NBC, Fox and the CW aired encores last night, but the last Sunday of summer was not a languid night in primetime. Back for a second year in its new two-hour, single-network format, the MDA Show of Strength Telethon (0.2/1) dominated ABC’s night. The 9-11 PM show had the crew from the recently completed Rising Star plus performances from Fall Out Boy, Rascal Flatts, LeAnn Rimes, and Poison frontman and reality show love-looker Bret Michaels. Raising more than $52 million, the Muscular Dystrophy fundraiser also had for the first time a viewer-voted look back at four decades of highlights from the Jerry Lewis-created TV tradition. Coming off the new normal of its ABC debut last September 1, the MDA Telethon was even in the demo from last year. After a hard fall last week, 8 PM’s Wipeout (0.6/3) saw a 25% drop from its August 24 airing to hit a series low in preliminary ratings.
On CBS, it was Head of Household nominations and challenges on Big Brother (1.9/7). Unfortunately, all that action saw the vet reality series fall 24% from last week’s season high. Facing the MDA Telethon, Big Brother lead-outs Unforgettable (1.1/4) and Reckless (0.9/3) were up strong, 22% and a whopping 80%, respectively, from their August 24 shows. For Reckless, the boost comes after last week’s 0.5, which marked a series low for the drama.
CBS won the night with a 1.1/4 rating and 5.88 million viewers.