Last year's hit summer sensation 'Under the Dome' off to slow start this season

  • Article by: DAVID BAUDER , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 9, 2014 - 4:40 PM

NEW YORK — A substantial number of the people who made CBS' "Under the Dome" the surprise hit of last summer appear to have lost interest in the fate of the fictional town of Chester's Mill, Maine.

The second-season premiere of the show about a town placed under a mysterious dome, written by Stephen King, had 9.4 million viewers on June 30. That's down from the 13.5 million who watched the series premiere in 2013, the Nielsen Co. said.

CBS pointed out that when time-shifted viewing is taken into account — people who watched a recording of "Under the Dome" either a day or two afterward — the viewership increased to 13.2 million last week. Time shifting lifted last year's premiere to 16.7 million.

This week, the live viewership dropped even further to 7.7 million. Last year, the average live viewership of the series was 11.2 million.

CBS debuted the second season on the week of July Fourth, traditionally the least-watched week of television each year, or close to it.

Miley Cyrus attracted some attention by a parents group that called on NBC to edit Saturday night's concert special so it would be appropriate for children. It didn't seem to matter much; the Cyrus special drew only 2 million viewers, making it the 90th ranked prime-time show of the week.

In fairness, concert specials often aren't big draws. A Coldplay special in May on NBC had 1.6 million viewers, and Rihanna had 1.7 million for a special on Fox last year.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 4.9 million viewers. NBC had 4.7 million, ABC had 3.7 million, Fox had 2.73 million, Univision had 2.7 million, Telemundo had 1.5 million and ION Television had 1.1 million.

TNT was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.01 million viewers in prime time. USA had 1.93 million, the Disney Channel had 1.87 million, History had 1.65 million and Fox News Channel had 1.51 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.5 million, its 251st weekly win in a row. But it was also the closest competition since September 2012; ABC's "World News averaged 7.4 million. The "CBS Evening News" had 5.7 million.

For the week of June 30-July 6, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 11.14 million; "Under the Dome," CBS, 9.41 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.59 million; "NCIS," CBS, 8.13 million; "The Big Bang Theory" (Monday, 9:30 p.m.), CBS, 7.03 million; "Night Shift," NBC, 6.87 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 6.479 million; "The Bachelorette," ABC, 6.476 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 6.38 million; "The Big Bang Theory" (Monday, 9 p.m.), CBS, 6.37 million.

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