The repeat networks were led by CBS, which had the night's highest-rated show, "Two and a Half Men" (3.0/9 in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic) as well as 10 p.m. ET winner "CSI: Miami," which locked up a 2.2/6. In between were second-run sitcoms "The Big Bang Theory" (1.7/6), "How I Met Your Mother" (2.0/6) and "Rules of Engagement" (2.5/7).
Sitcoms have stronger pull
The audience retention rate for the CBS sitcoms averaged 64% of the original-episode season average, compared to 52% for "CSI: Miami," repeating the rerun pattern of comedy being more watchable the second time around. Fox's "House" (2.5/7) also held half, although "Bones" (1.8/6) fleshed out 69% of its usual audience, as some viewers sample it now that it doesn't run up against ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and first-run CBS sitcoms. For the night, Fox averaged a 2.1/6.
The CW, meanwhile, ran repeats of "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill," which delivered a .5/1 and .5/2 rating and share, respectively.
Of course, nearly all reality is first-run, but several series are also losing viewers, most notably NBC's "American Gladiators" (1.7/6), which hit its lowest mark since coming back mid-season. ABC's "Bachelorette" (up 19% at 2.5/8) was the main beneficiary as viewers appeared to choose lovers over fighters. Lead-out "The Mole" (1.6/5) lost a third of those viewers, but held steady with recent weeks' ratings. NBC's 90-minute "Nashville Star" (1.8/5) has also seemingly found its summertime spot, as its delivery was 95% of its three-week average.
For the night, NBC was fourth with a 1.8/5. And, fittingly, given the viewing -- and scheduling -- schizophrenia between reality and repeats, the top two networks were just a 10th of a rating point away, with CBS repeats (2.3/7) checking ABC reality (2.2/7).
WHAT TO WATCH:
Tuesday: No new programming in the summer? Well, at least for a night that's not true, as "Celebrity Family Feud" bows on NBC and "Wipeout," "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" and "Primetime: The Outsiders" premiere on ABC. Whether this means any good new programming remains to be seen.
Wednesday: After ABC jumps the Pacific (if not the shark) with "Japanese Game Show," NBC reaches across the Atlantic to recreate British TV's "The Baby Borrowers."
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Will Fox's stunt of scheduling a rerun of "Hell's Kitchen" up against the program premieres of ABC's "Wipeout" and NBC's "Celebrity Family Feud" stunt the debuts' delivery?
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NOTE: A share is a percentage of TV households that have their TV sets on at a given time. A rating is a percentage of all TV households, whether or not their sets are turned on. For example, a 1.0 rating is 1% of the total U.S. households with TVs. Ratings quoted in this column are based on live-plus-same-day unless otherwise noted. (Many ad deals have been negotiated on the basis of commercial-minute, live-plus-three-days viewing.)
John Rash is senior VP-director of media analysis for Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. For more, see rashreport.com.