Summer TV: Fox Leads Prime-Time, CBS Overall
This summer, TV ratings results seem like a repeat of a year ago -- but with one change for NBC.
Fox is leading among key 18-49 prime-time viewers with an average Nielsen 2.29 million number -- but it's down 12% from a year ago. Close on its heels, ABC is next at 2.27 million, down 9% versus a year ago.
NBC, getting a little end-of-the-season draft of "The Voice" episodes spilling into the summer period, has been very competitive with 2.19 million 18-49 viewers, up 2%. It is the only English-language network to rise versus a year ago. CBS lands last with 1.7 million 18-49 viewers.
Overall, the four English-language networks are down 6% among 18-49 viewers to a collective 7.79 million 18-49 viewers, while advertising-supported cable is 3% higher at an overall 23.6 million. Looking at the top 10 cable networks bears the same result -- up 3%. This comes to a collective 8.25 million -- about one-third of all 18-49 rating points for cable.
Turner Research says all these results come from Nielsen data on live-plus-seven-day results May 30 through August 7, blended with live-plus-same-day data August 8-21.
Looking at all TV viewers, CBS is still on top at 4.75 million. NBC is at 4.11 million; followed by ABC at 4.02 million and Fox at 3.23 million.
USA Network, the top cable network in all viewer categories, actually beats Fox in overall average prime-time viewers, with 3.61 million, coming in at fourth place for any TV network. USA Network earned 1.36 million 18-49 viewers -- the top cable network in this category -- with second place going to the surging History, now at 1.0 million.
MTV's "Jersey Shore" gets the honors for the top cable show in key categories. It is averaging 8.6 million overall viewers during the period and 5.8 million 18-49 viewers.
In total viewers, TNT's "Rizzoli & Isles" is in second place with 8.1 million; TNT's "The Closer" is at 7.9 million; History's "Pawn Stars" is at 7.3 million; and USA "Burn Notice" and "Royal Pains" are each at 6.7 million.
Among 18-49 viewers, History's "Pawn Stars" is at 3.6 million; Comedy Central's "Tosh.O" is sat 3.3 million; A&E's "Storage Wars" at 3.0 million; and MTV's "Teen Mom" at 2.9 million.
Turner notes that DVR penetration among all U.S. TV viewers is now at 44.2% in July 2011, and among U.S. TV homes, it totals 41.6%.