'America's Got Talent' dominates summer TV

NEW YORK, N.Y. – There’s little doubt that “America’s Got Talent” is the nation’s favourite television show of the summer.

The NBC talent show, this summer augmented by the addition of Simon Cowell as a judge, was seen by 12.8 million people on Wednesday, the Nielsen company said. That’s more than four million viewers more than any other program on the air last week.

NBC is stretching its schedule with a Wednesday night showing of “America’s Got Talent” highlights, and that finished as the third most-watched program for the week, Nielsen said.

A week after Fox hit a new low for one of the top four networks with a weekly viewership average of 1.96 million, it slipped to 1.94 million last week. Only one of its programs finished among Nielsen’s top 50.

The week of July Fourth is typically one of the least-watched weeks of television during the year, if not the least-watched.

NBC, which was also boosted by televising Olympic trials, led the networks with a 5.9 million prime-time average. CBS had 4.5 million, ABC had 3.8 million, Fox had 1.9 million, Univision had 1.5 million, Telemundo had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.3 million and the CW had 830,000.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.41 million viewers during a busy news week. HGTV had 1.62 million, USA had 1.4 million, History had 1.33 million and Disney had 1.31 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” narrowly topped the evening news ratings with an average of 7.8 million. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 7.7 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.6 million.

For the week of July 4-10, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 12.81 million; “Olympic Trials” (Sunday), NBC, 8.58 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 8.48 million; “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 7.43 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.35 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 7.34 million; “The $100,000 Pyramid,” ABC, 7.12 million; “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks,” NBC, 7.03 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 6.79 million; “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 6.182 million.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.