'Talent' puts on a show

NBC reality hit edges 'Wipeout' to win week

"America's Got Talent" overthrew summer chart-topper "Wipeout" to become the highest-rated show last week.

NBC's "Talent" (13.9 million viewers and a 3.7 rating/10 share in the key adults 18-49 demographic) grew 9% this week in the demo to edge out ABC's obstacle-course competition to lead the pack. Among total viewers, the "Talent" episodes this summer mark the seven-most-watched primetime telecasts since the May season finale of "Lost."

"Wipeout" (9.7 million, 3.6/11) was no slouch, either, down only a tenth this round to place second for the week.

NBC came within a tenth of first place. The network won Sunday night thanks to the return of its NFL coverage with a preseason Washington Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts game (7.5 million, 2.6/8) that posted double-digit gains from a comparable matchup last year. The rising tide seemed to lift "Last Comic Standing" (5 million, 1.9/6), up 12% for the week.

As for NBC's freshman reality series "The Baby Borrowers" (5.4 million, 2.1/6), the show that launched with bang concluded with a relative whimper, matching its season low.

Fox was once again in first place, which it has been for 29 out of the past 30 weeks. Fox was led by dual episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance." Although both shows won their respective nights, the Wednesday outing (8.8 million, 3.0/8) was the lowest-rated episode of the series on that night since 2005.

ABC and CBS tied for third place in the demo, with CBS placing first in total viewers for the eighth time this season.

Shaking up its lineup seemed to help CBS on Thursdays, with "Big Brother" (6.4 million, 2.3/8) and "Flashpoint" (7.7 million, 1.9/6) boasting time-period increases. But displaced shows "Greatest American Dog" (5.2 million, 1.5/5) and "Swingtown" (4.1 million, 1.2/4) fared worse in their new slots.

ABC continues to post overall gains versus last year. Tuesday night's "Primetime" (7.7 million, 2.4/7) paid tribute to "The Last Lecture" author Randy Pausch and made it into the top 10 shows for the week. Monday's new reality lineup continued to limp, with "High School Musical: Get in the Picture" (3.5 million, 1.0/3) and "Wanna Bet" 3.4 million, 1.2/3) up a notch but placing last in their time periods.

Overall, Fox notched 5.1 million viewers and a 1.8 rating/6 share in adults 18-49, followed by NBC (5.7 million, 1.7/6), CBS (6.3 million, 1.5/5), ABC (4.4 million, 1.5/5), the CW (1.5 million, 0.5/2) and MyNet (880,000, 0.3/1). (partialdiff)