Jaycee Dugard Special Hits Summer Record Highs, ‘Big Brother 13’ Up, ‘Marriage Ref’ Hits Series Low

Written by Michael Lambarde on Jul. 11, 2011

Diane Sawyer’s primetime exclusive interview with Jaycee Dugard drew huge, unexpected numbers in the ratings as she spoke out to the nationwide audience. That was good enough to give ABC the win in the ratings, with 10.13 million viewers overall and a 2.5 demo amongst adults 18-49. CBS was second with 5.99 million viewers and a 1.4. FOX, too, drew a 1.4 demo. but less viewers — 2.86 million viewers. NBC was last with 2.88 million viewers and a 0.7 demo.

ABC, which has not drawn good ratings in the past few weeks on Sunday nights, drew typical numbers for the 7-9PM block, which did as following: A rerun America’s Funniest Home Videos (5.36 million, 1.2) and a rerun of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (5.60 million, 1.3 demo). From 9-11PM, the exclusive Jaycee Dugard interview drew 14.09 million and a 3.4 demo at 9PM and then grew to 15.47 million and a 4.0 demo at 10PM. Needless to say, those are blockbuster numbers for a summer special — and was the most-watched summer newsmagazine telecast since June 20, 2004, according to a ABC press note.

CBS aired half new episodes and half reruns. 60 Minutes drew 8.18 million viewers and a 1.2 demo. A new Big Brother 13, in its Sunday debut up from the Sunday premiere last year, drew 7.16 million and a 2.5 demo. Reruns of Undercover Boss (4.02 million, 1.1) and CSI: Miami (4.6 million, 1.1) close primetime. FOX, despite drawing 52% less viewers, drew the same demo as CBS with its younger-skewing block of animation reruns: American Dad (1.82 million, 0.8), Bob’s Burgers (1.79 million, 0.9), The Simpsons (3.52 million, 1.2), The Cleveland Show (3.09 million, 1.5), Family Guy (3.76 million, 1.8), and another American Dad (3.21 million, 1.5).

NBC took last with its line-up of Dateline NBC (4.72 million, 0.9), two reruns of America’s Got Talent (avg 2.39 million, 0.5), and a new episode of The Marriage Ref (2.04 million, 0.8). That was a series low for The Marriage Ref, which drew even lower number than the episode before the Fourth of July last week. That was down 44% in viewers from last week and 28% in the demo (last week 3.62 million, 1.1).