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Jul 19, 3:23 PM EDT

Viewers found relief from grimness with TV's fun-and-games



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NEW YORK (AP) -- The news was awful again last week, but viewers found some refuge in TV's fun-and-games.

In the Nielsen Top 20, no fewer than 11 programs were reality-competition and game shows (including the week's most-watched series, two editions of "America's Got Talent"). Add to that baseball's All-Star Game, the Home Run Derby and "The ESPY Awards," and clearly viewers were eager for some relief.

Boosted by "America's Got Talent," NBC led the networks overall with a prime-time average of 4.9 million viewers. Runner-up ABC had 4.7 million, while CBS had 4.4 million. Fox, with 3.3 million, got a much-needed shot in the arm with its All-Star Game telecast (which drew 8.71 million viewers).

Univision had 1.8 million viewers, Telemundo had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.2 million, and the CW had 980,000 for the week.

Fox News Channel once again was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.75 million viewers during another busy news week. HGTV had 1.49 million, USA had 1.41 million and ESPN had 1.33 million.

In the evening news derby, NBC's "Nightly News" regained the top spot with an average 7.9 million viewers, top-ranked every night including Friday, when it was the only newscast of the three to be anchored (by Lester Holt) from Nice following the terrorist attack. In second place was ABC's "World News Tonight" with 7.6 million while the "CBS Evening News" had 6.5 million.

For the week of July 11-17, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 11.85 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 11.54 million; MLB All-Star Game, Fox, 8.71 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.17 million; "Celebrity Family Feud," ABC, 7.77 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 7.22 million; "The $100,000 Pyramid," ABC, 7.16 million; "The Bachelorette," ABC, 6.87 million; "American Ninja Warrior," NBC, 6.34 million; "Night Shift," NBC, 6.28 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. ESPN is co-owned by The Walt Disney Co. and the Hearst Corporation.

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