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What You're (Hopefully) Not Watching This Summer

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 21, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 21, 2009 |

We haven’t checked in on the Nielson ratings since the end of the regular television season, so I thought we could take a gander at the top 20 shows of a week during the summer and congratulate ourselves for not watching any of them. And, indeed, looking them over, I’m 0-20, if you don’t count the four or five minutes of “Wipeout,” that I passed by. If you take out the specials (the All-Star game and the Cronkite special), the top 20 doesn’t look all that different from the regular season, but for the addition of four goddamn episodes of “American’t Got Talent” and two episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance,” which is moving to the fall starting this year.

“America’s Got Talent.” Really? Isn’t that the combination of “The Gong Show” and “American Idol” with Hasselhoff and Sharon Osborne as judges? People actually tune into that show. Really? That’s dispiriting. Here’s your top 20, and below, some good news.

1. (X) “Major League Baseball All-Star Game,” Fox, 14.59 million viewers.

2. (2) “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 13.51 million viewers.

3. (1) “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday, 9 p.m.), NBC, 11.64 million viewers.

4. (X) “Major League Baseball All-Star Pregame,” Fox, 11.22 million viewers.

5. (6) “NCIS,” CBS, 10.45 million viewers.

6. (9) “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 9.12 million viewers.

7. (8) “The Mentalist,” CBS, 8.37 million viewers.

8. (39) “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 8.23 million viewers.

9. (65) “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 8.013 million viewers.

10. (13) “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 8.012 million viewers.

11. (18) “CSI: NY,” CBS, 8.010 million viewers.

12. (54) “Wipeout,” ABC, 7.69 million viewers.

13. (6) “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 7.67 million viewers.

14. (X) “CBS News: Remember Cronkite,” CBS, 7.64 million viewers.

15. (12) “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 7.48 million viewers.

16. (18) “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday, 8 p.m.), NBC, 7.47 million viewers.

17. (50) “So You Think You Can Dance” (Thursday), Fox, 7.20 million viewers.

18. (37) “Law & Order: SVU,” NBC, 7.11 million viewers.

19. (50) “So You Think You Can Dance” (Wednesday), Fox, 6.95 million viewers.

20. (88) “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 6.50 million viewers.

Over on cable, the more interesting note is that “Burn Notice” is boosting the USA Network. Last week, that show had enough viewers (6.6 million) to nudge it into the Top 20 shows on primetime. “Royal Pains,” which comes on after “Burn” is also doing well (with 6.23 million), but I like to think that it’s because viewers are so engrossed with “Burn Notice” that they don’t notice when it goes off the air. Those two shows, in addition to “In Plain Sight” and “NCIS” reruns were enough to make the USA Network the ratings winner among basic cable channels. And, over on TNT, “The Closer,” with 6.59 million viewers, nearly matched the ratings of “Burn Notice,” because booo!

And, for the curious, “Late Show with David Letterman” has risen above Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show,” beating it by an average of 800,000 viewers last week, Letterman’s second win in two weeks. Although, to be fair, Conan is still edging Letterman in the 18-49 year old demographic.

And that’s the way it is.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.