CBS wins in viewers amid demo gloom


CBS and ABC last week fell to their lowest ratings in the adults 18-49 demographic since the late-1980s introduction of people meters.

It still was enough for CBS to win the week in viewership, while Fox — the most successful last week with original reality — won in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research, with a 2.2 rating.  NBC, which had a 2.1 rating,  also had the top two shows for the week in the demo, "America's Got Talent" and "Dateline."

CBS and ABC are the second and third networks to reach historic lows in the ratings so far this summer, with NBC already having its worst week ever this month thanks to a particularly low-rated Stanley Cup Finals.

ABC suffered from the fact that there wouldn't be a sixth and seventh game of the NBA Finals as well as low ratings for its repeat serialized dramas and originals like "Fast Cars & Superstars." CBS had its own ratings woes with "Creature Comforts" and "Pirate Master," its two originals. CBS probably will do better beginning next week with the three-times-a-week "Big Brother."

NBC got the week started Monday with wins in the demo and viewership, led by "Dateline" (12.2 million, 4.1 rating/12 share in the adults 18-49 demographic), which featured Matt Lauer's interview with British Princes Harry and William. NBC also was respectable with "Deal or No Deal" (12.1 million, 3.1/10), though not so much with its new reality entry "Age of Love" (6.9 million, 2.5/7), which lost a lot of ground between the two heavyweights. Fox did respectable business with "Hell's Kitchen" (7.6 million, 2.5/7), giving it second place for the night.

NBC won again Tuesday thanks to "Talent" (12.5 million, 4.4/14), which gave it the best ratings since its 2006 premiere. NBC also won at 10 p.m. with a repeat "Law & Order: SVU" (9.5 million, 3.0/9). Wednesday went to Fox, with "So You Think You Can Dance" (9.2 million, 3.8/12) crushing all of the other originals, including ABC's "American Inventor" (6.1 million, 2.1/6), NBC's "Last Comic Standing" (6 million, 2.6/8) and ABC's drama "Traveler" (4.5 million, 1.6/5).

Fox made it two in a row with a victory Thursday thanks to "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" (9.2 million, 2.9/10) and "So You Think You Can Dance" (9 million, 3.4/11). ABC's troubles in repeat serialized drama were evident Thursday, with "Grey's Anatomy" averaging 3.5 million viewers and a 1.1/3 at 9 p.m. and 4.1 million viewers and a 1.4/4 at 10 p.m. "Grey's" was beaten at 10 p.m. by the canceled "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (4.4 million, 1.8/5).

It didn't get much better for ABC on Friday, when "Kyle XY" (2.8 million, 0.8/3) and "National Bingo Night" (3.4 million, 0.9/3) failed to generate much enthusiasm. It was hard for ABC on Sunday, too, with "Desperate Housewives" (3.2 million, 1.2/3) and "Brothers & Sisters" (2.7 million, 0.9/3) finding rough sledding. CBS, too, had trouble: Episodes of the usually formidable "Without a Trace" and "Cold Case" couldn't crack 1.6 ratings in the demo, and all three hours Sunday were less than 8 million viewers. Fox won in the demo for the night thanks to a repeat "Family Guy" (4.6 million, 2.3/7).

In viewership, CBS (7.1 million, 1.7/5) led the way for the week, with NBC (6.3 million, 2.1/7) and Fox (5.3 million, 2.1/7) tying in adults 18-49, followed by ABC (4 million, 1.4/4), the CW (1.9 million, 0.7/2) and MyNetworkTV (880,000, 0.4/1).