Pair of Kennedy specials nab soft numbers

The usual suspects, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and ABC’s “Wipeout,” set the pace in the ratings race on Wednesday, a night that also saw a pair of news specials on the life on Ted Kennedy fair poorly.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “America’s Got Talent” was the night’s top-rated program (2.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall), winning the 9 o’clock hour by 3 shares in the 18-49 demo and improving week to week. NBC also was above average at 10 p.m. with a repeat of “Law & Order” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and ran second with an “America’s Got Talent” recap show kicking off the night (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall).

At ABC, “Wipeout” was about average in winning the 8 o’clock hour (2.5/8 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) and provided a nice lead-in for the premiering reality series “Crash Course” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall). “Crash” placed a solid second in 18-49 during the 9 o’clock hour, though it dipped some in its second half-hour.

News specials on Ted Kennedy settled for soft numbers on both CBS at 8 p.m. (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and ABC at 10 p.m. (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) — in both cases producing ratings below what the net had averaged in the timeslot one week earlier.

CBS was led by 10 o’clock crime drama repeat “CSI: NY” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), while Fox didn’t do much with repeats of “Bones” at both 8 p.m. (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and 9 p.m. (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 2.2/7; ABC, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.5/5; CBS and Fox, 1.3/4; CW, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: NBC, 7.9 million; ABC and CBS, 5.5 million; Fox, 4.4 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 1.2 million

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