Fox's 'X Factor' wins slot Wednesday; 'CSI' tops at 10

The hot start for comedy this fall continued Wednesday as auds turned out in good numbers for ABC’s “Suburgatory.”

The single-camera Warner Bros. laffer, the best reviewed of the season’s new half-hours, built on its lead-in from “The Middle” and took advantage of NBC’s comedy weakness in the time period with “Free Agents.” Fox and its two-hour “The X Factor” won the night among young adults, while CBS vet “CSI” ruled Wednesday’s closing hour but ABC’s “Revenge” hung in there.

All of the nets, meanwhile, likely lost some male viewers — especially in markets like New York, Boston and Atlanta — to coverage of the tense final night of baseball’s regular season on ESPN and MLB Network.

Fox won the night in young adults, according to estimates from Nielsen, with “The X Factor” averaging a 4.1 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and drawing 11.86 million viewers overall. Though down some from its week-ago premiere, “X” won three of its four half-hours in the demo and had its best showing at 9:30 when ABC’s “Modern Family” wrapped. It was also up 41% vs. the two hours of “Hell’s Kitchen” for Fox on the same night a year ago.

So while the show continues to look less like an “American Idol” heavyweight, the multi-night reality contest nonetheless is big enough to put Fox on top for the night — and, more than likely, the fall.

For ABC, “The Middle” kicked off the night with a 2.7/8 in 18-49 and 8.68 million viewers overall, and “Suburgatory” followed with a 3.3/9 in the demo and 9.81 million total viewers — the best showing with a regular comedy in the timeslot for ABC in nearly six years. Last season, “Better With You” consistently dipped from its “Middle” lead-in, so any growth at 8:30 is a positive for ABC.

The net surged as usual at 9 p.m. with “Modern Family” (5.7/15, 13.45m) — down from its series highs of the previous week but up 24% year to year. And at 9:30, the second-season premiere of “Happy Endings” (3.1/8, 7.25m) dropped off considerably from its lead-in but still was up vs. “Cougar Town” on the comparable night a year ago, and the net will hope to see its retention of the “Modern Family” aud improve as the season progresses.

At 10 p.m., ABC’s new soap “Revenge” had a pretty good second week (2.7/7, 8.54m), down 18% from its premiere when it had a significantly bigger lead-in courtesy of “Modern Family” but still more than double the rating of year-ago timeslot weakling “The Whole Truth.” “Revenge” placed second to CBS vet “CSI” (3.1/8, 11.76m), which dipped only slightly and again had no problem topping its crime drama competition on NBC, “Law and Order: SVU” (2.1/5, 7.24m).

Also for CBS, “Survivor” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 10.71m) ran second in 18-49 at 8 o’clock, flat vs. last week and off 6% year to year. The sturdy “Criminal Minds” followed at 9 (3.6/9 in 18-49, 12.58m), down from its strong season opener but on par with last year.

Earlier in the evening at NBC, “Up All Night” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.32m) was down from its timeslot preem of last week but again was a nice improvement over last year’s “Undercovers.” The same can’t be said for the net’s other new Wednesday half-hour, “Free Agents” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.07m overall) or 9 p.m. drama “Harry’s Law” (1.2/3, 7.63m), with the latter not providing much of a lead-in for “SVU.”At CW, “Hater” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.37m) and “America’s Next Top Model” (0.8/2, 1.76m) both rebounded a bit from their poor showings of last week. “Hater,” this week featuring Kim Kardashian, drew its largest overall audience in its three airings to date.

CW joined NBC in posting declines vs. the second Wednesday of last season. CBS was up a tick, while ABC and Fox grew sharply.

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