ABC was Country Strong last night with the CMA Music Festival (1.8/6) filling its primetime. Of course, the popularity of country music being what it is nowadays, this year’s CMA shindig was also the meeting of the reality show judges with Rising Star’s Brad Paisley, The Voice’s Blake Shelton and American Idol’s Keith Urban among those taking the stage at one point. Having said that, the three-hour broadcast of performances from two months ago in Nashville didn’t hit the high notes of last year. Among adults 18-49, the CMA Music Festival was down 10% from its August 12 show last year. With 7.2 million viewers, the show was also down 12% from the 8.19 million who watched last summer.
In terms of the demo and viewership, the 2013 CMA broadcast was a stellar winner for ABC, surging 33% from a competitive 2012 night among 18-49s and hitting its best total audience ever.
Overall last night, ABC won among the key demo while NBC took primetime in total viewers with 7.392 million.
Unlike last year, the CMA Music Festival had some heavyweight competition from America’s Got Talent (2.0/6). Even though it was the highest rated show of the night, the NBC reality series didn’t have an easy ride itself. In the second week of its quarterfinals, AGT fell 17% from its July 29 show. In preliminary ratings, that’s a regularly scheduled series-low tie for AGT — though with 8.94 million tuning in, the show was also the most-watched of the night. After a surprising lift in its second week, AGT lead-in Food Fighters (1.2/5) took a dip last night. The Adam Richman-hosted show was down 8% from last week.
Fox, CBS and the CW were all encores last night, though CBS’ NCIS repeat at 8 PM was the second-most-watched show of Tuesday’s primetime with 7.79 million viewers.