Nearing the end of their seasons, Fox's "MasterChef" and NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" remained the most popular Monday series among young adults, while two recent additions to the night -- ABC's "Bachelor in Paradise" and "Running Wild With Bear Grylls" -- retreated some after their highs of last week. Also of note on a busy night for reality programs, Fox's "Hotel Hell" was up in its fifth week and CW had its most-watched Monday in nearly three years with "Whose Line Is It Anyway" and the return of "America's Next Top Model."
CBS' "Under the Dome" was the night's top scripted program and the most-watched entertainment series overall. It also could emerge as the most popular program among young adults once a full week's worth of DVR playback is counted.
ESPN's "Monday Night Football" exhibition game likely will move ahead in the "live plus same-day" nationals. (And NBC's preliminary numbers may be inflated due to a preemption in Cleveland for Browns football.)
In Nielsen's metered-market overnights, the Cleveland Browns-Washington Redskins matchup on ESPN averaged a 4.8 household rating -- the second highest ever for a preseason game on the network, behind only Minnesota-Houston in 2009 (5.5) in Brett Favre's primetime debut with the Vikings.
According to preliminary "live plus same-day" national estimates from Nielsen, "MasterChef" averaged a 2.0 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers overall in the 8 o'clock hour for Fox, up a tenth from last week and the night's No. 1 program in 18-49. It also ruled the night in all key female demos.
At NBC, "Running Wild With Bear Grylls" (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) was down three tenths from last week's high, tying with ABC's "Bachelor in Paradise" for second in 18-49 among the Big Four in the 8 o'clock hour. And from 9 to 11 p.m., "American Ninja Warrior" (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) was down a tenth from its prior original of two weeks ago. "Ninja" led its timeslot in 18-49, was Monday's No. 1 broadcast in all key male demos and drew its largest overall audience (at least in the prelims) for any episode since June 2012.
CBS opened with repeats of "2 Broke Girls" (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall), "Mom" (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), "Mike & Molly" (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) and "Two and a Half Men" (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall). They were followed by "Under the Dome" (1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), which matched last week's "live plus same-day" demo rating while rising in total viewers.
In the most recent "live plus-7" 18-49 data available (July 28), "Under the Dome" leapfrogged three reality series ("The Bachelorette," "American Ninja Warrior" and "MasterChef") to stand as the night's No. 1 program in the demo.
In its third week, ABC's "Bachelor in Paradise" (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) was down two-tenths from last week. And ABC's "Mistresses" (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) was down three tenths (though it could pick up a tick in the nationals).
At CW, "Whose Line Is It Anyway" remained hot, pulling a 0.6/2 in 18-49 and 1.7 million viewers overall for its 8 p.m. original and then rising a bit at 8:30 p.m. for its repeat episode (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall). It was followed by the 21st-cycle premiere of "America's Next Top Model" (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall), which was down a tenth from its Friday 8 p.m. premiere of last summer -- though it faced much tougher reality competition last night.
Overall, the network had its highest Monday 18-49 average (0.6) since the "Gossip Girl" finale in December 2012, and its largest overall audience on the night since December 2011.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 1.7/6; NBC, 1.7/5; Univision, 1.3/4; CBS, 1.1/4; ABC, 1.1/3; CW and Telemundo, 0.6/2.
In total viewers: CBS and NBC, 5.5 million; Fox, 4.9 million; ABC, 4.4 million; Univision, 3.2 million; CW, 1.5 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million.