CBS' "Big Brother" rose to a season ratings high Sunday night, while ABC's "Rising Star" rose in its finale, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
Sunday night's Beyonce-powered MTV Video Music Awards won't be out until later on Monday, but it will certainly be a major factor.
Last year's awards show, which featured a provocative performance by Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, averaged more than 10 million viewers. The 2011 VMAs currently holds the record for that program, with 12.4 million viewers.
With 7.26 million viewers tuning in, "Big Brother" had its most-watched episode of the summer so far. It hit a rating of 2.5 among key 18-49-year-old viewers, also a season high and up 14% from its week-ago episode.
"Rising Star," ABC's entrant into the network singing contest race, closed out the season with a 0.9 in the 18-49 demographic, in which a ratings point equals about 1.3 million viewers. The rating was up about 13% from last week's episode. The June "Rising Star" premiere earned a 1.5 in the advertiser-coveted young adults category. Overall, 3.2 million watched Sunday night's finale.
Fox aired only reruns in prime time, while NBC carried an NFL pre-season game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals. According to the preliminary Nielsen figures (not time-zone-adjusted and therefore not very reliable), that match-up scored about 6.59 million viewers and a rating of 1.9 in the demo.
Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder