MLB All-Star Game Easily Wins Night for Fox

Rash Report: ABC Gets to Claim Second Place

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MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- Lately, Tuesday-night prime time has been all about "Wipeout," the hit reality show on ABC. This Tuesday, however, brought a wipeout of a different sort: the 12th straight All-Star Game victory by the American League after Canadian Justin Morneau slid home safely in the bottom of the 15th inning.
Fox was first on Tuesday night thanks to Major League Baseball's All-Star Game that went 15 innings, with Justin Morneau sliding into home to give the American League its 12th straight All-Star Game victory.
Fox was first on Tuesday night thanks to Major League Baseball's All-Star Game that went 15 innings, with Justin Morneau sliding into home to give the American League its 12th straight All-Star Game victory. Credit: Newscom

And at least for a night, it was a ratings wipeout as well, as the game did what neither team could -- win easily -- with a 4.5/14 rating and share in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic.

Endurance competition
Ending at 1:37 a.m. ET, the game kept the couches and barstools 10% more full this year (though the Yankee Stadium stands were half-empty when the game finally ended).

As for ABC's "Wipeout," it was predictably down 20% to a 3.2/11 -- a drop matched by a 20% ratings rise for Fox's "All-Star Pregame Show" (3.0/11). But despite the pre-game programming honoring Hall of Famers equal to many of the greats immortalized in Yankee Stadium's centerfield monuments, the no-stars beat the living-legend All-Stars. But both brushed back the other players in the 8 p.m. hour -- NBC's "Celebrity Family Feud" (2.0/7), CBS's rerun of "NCIS"(1.4/5) and the CW's "Beauty and the Geek" (.4/1).

At 9 p.m., NBC's "America's Got Talent" (3.2/9) couldn't beat the American and National Leaguers, but was only down 6% from last week. It was good enough for second place, beating "Big Brother" (2.2/6) on CBS, "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" (2.3/7) on ABC and a "Reaper" repeat (.6/2) on the CW.

'Family Secrets' unveiled
As for 10 p.m. (a time when most ball games are winding down but when the All Star Game was in its first of two seventh-inning stretches), two reruns swung and missed as NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" and CBS's "Without a Trace" locked up a 1.5/4 and 1.3/4, respectively. ABC ran rookie starter "Primetime: Family Secrets," which was second in the timeslot with a 2.5/7.

This helped ABC finish second for the night with an overall 2.7/8, while NBC finished third with a 2.3/7. CBS was fourth with a 1.6/5 while the CW finished fifth, delivering a .5/2.

Fox, of course, was first with an overall 4.3/14 on Tuesday night. (Or, in the case of a five-hour, 50-minute baseball game, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.)

WHAT TO WATCH:
Wednesday: OK, so the All-Stars (and bleary-eyed fans) need a rest. For a change, how about the actual stars -- or at least the phenomena known as the Northern Lights -- on PBS's "Nova scienceNOW?"
Thursday: Take a nostalgia trip -- and save on gas -- by enjoying two summer blockbusters on the small screen, as AMC brings back "Jaws" and "Jaws II."

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" is down to the final 10 contestants, which should guarantee it a spot in this week's top-10 list.

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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.
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