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CBS Finally Breaks Out a Big Summer Premiere ... Which Fizzles in the Ratings TVbytheNumbers

CBS has been dialing it in with repeat programming for most of the summer, but the network finally broke out a fresh program Thursday night ... only to see it bow to unspectacular ratings.

“Big Brother” had its summer premiere at 9 p.m., pulling in a 2.6 average rating in the key 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnights reported by TVbytheNumbers.com. That number was down 7% from the show’s premiere a year ago, but what’s probably more disappointing, the show was down from its lead-in -- a rerun of “The Big Bang Theory,” which scored a 2.8 rating.

CBS still had enough juice to easily win the night -- even surrounding “Big Brother” with all repeats. CBS averaged a 2.1 rating in 18-49 for prime time, well ahead of Univision (1.4 average), ABC (1.3), Fox (1.2) and NBC (0.8). CBS came out on top in total viewers too, averaging 7.1 million for prime time to 5.1 million for ABC, 3.8 million for Univision, 3.4 million for NBC and 3.0 million for Fox.

ABC, Fox and NBC had little to cheer about in their prime-time numbers. ABC settled for a 1.0 in 18-49 for “Duets,” a 1.7 for “Wipeout” and a 1.3 for “Rookie Blue.” Fox averaged 1.2 with both “Take Me Out” and “The Choice.” And NBC settled for a 0.6 for “The Office,” a 0.5 for “Saving Hope” and a 1.2 for “Rock Center.”