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Thursday Overnights: ‘Big Brother’ Leads CBS to Victory

Summer Mainstay Up Eight Percent Year-to-Year


Household Rating/Share
CBS: 3.1/ 6, NBC: 2.8/ 5, Fox: 1.9/ 4, ABC: 1.7/ 3, CW: 1.0/ 2

-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
CW: +67, NBC: +17, Fox: no change, CBS: – 3, ABC: -23

-Ratings Breakdown:
“Big Brother” on CBS topped the night of original summer programming entries, with a 3.9 rating/7 share in the household overnights at 9 p.m. Comparably, this was a rise of eight percent over the 3.6/ 6 on the year-ago evening, and it will likely translate into another Top 5 finish for the week in adults 18-49. Tonight is a special “battle back” edition of “Big Brother” featuring one of the four ousted contestants – Cameron, Jillian, Cody and Dominque – competing to get back into the house. Go Dominque!

Elsewhere, the results were slim among the newbies on ABC and Fox. ABC’s Thursday combination of “Boy Band” (#4: 1.6/ 3), “Battle of the Network Stars” (#3: 1.8/ 3) and “The Gong Show” (#3: 1.7/ 3) is just not resonating. Note to Mike Myers: find a new agent. And Fox’s pairing of already renewed “Beat Shazam” (#3: 2.1/ 4) and the revival of “Love Connection” (#4: 1.7/ 3) trailed in the distant the No. 3 in the household overnights for the evening.

The standout on NBC was game show “The Wall” at a second-place 3.0/ 6 at 9 p.m., which increased from lead-in “Hollywood Game Night” (#2: 2.5/ 5 at 8 p.m.) by 20 percent. Also on CBS was “Zoo” at a deteriorating 1.8/ 3 at 10 p.m. (#2).

In week two news was CW docuseries “Hooten & the Lady” at a flat 0.7/ 1 (#5) at 9 p.m.

What follows is the breakdown by half-hour for Thursday, July 20:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “Boy Band”: 1.8/ 4 (#4)
CBS – “The Big Bang Theory” (R): 4.2/ 8 (#1)
NBC – “Hollywood Game Night”: 2.5/ 5 (#2)
Fox – “Beat Shazam”: 2.0/ 4 (#3)
CW – “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”: 1.2/ 2 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Boy Band”: 1.5/ 3 (#4)
CBS – “Life in Pieces” (R): 2.9/ 5 (#1)
NBC – “Hollywood Game Night”: 2.5/ 5 (#2)
Fox – “Beat Shazam”: 2.2/ 4 (#3)
CW – “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”: 1.3/ 2 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Battle of the Network Stars”: 1.9/ 3 (#3)
CBS – “Big Brother”: 4.0/ 7 (#1)
NBC – “The Wall”: 2.8/ 5 (#2)
Fox – “Love Connection”: 1.8/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Hooten & the Lady”: 0.7/ 1 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “Battle of the Network Stars”: 1.7/ 3 (#3t)
CBS – “Big Brother”: 3.8/ 7 (#1)
NBC – “The Wall”: 3.3/ 6 (#2)
Fox – “Love Connection”: 1.7/ 3 (#3t)
CW – “Hooten & the Lady”: 0.7/ 1 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “The Gong Show”: 1.8/ 3 (#3)
CBS – “Zoo”: 1.9/ 3 (#2)
NBC – “The Night Shift”: 2.8/ 5 (#1)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “The Gong Show”: 1.7/ 3 (#3)
CBS – “Zoo”: 1.8/ 3 (#3)
NBC – “The Night Shift”: 2.7/ 5 (#1)

Source: Nielsen Media Research


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  1. Marc, in the current television landscape, what is acceptable for a summer evening? Obviously, Big Brother is good. What about those NBC numbers? Are mid 2s ok?
    What would you think the danger line is…anything under a 2?

    • It depends Louis. Summer is dead, so if you can crack a 2-rating in adults 18-49 that’s really solid. It depends on where you are running, what the competition is and what the lead-in is. Look at Fox’s Beat Shazam…it barely registers and was renewed.



    “Big Brother” Tops the Night in A18-49, A25-54 and A18-34

    · At 9:00 PM, BIG BROTHER THURSDAY was first in viewers (5.88m), A18-49 (1.8, nc), A25-54 (2.2, nc) and A18-34 (1.3, up +8%), the night’s #1 program in all key demographics.

    · At 10:00 PM, ZOO averaged 2.89m, 0.6 in A18-49 (nc) and 0.7 in A25-54.

    · For the night, CBS was first in viewers (4.77m), A18-49 (1.1) and A25-54 (1.5).

  3. I don’t know why I just can’t get into BB this year or find time for it. I’m still loving BOTNS and glad to see it showing some consistency in the ratings and continuing to grow out of Boy Band. I think there’s interest in the show but it just needs a reboot and change in format. It needs to resemble a sporting event and I think if that happens you can see it go up in the ratings next summer.

    Boy Band has potential I agree with some other people on other sites that it needs to rebooted as well and be built through Idol as I just think nobody knows about it but the show isn’t that bad as the ratings make it look.

    Gong Show though I think is a goner there’s nothing about the show where it’s needed to return on ABC next year but it wouldn’t surprise me if ABC decided to bring it back either.

    • I have been sticking with BONS on DVR. I am enjoying it. I wish they would have an audience there. And I seem to like the team efforts more than the individual ones (tennis and soccer, for example)…although the obstacle course is my favorite and that is a single contender.

      • Yeah me too it’s the 5th episode in and I’m still enjoying even though the format doesn’t change week-to-week. I agree about the crowd they gotta add that in next season, ESPN Classic went back to replaying the older episodes of the original version on Thursday afternoons and the crowd makes a huge difference.

        You’re like me the team sports are way better than the individual ones and I think the reason for that is the show hasn’t done a good job at showcasing the individual sports on here they run through them fast and they’re not good. I would rather see a 3-on-3 battle of 21 on the basketball court like Ice Cube’s Big 3 does on FOX Sports. I’m with you as well the obstacle course is my favorite on here and what I look forward to the most on here because it’s dramatic and thrilling as well to watch.

        BOTNS has major potential to get way better, I think they ought to turn it into a live sporting competition next season and they need 2 hours clearly not 1.

        • That may be part of the problem, too. If they expanded to 90 minutes or two hours, there would be more time to see some of the events instead of them racing through them. I would love to see more relay races, too.

          Didn’t know that ESPNC was doing that. I may have to DVR that to try it out. My family used to watch the old one on Saturdays regularly.

          • Exactly and a lot of other people on other sites agree with you about expanding the timeslot to at least 90 minutes or 2 hours. Like you said it would show quite possibly the entire action of the sports and they can add in more races and other sports as well. I would completely throw out the Dunk Tank as that’s a time killer and not an athletic event and showcase short flag football, 3-on-3 basketball matches, and a full soccer or hockey game. Maybe a 3 inning baseball game on one week. They can change the sports up every week and keep the races in to start the show and end the show.

            Yeah ESPN Classic shows about 2-3 episodes per week. I’ve been DVRing it myself. I got about 10 episodes recorded and they’ve shown a rare one in episode 17 last week, I didn’t check yesterday’s yet because I wasn’t home but I’m going to check them today, next week they have 2 episodes but it’s the hour editions.

    • I like Boy Band if it comes back should be more like Idol as you said. Wonder if Boy Band winner will become big. I agree I think Gong Show is a goner only watched the first EP just wasn’t for me.

      • IMO, Boy Band is the wrong name for the show. I grew up in the 60’s so I know that bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Chicago, The Cars, etc., play instruments. These so-called boy bands like Backstreet Boys, NSync, One Direction, etc., are NOT bands; they do NOT play instruments. They are Boy Groups just like the Supremes, Three Degrees and others are Girl Groups. The correct name for the show should be Boy Group. Period.

        • I actually agree with you Tracy but it’s not the fault of the show this was more on the music industry never changing the name of these boy groups that started in the 80s not playing instruments. I’m like you in order to be called a band you must play instruments just like the groups you mentioned and we didn’t even call them boys we just called those classic 60s, 70s, and 80s groups bands.

          If girls can’t get the band name as they’re called girl groups then why can’t the boys be referred to as bands.

          I would love it if the show actually had some of the boys playing with instruments.

      • Yeah Boy Band has surpassed my expectations but they need to tweak it a little bit. It still has a chance of being bigger but I think they might have to add girl groups on here because that feels like the missing element of the show.

        Yeah Gong Show was pretty terrible and not for me either even though I watched the original but it’s a weird game show and I love game shows, ABC can easily replace it.

  4. I don’t understand CBS pumping LIP twice a week. They would have better tune in, pumping Mom twice a week.