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'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.

Will 'The Voice' ever find a Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood?

In 2002, 23 million viewers tuned in to watch Kelly Clarkson win the first season of American Idol, which translated to her debut post-show album, Thankful, selling 2.8 million albums to date, more than 2 million of which were sold in the first two years after its release. In 2011, 11.1 million viewers tuned in to watch Javier Colon win The Voice, which translated to his first album, Come Through for You, selling 46,000 copies to date, almost exactly two years later. So is Idol really just a better platform for musicians, or do these stats simply reveal the issue of a changing music industry?

No one can say for sure, but Idol‘s least successful winner, 2010’s Lee DeWyze, sold 146,000 albums, more than tripling Colon’s sales. Even Idol punch line William Hung sold 200,000 albums. And considering The Voice‘s season 2 winner, Jermaine Paul, hasn’t even released a debut album, maybe there is something missing from The Voice formula. Why can’t singers successfully transition from selling cover songs to selling albums of original music?

Tonys up over last year on CBS

CBS’ telecast of the 67th Annual Tony Awards saw a 20 percent bump in the key demo on Sunday, up from a 1.0 rating/3 share to a 1.2/3 and 7.7 million viewers. But the increase wasn’t enough to boost CBS up to first place in 18-49; that distinction that went to ABC, which aired Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Granted, the match-up between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat was down 21 percent from last summer’s Game 2 between Miami and Oklahoma but it still aired a 4.6/13 and averaged 11.5 million viewers. ABC began the night with Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night (1.9/7) and a pre-game show (1.9/7).

Fox came in third with reruns of its animated comedies. NBC aired repeats of The Voice and America’s Got Talent and came in fourth.

Tony Awards 2013: What they wore
Tony Awards 2013: 10 Big Moments


Showtime cancels 'The Borgias'

Showtime has canceled The Borgias, its period drama that stars Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI.

Season-to-date, the drama has been averaging 2.4 million weekly viewers across platforms. The final episode of the drama from Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) will air on June 16th at 10 p.m. ET/PT. “I never thought I would make a cable series and have enjoyed every minute of it,” said Jordan in a statement. “For a variety of reasons we won’t be doing a fourth season, but, ‘The Prince’ [the final episode], when I wrote it and shot it, did seem like the end of a journey for the family. Whatever bonded them as a family dies in this episode, and the center of the drama for me was always the family.”

Shot entirely on location in Budapest, the series is about the infamous Borgia dynasty and how Alexander VI built his empire by bribing, buying and muscling his way into the papacy. The cast included François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley, Lotte Verbeek, Sean Harris, Thure Lindhart and Gina McKee.

'America's Got Talent' gives NBC a win

NBC’s back-to-back talent shows helped the peacock to take Tuesday in adults 18-49 (3.1 rating/10 share) and viewers (10.9 million), despite their rather unremarkable results.

The Voice was down 6% percent in the demo (3.0/11) to earn its lowest-rated Tuesday results show ever, while the premiere of America’s Got Talent earned a 3.1/9, down 16% from last year’s start (when it had the advantage of bowing mid-May with a 3.7/10). Last night was also AGT’s lowest-rated season premiere ever.

But hey! It actually built on The Voice’s lead-in and was the most-watched show of the night with 11.1 million! So there’s that.

Fox was second for the night in the demo (1.6/5) thanks to its two-hour block of So You Think You Can Dance. ABC tied CBS for third in the demo (.9/3) despite having an original episode of Extreme Weight Loss (1.0/3) at 9. CBS aired back to back repeats of NCIS and NCIS: LA followed by week two of the new series Brooklyn D.A. (.8/2, down 20% from the premiere).

'Good Morning America' pulls away in ratings as 'Today' sinks

Even as Good Morning America solidifies its status as the most popular morning program, ABC isn’t the only network where executives have been smiling lately.

The CBS This Morning broadcast is actually growing at a faster rate, according to the Nielsen ratings company’s measurement of viewers during May. The CBS telecast, though, remains in third place behind Good Morning America and NBC’s struggling Today show.

It’s a remarkable time of viewer experimentation at a time of day when habits are often difficult to break. That has to be encouraging to CNN, which premieres its New Day morning program in two weeks.

During a newsy month, Good Morning America averaged 5.7 million viewers, up 10 percent from 2012. Its nearly million-viewer lead over Today, at 4.78 million, represents a dramatic shift; in May 2012, the two telecasts were nearly tied, with Today holding a slight lead. READ FULL STORY


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