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Shaq No Match for the ‘Bro’ Code

ABC’s new Shaquille O’Neal reality show got off to an OK start Tuesday, but the big guy proved powerless to stop the ratings juggernaut that is "Big Brother."


"Brother," which began the season strong and has only picked up Nielsen steam as the summer’s continued, drew 8.08 million viewers and a 2.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, according to prelim fast national data from Nielsen. That’s the best demo score for the "Bro" since the show’s 2007 finale, and its biggest overall numbers since the show’s strike-cause spring season in 2008.


Tuesday’s "Bro" featured the culmination of a week-long story arc in which w contestant Chima Simone was ousted from the game by producers. There’s also been a flying unicorn, a superhero called Captain Unitard and hysterical tears over the exit of a player named Jessie.


Despite the unusually intense competition, ABC’s first episode of "Shaq Vs." managed to pull a 1.7/5 from 9-10 p.m., building on its "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" lead-in by 21 percent and tying Fox’s "More to Love." What’s more, "Shaq" dramatically improved (like, by 113 percent) over what ABC had been averaging in the slot with episodes of "Better off Ted."


NBC’s "America’s Got Talent" (3.0/9) continues to rank as the No. 1 show on Tuesday, though this week’s installment dropped 17 percent from last week.