, 1.8/6).

NBC placed second in the demo, driven by "Talent" and the series premiere of "The Baby Borrowers" (8 million, 2.9/9). The child-care reality series held up impressively against the Wednesday edition of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" and gave the network its best rating in the time period in six months.

NBC also debuted its game show "Celebrity Family Feud" (8.8 million, 2.3/8) against "Wipeout" and placed second for the hour with a fair debut rating.

CBS' top four shows last week were all Monday night repeats. "Swingtown" (5.6 million, 1.9/6) continued to decline yet still ranked first at 10 p.m. Thursday.

The CW aired repeats, with the Wednesday night finale of "Farmer Wants a Wife" (2.5 million, 1.0/3) spiking slightly.