Discovery Channel's Shark Week reached new heights across many audience categories. Shark Week tallied a best-ever 1.46 rating in the 25-to-54 demographic, and it tied or set highs for adults 18-to-49 and major female demos, Nielsen's live-plus-same-day estimates indicate. Shark Week also scored its biggest total-day audience ever, with an average of 1.269 million viewers, and its second-biggest total viewer number, with 2.503 million.
AMC's "The Walking Dead," after a highly watched second-season debut, has gotten the go-ahead for a third season. The zombie-themed series' season opener last week set basic-cable records for the 18-to-49 demographic, drawing 4.8 million viewers, and the 25-to-54 age group, garnering 4.2 million viewers.
ESPN for the week that ended Sept. 19 was the top ad-supported cable TV network with an average delivery of 4.11 million viewers in prime time. The network averaged 2.13 million viewers in the 18-to-49 demographic, 2.16 million in the 25-to-54 demo and just less than 15 million total viewers with its "Monday Night Football" matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets.
The extreme sports of the X Games, which air on ABC and ESPN2, apparently are appealing to older men. The X Games still notch the most ratings in the male 18-34 demographic, but ratings growth is strongest in the male 25-54 demographic.
Spanish-language television channel TeleFutura, which is owned by Univision, gave competitor Telemundo a run for its money in the second quarter, capturing the No. 2 spot in early morning and daytime among Hispanics 18-49. However, media buyers are not immediately jumping on TeleFutura's bandwagon because they need evidence of a strong primetime showing.