Bachelor Pad played Twister. The Real Housewives of D.C. played Whoopi Goldberg. Football stars played a game in freakin' August (thereby making the largely unclothed Bachelor Pad residents look reasonable by comparison).
Was it worth it?
The answer—and more questions—in the latest TV ratings quiz:
1. What's the deal with Bachelor Pad? Last night's premiere wasn't as frisky as the show, nor as hot as its Bachelor/Bachelorette parents. Then, again, it wasn't a slug, either, averaging a summer-OK 6.3 million viewers, per estimates, and holding off the combined powers of Twilight and Justin Bieber in the broadcast of the on-the-rise Teen Choice Awards (4.1 million).
2. What was the Michaele Salahi-Whoopi Goldberg smack talk worth? Enough publicity to propel The Real Housewives of D.C.'s series premiere to a No. 1 finish in all of TV, er, well, in all of Washington D.C. (Seriously, that's what Bravo press release bragged about.) All told, the numbers were cable-OK (1.6 million viewers) on a tough night in cable (Thursday).
3. What's so tough about cable on Thursday night? Burn Notice (5.7 million), Royal Pains (5.5 million), Jersey Shore (5 million), Project Runway (2.6 million, up from its premiere, promisingly enough) and Bethenny Getting Married? (1.9 million, for its question-mark-resolving season finale).
4. Forget about who plays football in the summer—who watches football in the summer? Americans. A meaningless Sunday-night preason game averaged nearly as many viewers (11.4 million) as last week's incredibly super-important Bachelorette season finale (11.7 million).
5. Is our football obsession transferring itself to Friday Night Lights? Sort of. Last week, the little, Emmy-nominated series that can barely scrape by scored its biggest audience of the demographically desirable since May, NBC said. Overall, it averaged 3.6 million.
Here's a look at the 10 most-watched, all-new broadcast primetime shows for the week ended Sunday, per Nielsen Media Research: