NEW YORK - "America's Got Talent" wasn't content with just the top spot in the Nielsen company's rankings of the most popular television programs last week. This time it took the top two.
First place is familiar territory for NBC's talent competition. It has been the most-watched summer series for six straight years and the No. 1 alternative summer series for all 14 years that it has been on the air.
The dominance continues even though the show is slipping in popularity, which is typical of most TV series these days. "AGT" averages 11.4 million viewers live and within a week of an episode's premiere, down 18% from last year, Nielsen said.
Still, that's almost 4 million viewers more than the second-ranked show of the summer, ABC's "Bachelorette," which had 7.5 million viewers within a week of its premiere this summer.
"America's Got Talent" still has the capacity to create big moments online, too. A clip of contestant Kodi Lee singing a version of "A Song For You" has been viewed nearly 432 million times online, NBC said.
The summer's ratings illustrate how scripted series are fading as a factor, after a couple of years where networks tried to attract viewers with a handful of new shows. Last summer the second-ranked show was the CBS drama "Code Black," with 8.8 million viewers. The most-watched scripted series this summer has been reruns of CBS' "NCIS," at 5.6 million, Nielsen said.
NBC won the week in prime time, averaging 3.6 million viewers. CBS had 3.4 million, ABC had 2.9 million, Fox had 2.4 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Univision had 980,000, Univision had 950,000 and the CW had 580,000.
Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.36 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.54 million, HGTV had 1.2 million, USA had 1.13 million and Hallmark had 1.11 million.
ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" was second with 7.2 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5 million viewers.
For the week of Aug. 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 9.1 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 7.9 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 7.11 million; NFL Exhibition Football: Seattle at Minnesota, Fox, 5.3 million; "Celebrity Family Feud," ABC, 5.06 million; "American Ninja Warrior," NBC, 4.76 million; "Big Brother" (Sunday), CBS, 4.72 million; "The $100,000 Pyramid," ABC, 4.42 million; "NCIS," CBS, 4.4 million; "America's Funniest Home Videos," ABC, 4.37 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.