'Sing Off' rise opposite ABC repeats

While NBC continued to hum along with “The Sing Off,” CBS earned a victory in key demos Wednesday behind veterans “Survivor” and “Criminal Minds.” ABC made the night a bit easier for the competition by airing repeats of its comedy lineup.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS dominated opening the night with the fall’s penultimate episode of “Survivor” (3.5 rating/11 share in adults 18-49, 12.4 million viewers overall) and then stayed on top in all key broad measures at 9 p.m. with “Criminal Minds” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 13.8 million viewers overall), which dipped a bit vs. its original of last week. And the net then dropped off at 10 p.m. with “The Defenders” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall), which didn’t do much opposite repeats on ABC and NBC.

CBS won the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

At NBC, which led the evening in adults 18-34, a two-hour episode of “The Sing Off” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) was up 7% week to week, earning the net’s top demo score in the 8-10 p.m. window since the opening Wednesday of the season (“Undercovers,” “Law and Order: SVU”). The competition series was up nearly 40% vs. the comparable night in its freshman run a year ago.

And in a perhaps significant result at 10 p.m., NBC’s repeat of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) earned an 18-49 tie with an original episode of CBS rookie drama “The Defenders” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall). “SVU” is shifting to the hour with regular episodes beginning in January, and CBS may be looking at tweaking its lineup since “Defenders” is losing a sizable chunk of its potent “Criminal Minds” lead-in.

ABC aired regular repeats of “The Middle” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), “Better With You” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and “Modern Family” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) before airing a second repeat of “Modern Family” at 9:30 (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall). And from 10 to 11, special repeats of “Cougar Town” averaged a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 3.3 million viewers overall.

Fox was down a tick week to week with “Human Target” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), but grew 13% at 9 p.m. with the fall finale of “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), though the competition series came in below its most recent finale in the summer.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.9/8; NBC, 2.6/7; Fox, 2.1/6; Univision, 1.8/5; ABC, 1.6/5; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 12.1 million; NBC, 7.9 million; Fox, 5.8 million; ABC, 4.8 million; Univision, 4.5 million; CW, 1.3 million.

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