Steve Harvey has reinvigorated the syndicated Family Feud, lifting the game show to record ratings. The success of pairing the veteran comedian and the venerable brand has now extended to primetime with a big premiere for Celebrity Family Feud, a six-episode celebrity offshoot on ABC. Following an America’s Funniest Home Videos repeat (0.8 in 18-49, 4 million) and facing the dramatic finish of the U.S. Open golf tournament on Fox, Celebrity Family Feud popped as the highest program of the night by a wide margin, averaging a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.5 million total viewers from 8-9 PM. Featuring the families of Anthony Anderson and Toni Braxton, it built from its first half-hour to its second half-hour and ranked as the top summer series debut among adults 18-49 in two years (since CBS’ Under The Dome on 6/24/13) and equaled the highest unscripted summer debut in four years (American Ninja Warrior on 5/21/12 and Expedition Impossible on 6/23/11).
Celebrity Family Feud was followed by the revival of another established reality brand, cult show BattleBots. The debut of the new installment on ABC logged a 1.9 in 18-49 and 5.4 million viewers from 9-11 PM. While it lost a chunk of its Celebrity Family Feud audience, BattleBots was solid, up 27% in 18-49 from the Sunday 9 PM opener last summer of Rising Star (1.5 on 6/22/14). (Celebrity Family Feud technically also is revival — NBC ran an installment in summer 2008 with Al Roker as host.)
Both Celebrity Family Feud and BattleBots benefitted by a promo campaign during ABC’s highly rated NBA Finals.
Not much to say about NBC’s all-original lineup, which didn’t make a blip on the primetime screen. Following two installments of Dateline (0.6, 0.7), A.D.: The Bible Continues ended its 12-episode run with a 0.7 in 18-49, even with last week and tied as series low. The penultimate episode of American Odyssey (0.4) fell 20% from last Sunday, also tying a low. NBC is yet to make a renewal decision on both, with American Odyssey certain to be cancelled, while A.D. is doubtful.
Fox is projected to win the night in 18-49 and total viewers with its U.S. Open coverage. CBS aired all reruns.