Despite a challenge that involved people holding on to giant phalluses and slipping into a (not-very-well-padded) area below, Big Brother couldn’t beat ABC’s hit Wipeout, a show about people bouncing off of padded things. However, ratings were up for the Julie Chen-hosted show compared to last summer.
Interestingly, according to TV By the Numbers’ half-hour break-downs, Big Brother just barely led in its first half-hour, but not among young viewers; in the second half-hour, Wipeout took a commanding lead, and while the overall number of viewers slipped on CBS, there was a greater share of younger viewers.
In a press release, ABC said, “among viewers and young adults, ABC marked its best-ever performance against the Thursday premiere of Big Brother.'”
CBS’s spin is that the show had “its best premiere in viewers since ‘Big Brother 8’ (July 5, 2007) and best in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34 since ‘Big Brother 9’ (February 12, 2008).” The network’s press release also said the episode “was first in adults 18-34” and “tied for first in adults 25-54 (2.9/09, with ABC) and adults 18-49 (2.4/09, with ABC),” and the premiere “was up +4% in both adults 25-54 (from 2.8/09) and adults 18-49 (from 2.3/08), +17% in adults 18-34 (from 1.8/07) and added +750,000 viewers (from 6.60m, +11%)” compared to last year.”