CBS and Fox tied for first in the 18-49 demo with a 2.6 rating/8 share Thursday night, according to Nielsen overnight numbers.
CBS was led by a new Big Brother at 8-9, while Fox got a kick out of So You Think You Can Dance at 9-10, which was the night's highest-rated show by far at a 3.7/11. In fact, no other show came close to cracking a three rating.
NBC's popular summer variety contest, America's Got Talent recorded a 2.1 at 9:30-10. I did not carry over the momentum to its first half-hour results show from the previous night's 3.5 rating/11 share at 8-10 for paired repeat and new performance shows.
Overall, the network came in third among the Big four with a 1.8/6 on the night.
ABC was fourth with a 1.6/5, failing to get any pop out of its curious performance/stunt reality show, Masters of Competition, which at a 1.3/9 was the lowest rated show on the Big Four, new or repeat.
Admittedly it's summer, but what a difference a decade makes. On the second Thursday of July, 1996, NBC averaged an 11.7 rating. Last night (Thursday the 13th in terms of luck in the ratings), all six networks combined could only muster a 10.2 cumulative total.
Now, that is a bit of a crabapples to golden apples comparison, however, since the Thursday in 1996 featured a must-see lineup that included three of the top five, and five of the top dozen, shows on TV (all on NBC).