Jamie Squire/Getty Images
James Hibberd
June 26, 2012 AT 05:05 PM EDT

On the third night of NBC coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics trials, ratings finally began to perk up as swimming star Michael Phelps hit the pool.

Monday’s one-hour special out-performed Saturday and Sunday’s lackluster track-and-field trials coverage, with NBC delivering 6.9 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49. The headline: Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps in the 400m IM, but Phelps still became the first U.S. male swimmer to earn a spot in a fourth Olympics. It’s the first of NBC’s eight nights of primetime swimming trials coverage.

The lead-in helped boost America’s Got Talent (10.4 million, 3.0) slightly, followed by the Olympics-friendly reality show American Ninja Warrior (6.1 million, 2.0). Speaking of, how about an obstacle course event in the Summer Games? Beats the hell out of canoeing and handball.

What else? ABC’s Bachelorette (7 million, 2.2) took a little hit. Glass House (3.3 million, 1.2) took a big one — sinking 20 percent from last week. Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (5.5 million, 2.3) was down 8 percent and MasterChef (5.4 million, 2.2) dipped a tenth.

Read more:

U.S. Olympic swimming trials: Best and worst of Night 1

U.S. Olympic trials TV schedule: It’s time to care!

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