Wednesday TV Ratings: CBS’ ‘Big Brother’ Scores Big in Pandemic Return

Big Brother Season 22 Premiere

The Wednesday, August 5 premiere of Season 22 of CBS’s summer staple, Big Brother, easily grabbed the most attention from viewers, curious to not only have original programming in a quiet August month but also to see if the show would function any differently during a pandemic.

The answer? Other than host Julie Chen Moonves working solo with no studio audience and the two-week quarantine for the 16 houseguests, it was business as usual on the reality hit. The premiere won the night in the 18-49 demo with a strong 1.0 rating. In total viewers, it tied with its CBS timeslot lead-in, freshman competition series Tough As Nails, which only grabbed a 0.5 rating but a strong 3.7 million viewers.

The fifth episode of ABC’s new sitcom United We Fall dipped slightly to its series low (3.3 million viewers) but it wasn’t such a drop from the previous airings that the network should be fearful of waning interest.

Here’s the breakdown for Wednesday, August 5, 2020 (numbers are fast-affiliate based):

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating Total Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Tough As Nails (CBS) 0.5 3.7
United We Fall  (ABC) 0.5 3.3
MasterChef – R (Fox) 0.4 1.5
Chicago Med – R (NBC) 0.3 3.0
The 100   (CW) 0.1 505,000
8:30 p.m. The Goldbergs – R  (ABC) 0.4 2.0
9:00 p.m. Big Brother – P (CBS) 1.0 3.7
Chicago Fire – R (NBC) 0.3 3.0
The Conners – R (ABC) 0.3 1.8
Coroner – P  (CW) 0.1 719,000
9:30 p.m. American Housewife – R (ABC) 0.3 1.5
10 p.m. Chicago P.D. – R  (NBC) 0.4 3.4
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  (ABC) 0.3 1.3