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'Big Brother' posts best Wednesday ratings this summer

Did more people show up to see if Amanda’s on her way out?

Wednesday’s episode of Big Brother on CBS — during which Amanda almost drowned in a pool of tears over losing the veto competition to her showmance McCrae  — attracted its largest audience of the summer. The episode won its 8 p.m. time slot in viewers (6.60 million), adults 18-49 (2.2 rating/7 share) and adults 25-54 (2.8/7), according to Nielsen. It was also up 5% and 8% in adults 18-49 and 25-54, respectively, from the previous week.

Overall, the show consistently wins its three time periods in key demos.




'Longmire' hits season high in ratings heading into finale

As A&E’s Longmire heads toward its season 2 finale on Monday, it continues to improve with viewers. This week’s penultimate episode hit a season high in the show’s key demo, adults 25-54, with 1.38 million viewers in the demo and a 1.16 rating.

Monday’s episode, in total, had 4.12 million viewers, its best performance since the season 2 premiere back in May. And with adults 18-49, Longmire roped in 997,000 viewers and a .79 rating. All in all, it remains one of A&E’s most-watched scripted series among total viewers.

The Longmire season 2 finale airs Monday at 10 p.m. ET on A&E.

'Shark Week' posts best ratings ever

Dang, you people dig sharks: Discovery reports that its annual Shark Week posted the highest ratings ever in its 26-year history. The week of programming from Aug. 4 to Aug. 10 also pulled in a record number of eyeballs in the persons 18-49 demo.

The bragging rights continued among men 18-49 demo: Shark Week helped Discovery to become the No. 1 network in all of TV among dudes, including broadcast and cable.  Many of the network’s shark programming enjoyed high-rated premieres in persons 18-49, including Voodoo Sharks, I Escaped Jaws, Great White Serial Killer and Great White Gauntlet.

A lot of the network’s success rests on the special Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, a mockumentary that questioned whether a giant prehistoric shark could still exist today. Though it averaged a record 4.8 million viewers, some questioned whether it toyed with the network’s reputation. “With a whole week of Shark Week programming ahead of us, we wanted to explore the possibilities of Megalodon,” Shark Week executive producer Michael Sorensen said in a statement. “It’s one of the most debated shark discussions of all time, can Megalodon exist today? It’s Ultimate Shark Week fantasy. The stories have been out there for years and with 95 percent of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?”

'Breaking Bad' premieres huge

No surprise here: The Sunday, Aug. 11, premiere of Breaking Bad brought huge ratings for cable channel AMC, delivering 5.9 million viewers, the most in series history and up 102 percent over the show’s season 5 premiere last summer.

With 3.6 million viewers among adults 18-49, Breaking Bad is second only to AMC’s The Walking Dead in delivery to this key demographic across all cable networks.

Additionally, AMC premiered its newest dramatic series Low Winter Sun, which attracted 2.5 million viewers. Following that, Talking Bad — hosted by Chris Hardwick and featuring discussion and analysis of Breaking Bad — debuted with 1.2 million viewers.

Missed the edge-of-your-seat episode? Check out EW’s recap and read some zany theories.

'Naked and Afraid' ratings: Surprise! Dudes love the stripped-down survival show

Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid was a ratings winner Sunday night, according to Nielsen figures, coming in second, with 3.62 million viewers overall and 1.6 million viewers in the 18-49 age group, and first among men.

Each week in the survival reality series, a man and a woman attempt to survive the wilderness sans food, water, and clothing. This latest iteration of the survival show edged out an overly clothed and accessorized Keeping Up With the Kardashians (2.83 million viewers), a legally embattled Real Housewives of New Jersey (2.48 million viewers), and the Will-iverse known as The Newsroom (1.8 million viewers). Naked and Afraid was only topped by HBO’s True Blood coming in at 4.36 million viewers.

In particular, the au naturel reality show performed well among male viewers, as it was the No. 1 ad-supported program in the 25-54 category and the 18-49 category on Sunday. After all, there’s nothing like kicking back on God’s rest day with a cold brewski, a comfy couch, and some naked people going NC-17 fishing. Or at least until Sunday Night Football returns.

'Big Brother' ratings surge continues


Time for more mixed feelings about Big Brother‘s growing ratings.

The CBS reality show’s numbers rose once again on Wednesday night in the wake of heavily publicized racist comments made by a housemate on the show.

Big Brother had 5.9 million viewers and a 2.0 rating last night, jumping 18 percent from the previous week. The spike still didn’t help CBS’ new reality contest American Baking Competition (1.1), which had its finale.

The night was topped by the time-period premiere of NBC’s America’s Got Talent (2.7), which led into the modest premiere of new series Camp (1.5). Fox’s MasterChef (2.1) was down 13 percent from its last original episode a couple weeks ago.

'Under the Dome': Few viewers escape second week


Under the Dome did a good job of keeping the lid on most of its viewership for its second episode on Monday night.

The CBS thriller had 11.5 million viewers and a 2.8 rating, down only 15 percent from last week’s record-setting premiere and easily winning the night.

Meanwhile, the return of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior lost its grip (4.9 million, 1.7), the two-hour premiere slipped 29 percent from last summer’s opener. ABC’s The Bachelorette (6.2 million, 2.0) topped Ninja to win the 8 to 10 p.m. slot.

'Dexter' season 8 smashes ratings records


Dexter is continuing its ratings winning steak right to the end.

For the eighth season in a row, Showtime’s serial killer thriller broke viewership records for its season premiere — and that’s despite airing in the summer for the first time. Dexter‘s final season debuted to 2.5 million viewers, edging out last year’s premiere by 4 percent. Including its repeat, Dexter had 3.2 million for the night. If you want to see the episode, here’s an edited version below.

Aided by this big lead in, new drama Ray Donovan had Showtime’s most-watched original series premiere ever with 1.4 million viewers at 10 p.m. and 2.2 million for the night. Total sampling on Donovan, including On Demand, brings its overall pilot viewing tally to 3 million viewers.

Check out the return of our Dexter recaps here. Also: See our interviews with stars Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter. Here’s the Dexter premiere: READ FULL STORY

'Big Brother' ties weakest premiere ever


Maybe CBS should put the housemates under a dome.

Veteran summer reality series Big Brother tied its weakest start in the show’s history Wednesday night. The 8 p.m. launch of the show’s 15th edition had 6.3 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49, down 19 percent from last year and matching the show’s all-time debut low from 2008. Meanwhile the grandly titled The American Baking Competition shifted to 9 p.m. and was unchanged this week with 5 million viewers and a 1.2 rating.

Big Brother (here’s our recap) tied the 8 p.m. edition of MasterChef in the adult demo, but the 9 p.m. hour of the Fox reality show surged to a 2.4 rating and won the night. The Big Brother dip follows CBS having a ratings victory earlier this week with the premiere of summer drama Under the Dome.

'Catfish' return catches more viewers

The season two return of the MTV docu-series Catfish: The TV Show averaged a 2.2 rating among persons 12-34 — making it the No. 1 cable show of the day in the young demo, according to Nielsen.

The episode also posted record ratings in teens (2.1) and female teens (3.2). Overall, it averaged 2.5 million viewers.

The docuseries was a hit on Twitter as well, where it generated 800,000 mentions over the the course of the day.

The July 2 episode will tell the story of an Iraq veteran captivated by “a sensitive mystery man.”

‘Catfish': Nev Schulman says season 2 features ‘success stories’
‘Catfish’ season 2 trailer: ‘Hi Nev, I need help in meeting my fiance’ — VIDEO

'Skywire' tightrope walk breaks ratings record


Discovery’s tightrope-walking stunt not only made history, it also broke a few of the network’s ratings records.

Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda averaged 8.5 million viewers Sunday night across the show’s two-and-a-half hours. The live coverage peaked with 13 million viewers during the walk segment (from 9:10 to 10:20 p.m. ET).

The Grand Canyon crossing marked Discovery’s highest-rated live event ever in all key demos, and was the network’s top-rated special in 13 years (since Walking With Dinosaurs and Raising the Mammoth).

For those who missed it, Wallenda became the first person to ever successfully walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. Watch for yourself below:

'Devious Maids' ratings not so bueno


One thing about Lifetime’s Devious Maids that wasn’t stereotypical: The ratings.

The new drama series from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry got off to a somewhat sluggish start on Sunday night, delivering 2 million viewers for its premiere episode. By comparison, other Lifetime dramas such as Drop Dead Diva, The Client List and Army Wives have pulled numbers closer to the 3 million mark (Client and Drop Dead both had 2.8 million for their premieres).

The show follows the lives of four Latina maids working amongst the rich and crazy in SoCal. Critics have given the show mixed-to-positive reviews. Here’s EW’s reaction to the premiere, which noted “it’s refreshing to see four talented Latina actresses highlighted and given prominent roles on a primetime television series, but it is still problematic that they all play stereotypical sexy and ‘spicy’ Latina maids.”

'True Blood' returns with less bite


HBO’s True Blood returned with less bite in the ratings this summer, though competition from the NBA Finals might have been to blame.

The sixth season of the vampire drama debuted to 4.5 million viewers Sunday evening, down 13 percent from last year. But last summer the show wasn’t against ABC’s coverage of the basketball championships.

The premiere number is on par with the third season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones, a show that’s frequently stacked against True Blood in ratings comparisons (Blood‘s first telecast Sunday was slightly higher than the first airing of Thrones in April, yet its full Sunday night tally, including a repeat, was lower than the fantasy drama). Thrones recently edged out TB to have HBO’s second most-watched drama season ever behind The Sopranos.


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