ABC's comedy block holds strong on Wednesday

CBS has captured the third Wednesday of November in key demos behind a strong performance by “Criminal MInds” and solid numbers for the net’s other shows. ABC’s comedy block also looked good, led by “Modern Family.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS opened well with comedies “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and “Gary Unmarried” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), with the former drawing its best numbers since its season premiere and the latter its best in about a year. “Criminal Minds” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 13.5 million viewers overall) followed by winning the 9 o’clock hour in all key broad measures, as did “CSI: NY” at 10 o’clock (3.2/9 in 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall).

In addition to winning the night in 18-49, CBS also cruised in both adults 25-54 and total viewers.

Elsewhere, ABC’s comedies had a strong night in their return following a preemption last week for the CMA Awards. A repeat of “Modern Family” kat 8 p.m. (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) fared much better than the recently canceled “Hank,” and that enabled “The Middle” to post its second best deliveries of the season at 8:30 p.m. (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall). The middle-hour block of “Modern Family” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) and “Cougar Town” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) was also up vs. their most recent airings, with “Modern” edging past “Criminal Minds” to win the 9 o’clock half-hour in 18-49.

And at 10, the special “In the Spotlight With Robert Roberts,” featuring an interview with Janet Jackson, averaged a solid 2.3/7 in 18-49 and 6.6 million viewers overall — a big upgrade over regular slot occupant “Eastwick.”

Fox’s tandem of “So You Think You Can Dance” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and “Glee” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) both dipped a tad week to week, though “Glee” was the night’s No. 1 show in 18-34 (3.7/10) despite its third-place timeslot finish in 18-49.

At NBC, “Mercy” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall) was on the high side, finishing 1 share out of the 18-49 lead and winning the hour in total viewers. It was followed by “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall), which dipped a bit from its season high of the previous week, and “The Jay Leno Show” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), which was flat week to week and remained a distant third among the broadcast networks.

CW’s season finale of “America’s Next Top Model” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) placed fifth in the 8 o’clock hour among adults 18-49 but moved up to second in 18-34 (1.9/6). And in its core aud of women 18-34 (3.2/9), it led the 8 o’clock hour and hit a season high.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.1/9; Fox, 2.7/7; ABC, 2.6/7; NBC, 2.0/6; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 1.3/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.5 million; ABC, 7.3 million; NBC, 7.0 million; Fox, 6.5 million; Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 2.7 million.

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