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TV ratings: 'Big Brother' debuts Season 16 with fuller house

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Season 16 launch of CBS' 'Big Brother' is highest rated program on the major networks Wednesday

It looks like the property value of CBS' "Big Brother" house is holding steady so far after dipping last year.

The summer reality TV stalwart launched it 16th season Wednesday by introducing the first eight of the 16 new housemates who will battle for dominance.

The show's move-in day was the night's highest rated program on the major broadcast networks, and ratings were slightly improved from last time around, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen.

Keep in mind that Season 15 got off to a slow start in the ratings. That episode was one of the weaker debuts in the series' history, but ratings improved during the season thanks in part to controversial remarks and high tension between contestants. The finale earned a rating of 2.5.

Wednesday's episode averaged 6.64 million viewers, up about 2% from the Season 15 premiere a year ago. Among key 18- to 49-year-olds, the debut earned a rating of 2.3, better than last year by about a tenth of a point.

The noise disturbed CBS' network neighbors.

Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" fell 18% from last week's season high for a 1.4 in the 18-49 demographic.

Meanwhile, NBC premiered the action-comedy police series "Taxi Brooklyn," about a New York police officer who teams up with a cabbie.

The debut averaged 5.4 million viewers overall and drew a 1.0 in the 18-49 category, in which a ratings point equals about 1.3 million viewers. That's roughly even with the network's premiere of "Crossbones" in May.

Compared with last summer's debut of the one-season-and-done Australian American comedy "Camp," "Taxi Brooklyn's" 18-49 rating was down by 33%.

ABC was all reruns, except for a low-rated episode of "Motive" (0.7 in 18-49).

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter: @rfaughnder

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