WB series' bow rules roost; 'Bachelor' attractive

HOLLYWOOD — “Birds of Prey,” the last of the red-hot WB’s fall series to bow, took wing Wednesday night, soaring to boffo ratings despite facing ABC’s surging reality series “The Bachelor.”

The latest take on the Batman franchise, “Birds” combined with “Dawson’s Creek” to give the Frog its strongest Wednesday ever in adults 18-34 and several male demos.

NBC still won in adults 18-49 (5.6/15) and total viewers (15.5 million), thanks to a dominant “Law & Order” at 10, while ABC prevailed in adults 18-34 (4.9/14), according to Nielsen. Fox, meanwhile, did well with postseason baseball.

“Birds of Prey,” a Warner Bros. series about a trio of superheroines who team up to take back the streets of New Gotham, averaged a 5.0/14 in adults 18-34, a 3.9/10 in adults 18-49 and 7.56 million viewers overall — more than doubling last season’s time period preem of “Felicity.”

It was the No. 1 program on television Wednesday night in men 18-34 (5.4/15) and male teens (3.7/12) and set a WB record for a Wednesday series in men 18-49 (4.1/11).

The Frog net, whose Monday and Tuesday drama lineups also are doing huge numbers, figures to deliver its best weekly adults 18-34 rating for a second consecutive week.

Over at ABC, week two of “The Bachelor” shot up 31% week-to-week in adults 18-49 (to 6.4/16), easily topping NBC’s formerly dominant “The West Wing” (5.3/13, 15.99 million viewers overall).

“Bachelor,” whose adults 18-34 audience was two-thirds female, rose to a 9.9/26 in women 18-34 — a higher rating than last week’s episode of CBS’ “Survivor” (8.9/22).

Leading into “The Bachelor” was “George Lopez” (11.76m, 5.1/14), which hit series highs and retained all of its 18-49 lead-in from “My Wife and Kids.”

ABC, though, is squandering the huge “Bachelor” aud on lead-out “MDs” (6.43m, 3.0/8 in 18-49). NBC’s competing drama “Law & Order” (20.25m, 7.5/20) more than doubled “MDs,” rallying NBC for the night in 18-49 (5.6/15 to ABC’s 4.8/13).

The Peacock’s “Ed” (10.33m, 3.8/11) remains down vs. a year ago, but saw its best scores since March.

ABC was up in the key demo vs. the same night a year ago, while NBC was down by 23%. The Alphabet also prevailed in adults 18-34 — its third victory in that demo in as many nights this week.

Fox averaged 12.16 million viewers and a 4.4/13 in adults 18-49 for its split-national coverage of baseball’s League Championship Series, up about 40% from the comparable playoff game last year. Fox was able to maximize its ratings by collecting local scores for all four markets whose teams were playing on the net (Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seattle).

Minneapolis/St. Paul topped all markets with a 34.5/52, followed by the three other home markets: St. Louis (29.3/41), San Francisco (20.8/35) and Los Angeles (18.0/31).

CBS’ “The Amazing Race” (8.04m, 3.6/9) roughly matched its year-ago numbers despite the tough competition for young adults at 9. And at 10, “Presidio Med” (7.23m, 2.8/7) fell back to third place in 18-49, but that’s still a 17% improvement from “Wolf Lake” in the hour last year.

For all of primetime, CBS sank to fifth in adults 18-49 (3.1/8) for a second straight night.

UPN virtually matched its performance of a week earlier, with “The Twilight Zone” delivering the net’s best score among women 18-34 (1.6/4) since early last season.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more