The live ratings bar for summer series is so low these days that anything that crosses the 1.0 18-49 line is considered OK. By those standards, new ABC drama The Astronaut Wives Club (1.1 in Live+same day), originally slated for summer 2014 launch, got off to a decent start. DVR viewing has become a very big factor for summer dramas, so we will have to wait for the Live+3 numbers to get a better read on AWC‘s debut performance. It was below ABC’s recent Monday drama premiere of The Whispers (1.5 in L+SD), which has been surging in L+3, most recently adding 60% to its L+SD demo tally. AWC also was below the series debut of ABC’s Mistresses (1.2 in 2013 in Monday 10 PM slot). For a self-starter at 8 PM, the 1.1 L+SD delivery of AWC was OK, and the +10% build from the first to the second half-hour was encouraging.

JENNIFER ESPOSITO, BRETT TUCKERNot as encouraging was the Season 3 premiere of Mistresses (0.9 from 9-11 PM). With a new co-lead — Jennifer Esposito replaced Alyssa Milano — the soapy mystery was down -25% from the second season debut last summer.

Facing original drama competition, NBC’s Aquarius, which has been available on demand for a coupe of weeks now, drew a 0.7, down -13% from last week to tie a low. Hannibal (0.5) was flat with last week, also tied for low. NBC’s opened the night with Dateline (1.3, up a tenth from last week).

And also even with last week was the CW’s Beauty and the Beast (0.3). 

With all-original programming on three of the Big 4 (Fox aired US Open Golf), it was the one network airing all-repeats of its regular Thursday lineup, CBS, who easily won the night in 18-49 (1.1) and total viewers (5.3). The two highest rated and most watched programs of the night were a Big Bang Theory repeat and a newsmagazine (Dateline). The harsh realities of summer…