USA: The season premieres of WHITE COLLAR and COVERT AFFAIRS were significantly down from last year’s summer launches, and we won’t know until next week if that’s attributable to premiering against baseball’s All-Star Game, with its older male audience. (Last year, the shows debuted in June instead of July.) Collar had a 1.0 in the 18-49 demo and 3.2M total viewers (about 40% of its audience under 50), compared to 1.2/3.9M last year, while Covert was at 0.9 in the demo and 3.5M viewers (skewing older, with about one-third of its viewers under 50), down from 1.2/4.6M last year. The 2011 numbers were themselves down from 2010, so the trend for both shows is falling. They’re now mid-level successes for USA, below Burn Notice, Suits and Royal Pains, but above Necessary Roughness and Common Law. That doesn’t put them in any immediate jeopardy, but as the USA line-up continues to age, the network will need to find some new summer blood.
TNT: RIZZOLI & ISLES had a good night, possibly because the All-Star Game didn’t appeal to its female audience: up 0.2 in the demo from last week to 1.2, and with 200,000 additional viewers. Less than 30% of its audience is under 50, but compared to the network’s elderly-skewing shows like The Closer and now Perception, that’s not bad. FRANKLIN & BASH is a less-watched but much younger show for the network, with a 0.9 in the demo on only 2.7M total viewers last night (45% under 50), which was up in the demo but down in total viewers from last week, consistent again with the aging baseball audience tuning in to the game.