'Bee' soars on NBC; All-Star Game falters


NEW YORK -- Viewers swarmed to NBC's "Singing Bee" on Tuesday night as Fox's telecast of the All-Star Game dropped to near-historic lows.

The premiere of NBC's singing competition was the night's top show in viewership and the adults 18-49 demographic, according to data released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. "Singing Bee" averaged 13.1 million viewers and a 5.0 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, making "Bee" the top telecast in viewership and the demo on TV in the six weeks since the "House" finale.

And while baseball's All-Star Game beat "Bee" head-to-head by 300,000 viewers between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET, the game was stung by low ratings. It averaged 12.5 million viewers, well below last year's 14.4 million viewers for the game in Pittsburgh and just slightly ahead of the record low set in 2005 with 12.3 million viewers. It was, however, the highest total audience -- 31.4 million -- since 2004's 32.8 million and did better than any of the other big sports leagues' All-Star Games.

Meanwhile, NBC got a performance from a 90-minute "America's Got Talent" (11.2 million, 3.8/11) that at least in preliminary estimates beat the first 90 minutes of the All-Star telecast in the adults 18-49 demographic.

CBS came in a distant third place at 9 p.m. with "Big Brother" (6.8 million, 2.5/7). Not doing even as well was ABC, which came in fourth place with "According to Jim" repeats at 8 p.m. as well as a new episode of "Shaq's Big Challenge" (4.3 million, 1.5/4) followed by ABC's "Primetime: Family Secrets" (7.1 million, 2.4/7).

The top metered markets for the All-Star Game were St. Louis (18.9/29), Boston (16.5/29); Milwaukee (16.1/26); Detroit (15.7/25) and Minneapolis (14.8/27). San Francisco (14.5/20) was in the top 10 as was San Diego (14.1/24) and New York (13.3/23).

Tuesday averages: Fox (11.2 million, 3.5/10); NBC (10.7 million, 3.7/11); CBS (6.9 million, 2.1/6); ABC (5.3 million, 1.8/5); and the CW (1.3 million, 0.5/2).