Scripted Series Not a Big Summer Draw for Networks

by | August 2, 2011 at 6:07 PM | TV News

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK — Television viewers aren’t too interested in scripted shows during the summer, at least not the shows that broadcast networks are offering.

Mostly, they’re reruns, and viewers are looking elsewhere.

Only three scripted series ranked among the Nielsen Co. top 10 last week: reruns of “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS, and the summer cop show from Canada, “Flashpoint.” The paucity is even more pronounced among those ages 18 to 49, where the only scripted show in the top 10 was a cartoon, “Family Guy.”

America’s Got Talent,” “The Bachelorette” and “Big Brother” were big draws last week, Nielsen said.

But not every unscripted show is a hit. Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” is fading, and ABC’s “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show” hasn’t taken off.  Both are winners compared to Jerry Seinfeld’s “The Marriage Ref” on NBC, which ranked No. 87 for the week with fewer than 3 million viewers.

It was a slow week overall for the networks, with only CBS averaging more than 5 million viewers in prime time.

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CBS’ average was 6 million (3.9 rating, 7 share). NBC had just less than 5 million (3.1, 5), ABC had 4.6 million (2.9, 5), Fox had 4.1 million (2.5, 4), ION Television had 1.2 million (0.8, 1) and the CW had 740,000 (0.5, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a prime-time average of 3.6 million viewers (1.9, 3), Telemundo had 910,000 (0.5, 1), TeleFutura had 490,000 (0.3, 0), Estrella had 200,000 and Azteca 180,000 (both 0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8 million viewers (5.3, 11). ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.3 million (4.9, 10) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.5 million viewers (3.6, 7).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of July 25-31, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 11.54 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 10.74 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 8.91 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 8.88 million; “Big Brother 13″ (Sunday), CBS, 8.17 million; “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 8.16 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 7.15 million; “Big Brother 13″ (Thursday), CBS, 7.12 million; “Big Brother 13″ (Wednesday), CBS, 6.84 million; “Flashpoint,” CBS, 6.8 million.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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