AGT ratings starting to pick up

NBC had an easy Tuesday against a slew of encores, making room for America’s Got Talent to match its highest rating of the season among adults 18-49. The one-hour broadcast, which aired after a repeat, posted a 3.7 rating in the demo.

That’s a 12 percent bump from the most recent episode and the same score as the May 14 premiere. After Talent, NBC aired another encore of Grimm, seemingly testing the waters on a few nights and pulling in a solid 1.3 adults rating. The network averaged a 2.3 rating with 18-49-ers and 7.5 million viewers.

Slow start for AGT

In fairness to Stern, NBC premiered his show during the final week of the television season against stiff competition, including “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC and the season finales of CBS’ Monday night comedies. Last year, “America’s Got Talent” started its season on May 31, with rerun season already well under way.

“America’s Got Talent” had 9.5 million viewers on Monday, down from last weeks 10.6 million, again facing in-season competition.

Meanwhile, CNN had its lowest prime-time viewership average last week than any week since at least 1991, Nielsen said. The network’s shows average 395,000 viewers. It was a slow news week, and many of the older viewers who watch news were likely preoccupied by the winding down of seasons on “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol,” both of which saw a boost last week.

America’s Got Talent ratings are in!

Howard Stern kicked off America’s Got Talent on Monday night by saying to the audience, “These executives at NBC must be out of their mind taking a risk on me. I say I won’t make it through the first show — what do you think?”

But Howard did make it through, playing it seriously, prompting The Washington Post to say he became “a beloved uncle,” instead of a shock jock that has struck fear into the hearts of the Parents Television Council. At one point, he said, “This is going to sound sappy. We are the greatest country in the world. You are everything that makes America great.”

Howard’s debut got off to a solid, if not spectacular, start, averaging about 10.3 million viewers, reports USA TODAY’s Gary Levin. The number is below last summer’s start, but last season’s start on May 31, 2011, which drew 15.3 million viewers, was against repeats. Last night’s show was against in-season original programming, including Dancing With the Stars and CBS comedies.