Two Reality Powerhouses Wage a Fierce Ratings Battle, Finish Within a Whisker of Each Other

Aug 7, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Wednesday’s prime-time broadcast schedule saw two veteran reality franchises battle to a virtual standoff in the ratings, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo, as their networks finished in a dead heat for first place overall.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that CBS and NBC both wound up with 1.4 average ratings for prime time to lead the other broadcast nets, with NBC surging ahead in total viewers. NBC’s average of 7.2 million total viewers for prime time bettered CBS’s 5.6 million.

But CBS’s “Big Brother” got the better of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in the key demo — if only by the thinnest margin. “Brother” delivered a 2.1 average in viewers 18-49 to wind up as the top show of the night on broadcast prime, just ahead of NBC’s “Talent,” which came in with a 2.0.

Both shows were down 9% from a week ago, and for the NBC competition franchise, the number equaled a series low. “Big Brother” aired in the 8 p.m. hour, with “America’s Got Talent” rolling out at 9 p.m.

No other programs on broadcast prime came close, with the next best number in 18-49 delivered by a “Modern Family” repeat on ABC, which came in with a 1.2 average.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” recap at 8 p.m. settled for a 1.1 average in the 18-49 demo, while the network’s 10 p.m. show “Taxi Brooklyn” equaled its 1.0 from a week ago.

CBS led out from “Brother” with a “Criminal Minds” repeat (1.0 average in 18-49), followed by a series low for “Extant” with a 1.0 average, slipping 9% from last week.

Fox’s two-hour “So You Think You Can Dance” held steady, equaling its 1.1 average in 18-49 from a week ago, as most of the shows on broadcast prime finished in the 1.0-1.1 range. ABC wound up in fifth place overall with an all-repeat lineup.

For prime time overall, NBC and CBS led the way with 1.4 averages in viewers 18-49, followed by Univision (1.3 average), Fox (1.1) and ABC (0.8). NBC won total viewers with 7.2 million, topping CBS (5.6 million), Fox (3.7 million), ABC (3.23 million) and Univision (3.16 million).

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