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'America's Got Talent' tops ratings, loses Cowell for now

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “America's Got Talent” topped the ratings last week, but it faces the absence of Simon Cowell, seriously injured in an electric bicycle accident. Cowell, the NBC talent contest's creator and linchpin of its judging panel, underwent surgery for a broken back last Saturday, just before the show kicked off its live episodes this week.

Kelly Clarkson, who came to fame as the first “American Idol” winner when Cowell judged the singing contest, was to step in as his temporary replacement. Fox News Channel continued its summer ratings romp, with Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity's shows combining to hold nine of the top 20 prime-time slots among all viewers.

Broadcast networks, mostly relying on scripted reruns with a sprinkling of reality and game shows, were in their usual seasonal slump. In prime-time last week, CBS topped broadcasters with an average of 3.7 million viewers. NBC had 2.7 million viewers, ABC had 2.3 million, Fox and Univision had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and Telemundo had 930,000.

Fox News Channel led among cable networks, averaging 3.09 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.97 million, CNN had 1.34 million, HGTV had 1.27 million and TLC had 1.22 million. ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts, averaging 8.4 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.5 million, and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.

For the week of Aug. 3-9, the top 20 programs, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent,” NBC, 6.16 million. “NCIS,” CBS, 4.91 million. “America's Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.41 million.

“Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 4.4 million. “60 Minutes Presents,” CBS, 4.14 million. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 4.08 million. “FBI,” CBS, 4.06 million. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Friday), Fox News, 4.01 million.

“Hannity” (Wednesday), Fox News, 3.98 million. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.97 million. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.96 million. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 3.95 million. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News, 3.89 million.

“Yellowstone,” Paramount, 3.83 million. “Hannity" (Thursday), Fox News, 3.81 million. “World of Dance,” NBC, 3.81 million. “Hannity” (Monday), Fox News, 3.73 million. “Great #AtHome Videos,” CBS, 3.71 million.

“Blue Bloods,” CBS, 3.71 million. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 3.66 million. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 3.66 million. “The Rachel Maddow Show” (Thursday), MSNBC, 3.59 million.

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