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Summer shows: 'America's Got Talent' was tops, but 'The Gates' didn't close the deal with viewers

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summer-showsImage Credit: Chris Haston/NBC; Jeff Samaripa/ABC; Brian Bowen Smith/Fox;Summer repeats are so over: TV fans had lots of original fare to choose from on the broadcast networks over the last three months. The Big Four networks programmed tons of fresh shows from June to August, some of which was burned off episodes from canceled shows (hi, ‘Til Death and Three Rivers!) but most of which was specially-produced fare for those hot, summer nights. NBC, no surprise, attracted the most viewers with the return of America’s Got Talent (11.82 million), but another edition of The Bachelorette (9.92 million) pulled in some respectable numbers for ABC.

It was some of the new scripted shows that did the most damage. Despite a fair amount of promotion, ABC struck out with new series like Scoundrels and The Gates – a shame since the former featured some pretty lovable TV stars like Carlos Bernard (24) and David James Elliott (JAG). Given how much money the alphabet probably sunk into these shows, they’re sure to go down as the biggest disappointments of Summer 2010. Ditto for The Bridge on CBS – an import from Canada that was lucky to attract a tick over 3 million.

So what did you like the best? Reality shows, of course. TV viewers seem to prefer mindless fare on their broadcast networks while relying on the cable networks to satiate their hunger for scripted shows over the summer (HBO’s True Blood and AMC’s Rubicon were on the top of my season pass list). Here’s what you watched the most (and the least) of this summer:

America’s Got Talent (NBC): 11.82 million

Bachelorette (ABC): 9.99 million

Wipeout (ABC): 8.89 million

Hell’s Kitchen (Tuesdays, Fox): 7.83 million

So You Think You Can Dance (Thursdays, Fox): 7.75 million

Wipeout (Thursdays, ABC):  7.74 million

Big Brother (Sundays, CBS):  7.70 million

Big Brother (Thursdays, CBS): 7.61 million

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox): 7.47 million

Big Brother (Wednesdays, CBS):  7.46 million

So You Think You Can Dance (Wednesdays, Fox):  7.38 million

Lie to Me (Fox): 7.33 million

Rookie Blue (ABC):  7.24 million

Flashpoint (CBS): 6.99 million

Minute to Win It (Wednesdays, NBC): 6.57 million

Miami Medical (CBS): 6.52 million

Bachelor Pad (ABC): 6.01 million

Masterchef (Fox):  5.67 million

Minute to Win It (Tuesdays, NBC): 5.42 million

True Beauty (ABC): 5.39 million

Boston Med (ABC): 5.38 million

Lie to Me (Mondays, Fox): 5.03 million

Last Comic Standing (NBC): 4.91 million

Losing it with Jillian (NBC): 4.80 million

The Good Guys (Fox): 4.61 million

Primetime: What Would You Do (ABC): 4.54 million

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC): 4.53 million

Shaq Vs. (ABC): 4.48 million

Primetime: What Would You Do (Tuesdays, ABC): 4.35 million

Downfall (ABC): 4.15 million

Friday Night Lights (NBC): 4.13 million

Dating in the Dark (ABC): 4.05 million

Primetime: Family Secrets (ABC): 3.92 million

Scoundrels (ABC): 3.82 million

Nightline Primetime: Secrets (ABC) 3.81 million

The Gates (ABC): 3.78 million

Primetime: Mind Games (ABC) 3.74 million

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC): 3.63 million

Wife Swap (ABC): 3.36 million

Breakthrough with Tony Robbins (NBC): 3.03 million

Persons Unknown (NBC): 2.79 million

Law & Order: CI (Saturdays, NBC): 2.57 million

100 Questions (NBC): 2.16 million

Til Death (Fox):  2.03 million

Sons of Tuscon (Fox): 1.85 million