'Talent' back in form

Earns best rating for non-sports programs this summer

After weeks of summer reality shows steadily dropping in the ratings, NBC's "America's Got Talent" pulled off a surprising reversal Tuesday night.

The second week of NBC's competition series surged in the Nielsens and was watched by more viewers than any non-sports program so far this summer on broadcast or cable.

"Talent" attracted 13.2 million viewers and a 3.7 rating in the key adults 18-49 demographic, up 16% from its premiere.

One reason for the rise might have been the show's lead-in, a "Talent" repeat (8.2 million, 2.3) that drew far more viewers than "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" brought to the time period in recent weeks. Or because the premiere was the lowest "Talent" opener ever, the gain could simply be because of some fans returning late to the show.

"Talent" featured a song by a Kevin Skinner, a former chicken catcher with a warm country voice that some critics said was a Susan Boyle-like moment for the U.S. version of the show.

NBC won the night. CBS placed second with repeats and "48 Hours Mystery: Michael Jackson, Picking Up the Pieces" (8 million, 2.0), which won 10 p.m.

ABC and Fox tied for third with averages of 1.0 each. Fox had a movie; ABC featured an all-original lineup: the second episode of "The Superstars" (4 million, 1.3) falling 13%, "Better Off Ted" (1.8 million, 0.6) and "Primetime" (3.6 million, 0.9).