‘WWE Smackdown’ Takes the Friday Primetime Ratings Title

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Live sports entertainment continues to be broadcast’s best asset in the fight for viewership as “WWE: Smackdown” took the title in the battle for Friday’s primetime ratings crown. The Fox broadcast jumped from the top rope to deliver the night’s best rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic with a 0.5 and 2.1 million total viewers overall.

But while Fox may have claimed the night’s best demo rating, it was once again CBS that earned the most overall viewers thanks to reruns of “S.W.A.T.,” “Magnum P.I.” and “Blue Bloods.” The block of reliable procedurals landed The Eye 2.6 million total average viewers from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

In fact, despite viewers still eagerly awaiting the fall broadcast premiere season, Friday night saw a competitive battle between the Big Four networks throughout. Let’s dive into it, shall we?

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Here’s how things shook out across the major broadcast networks Friday night:

Fox was first in the key demo rating with a 0.5 mark for “WWE: Smackdown,” which ran from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Fox doesn’t air primetime programming after 10). The broadcast secured 2.1 million total viewers.

ABC was tied for second in the demo with a 0.3 average rating, yet pulled ahead of NBC with 2.5 million total average viewers. “Shark Tank,” which ran from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., scored a 0.3 rating and 2.5 million viewers. At 10, the two-hour “20/20” also snared a 0.3 rating and 2.5 million total viewers.

NBC also found itself with a 0.3 average demo rating Friday night, but fell behind ABC with just 1.7 million total average viewers in primetime. The two-hour “American Ninja Warrior” that kicked off at 8 notched a 0.2 rating and 1.5 million total viewers, following by “Dateline” at 10 which secured a 0.3 rating and 2.0 million total viewers.

CBS may have fallen behind the competition in the 18-49 demo with a 0.2 rating, but a broadcast-leading 2.6 million total average viewers on a normally quiet Friday night helps to soften the blow. At 8, “S.W.A.T.” kicked open to the door to a 0.3 demo rating and 2.4 million total viewers. “Magnum P.I.,” which was recently saved by NBC after its CBS cancellation, followed up at 9 with a 0.2 demo rating and 2.5 million total viewers. At 10 p.m., “Blue Bloods” closed out primetime with a 0.2 rating and 2.8 million total viewers, the biggest overall reach of the night.

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In fifth was The CW with a 0.1 average demo rating and 433,000 total average viewers. “Penn & Teller Fool Us” earned a 0.1 rating at 8 with 590,000 total viewers and at 9, “Dynasty” mustered a 0.0 rating and 276,000 total viewers. (The CW doesn’t air primetime programming at 10 p.m.)

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision finished first with a 0.4 average demo rating and 1.4 million total average viewers. “Mexicana y El Guero” started primetime off at 8 with a 0.3 rating and 1.0 million total viewers, followed by “Mi Fortuna Es Amarte” scoring a 0.5 demo rating and 1.8 million viewers at 9. At 10 p.m., “Mujer de Nadie” closed out primetime with a 0.4 demo rating and 1.3 million total viewers.

Telemundo was second in ratings with a 0.3 average demo rating and 950,000 total average viewers. “Amor Valiente” earned a 0.2 at 9 p.m. and 793,000 total viewers while “Infiel: Historia de un Engaño” took home a 0.2 key demo rating and 802,000 total viewers.

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