CBS Wins With Monday-Night Reruns

Rash Report: ABC's 'Bachelorette' Up 19%

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MINNEAPOLIS ( -- Prime-time programmers, with months to go before the new season (or longer, if the Screen Actors Guild picks the picket line instead of settling along with union rival AFTRA), are alternating between the summer staples of repeats and reality. So are viewers. Especially Monday night, as two networks (CBS and Fox) airing reruns essentially split with two (ABC and NBC) running reality.
Viewers appeared to choose lovers over fighters with ABC's 'Bachelorette.'
Viewers appeared to choose lovers over fighters with ABC's 'Bachelorette.' Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

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).

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."

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
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