Taylor Johnson, Wipeout

ABC/ADAM LARKEY

Splash, splat, waaah…

The sounds of summer TV are distinctive—and popular, with solid premieres last week for Wipeout, I Survived a Japanese Game Show and The Baby Borrowers, per Nielsen Media Research stats.

ABC's Wipeout, a slippery, sloppy obstacle course fit for American gladiators, but tackled by American Joes and Janes, was the most watched show among TV's prized, but ever-dwindling pool of 18-to-49-year-olds.

Overall, it averaged 10 million viewers, posted its network's biggest summer premiere in three years, and ranked second behind NBC's veteran summer show, America's Got Talent (11.7 million).

I Survived a Japanese Game Show, an ABC offering fit for a Survivor-chosen island, but set on, yes, a pads-and-helmets-required Japanese game show, pulled in at 10th place (8 million).

NBC's Baby Borrowers finished 11th, and averaged 7.9 million people who wondered what sort of people would let teens play parents to their children.

Add in 60 Minutes (third place, 9.4 million), So You Think You Can Dance (sixth place, 8.8 million for Thursday's show; eighth place, 8.3 million for Wednesday's show), Million Dollar Password (seventh place, 8.5 million for Sunday's show) and NBC's all-new Celebrity Family Feud (fifth place, 8.8 million), and there was little room in the Top 10 for any show that didn't involve hot seats, buzzers or judges.

If the summer ratings stay strong, can giant bouncy balls be far behind for the fall?

Sure would keep Desperate Housewives hopping.

Other ratings highlights from the TV week ended Sunday:

  • With all the premieres, Fox's Hell's Kitchen (14th place, 7.8 million) got a bit lost, though not by young adults. In the 18-to-49 demo, the cooking competition heated up to second place.
  • NBC's Last Comic Standing (44th place, 5.3 million), likewise, looked bigger in the demo standings, where it ranked 16th.
  • ABC's Hopkins is billed as a documentary, not reality, series—hence, no giant bouncy balls, and, hence, no eye-popping ratings (34th place, 5.9 million). Still, it won the most eclectic time slot of the season, opposite CBS' Swingtown (36th place, 5.6 million) and NBC's Fear Itself (56th place, 4.5 million).
  • Swingtown did top Hopkins among younger, more open-minded viewers, finishing 25th in the 18-to-49 demo.
  • Ratings-wise, ABC's Dance Machine (73rd place, 3.6 million) is a throwback to The Ex-Wives Club and other reality-show bombs of last summer.
  • In cable, pro wrestling on USA ruled (6.2 million).
  • The BET Awards took second, with 5.8 million viewers, but also suffered a 9 percent drop from last year's telecast.
  • Lifetime got a solid premiere out of its new movie, The Tenth Circle (3.1 million). Disney Channel got an even-more solid rerun out of Camp Rock (4.2 million).
  • USA's In Plain Sight (4.5 million) was the most watched new scripted series, followed by USA's Law & Order: Criminal Intent (4 million) and Lifetime's Army Wives (3.8 million).
  • Michelle Obama's June 18 appearance on The View helped the ABC daytime show to its biggest week in three months. Among all the White House-aspiring Obamas and McCains who have appeared on The View since March, Michelle Obama drew the biggest crowd (4.5 million), followed by husband Barack Obama (4.1 million), John McCain (3.9 million) and wife Cindy McCain (3.5 million).

Looking at the overall network numbers, ratings continued to do the oddest thing—go up.

ABC and NBC had especially big weeks, thanks to their new summer shows, up 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively, over a year ago. Still, CBS finished on top in total viewers, averaging 6.6 million. Fox won the demo crown.

In cable, USA was the top prime-time network (3.1 million), followed by Disney Channel (2.4 million) and TNT (2.1 million).

Here's a look at the 10 most watched broadcast network prime-time shows for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research:1. America's Got Talent, NBC, 11.7 million viewers

  1. America's Got Talent, NBC, 11.7 million viewers
  2. Wipeout, ABC, 10 million viewers
  3. 60 Minutes, 9.4 million viewers
  4. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 9.2 million viewers
  5. Celebrity Family Feud, NBC, 8.8 million viewers
  6. So You Think You Can Dance (Thursday), Fox, 8.6 million viewers
  7. Million Dollar Password (Sunday), CBS, 8.5 million viewers
  8. So You Think You Can Dance (Wednesday), Fox, 8.3 million viewers\
  9. CSI: Miami, CBS, 8.2 million viewers
  10. I Survived a Japanese Game Show, 8 million viewers
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