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Posted at 03:33 PM ET, 08/14/2012

NBC’s ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ earns smaller rating than TNT’s ‘Major Crimes’

Tony Denison, Mary McDonnell in "Major Crimes" on TNT. (Karen Neal - TNT)
One night after NBC wrapped its broadcast of the most watched event in TV history — and maybe the most new-show promo laden too — a new summer show debuted to whopping big ratings.

Unfortunately for NBC, that show was TNT’s “Major Crimes” — the “spin-off” of TNT’s “The Closer.”

“Major Crimes,” an “all-new drama” (TNT’s words) that puts Mary McDonnell in charge “television’s favorite squad of detectives” (read: cast of “The Closer”), clocked 7.2 million viewers.

NBC also premiered a new series Monday night. “Stars Earn Stripes” logged 5.149 million viewers.

“Major Crimes” had received a lot of help from its leadin — the series finale of “The Closer,” ending its seven-season run with an average audience of more than 9 million tuned in, which will likely wind up being the crime drama’s most watched episode ever, when viewing of the episode over the next seven days becomes available. The so-called “Live + 7” stat is the one Nielsen now puts in the record books.

“Stars Earn Stripes” (NBC - CHRIS HASTON/NBC)
“Stars Earn Stripes” also received a lot of help. It had been promoted heavily during the most watched event in TV history — the London Games. And then there was all that free publicity it got when it was distained by both Sharon Osbourne and Archbishop Desmond Tutu — yes, TV makes strange bedfellows.

While NBC’s new reality series, in which minor celebrities are put through military and first-responder type training, was premiering, Fox was unveiling it’s latest hour of tantrum throwing from Gordon Ramsay,” Hotel Hell.” It averaged 5.199 million viewers, edging out “Stars.”

By  |  03:33 PM ET, 08/14/2012

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