Fox's 'Glee' sings out with fall finale

In a highly competitive Wednesday, CBS nipped ABC and Fox due to the strength of procedurals “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: NY.” Fox sang goodbye to “Glee,” which had a solid performance in its fall finale against tough 9 p.m. competition.

“Criminal Minds” (3.8 rating/10 share, 14.3 million viewers) and Alphabet comedy “Modern Family” (3.8/10, 9.6m) were tied for the top-rated programs, but “Criminal” was clearly the most-watched show of the night and acted as a solid lead in for “CSI: NY” (3.2/9, 12.9m). “Modern Family” reached its highest audience and best demo in 10 weeks.

“Glee” (3.6/9, 8m), which won’t return until April 13, tied for its best demo of the season and hit a high among teens. “So You Think You Can Dance” (2.3/7, 6.6m) opened the night for Fox.

ABC’s sked included two specials: a repeat of “Shrek the Halls” (2.6/8, 8.5m) at 8 p.m. and the annual “Barbara Walters: 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009 (3.1/9, 10.4m) at 10. The latter was only slightly behind “CSI: NY” and easily defeated “The Jay Leno Show” (1.3/4, 4.5m).

NBC offered medical drama “Mercy” (1.8/5, 7.1m) and “Law & Order: SVU” (2.3/6, 7.9m) before “Leno.”

Net also saw hope in Patricia Heaton laffer “The Middle” (2.5/7, 7.6m), which reached its best total viewers and demos numbers since its debut.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.1/8; ABC, 3.0/8; Fox, 3.0/8; NBC, 1.8./5; Univision, 1.5/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.5 million; ABC, 8.9 million; Fox, 7.3 million; NBC, 6.5 million; Univision, 3.9 million; CW, 1.2 million.

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