NBC's 'Bee' bow a keeper

Ratings slide for All-Star Game

Viewers swarmed to NBC's "Singing Bee" on Tuesday night as Fox's telecast of baseball's 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. "Bee" averaged 13.3 million viewers and a 5.1 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, making it the top telecast in viewership and the demo on TV in the six weeks since the "House" finale on Fox.

And while the All-Star Game beat "Bee" head-to-head by 300,000 viewers from 9:30-10 p.m. EDT, the game was stung by low ratings. It averaged 12.5 million viewers, well below last year's 14.4 million viewers for the contest 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 major sports' All-Star Games.

Meanwhile, NBC got a performance from a 90-minute "America's Got Talent" (11.4 million, 3.9/12) 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, 2.6/7). Not doing as well was ABC, which came in fourth place with "According to Jim" repeats starting at 8 p.m. as well as a new episode of "Shaq's Big Challenge" (4.2 million, 1.5/4) and ABC's "Primetime: Family Secrets" (7.2 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).

For Tuesday, Fox averaged 11.9 million viewers and a 3.7/12 in the adults 18-49 demo, followed by NBC (10.7 million, 3.7/11), CBS (7 million, 2.1/6), ABC (5.3 million, 1.8/5) and the CW (1.3 million, 0.5/1).