Solid beginning for ABC’s ‘Endings’

Fox still rolls for the night behind 'American Idol'

Fox’s ”American Idol” continued to punish the competition on Wednesday night, sending top shows on the competition , ABC’s ”Modern Family” and CBS’ ”Survivor” , to season lows. ABC, meanwhile, saw a solid-enough bow for comedy ”Happy Endings.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, ”American Idol” averaged a big 7.1 rating/20 share in adults 18-49 and 22.4 million viewers overall from 8 to 9:30 p.m., peaking with an 8.0/21 in the demo in its final half-hour , which was a slightly higher score than the combined deliveries of ABC, CBS and NBC. Following ”Idol,” comedy ”Breaking In” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) declined about 20% from its solid premiere of last week, edging out the special premiere of ABC’s ”Happy Endings” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) for second place in the timeslot. In something of a surprise, ”Happy Endings” beat out ”Breaking In” among adults 18-34 (2.5/7 vs. 2.1/6).

Encouraging for ABC was that was about 85% of the ”Happy Endings” audience at 9:30 p.m. stuck around for a second episode, in its regular 10 p.m. slot (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall). The Alphabet has really struggled in Wednesday’s closing hour, and ”Happy” gave the net its strongest 18-49 score in the 10 o’clock half-hour since the series premiere of ”Off the Map” on Jan. 12. Beginning next week, ”Cougar Town” returns to take on ”Breaking In” at 9:30, followed by ”Happy Endings” and a repeat ”Modern Family” at 10:30.

Earlier in the evening, ABC comedies ”The Middle” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), ”Better With You” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) and ”Modern Family” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) hit season lows , perhaps paying the price for airing numerous repeats this spring. ”Modern Family” remained the night’s No. 1 scripted program in 18-49.

Also hitting a low Wednesday was CBS reality vet ”Survivor” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall), though it remained solidly in second place in the 8 o’clock hour. Down week to week but earning a second-place finish in most categories from 9 to 10 p.m. was ”Criminal Minds” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 13.3 million viewers overall) , the night’s top scripted program in total viewers. Looking a bit healthier for CBS at 10 p.m., thanks in large part to going up against a repeat of NBC’s ”Law and Order: SVU,” was ”Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall), which built 19% week to week; ”SVU” had won last week among adults 18-49 when both shows aired original episodes.

NBC had a quiet night with an original episode of gameshow ”Minute to Win It” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) followed by a special repeat of ”Minute” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) and an encore of 10 p.m. crime drama ”Law and Order: SVU” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall).

And CW saw ”Shedding for the Wedding” hit highs with its finale (0.6/1 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall), while ”America’s Next Top Model” was above its recent averages (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall) in kicking off the night.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 6.0/17; CBS, 3.0/8; ABC, 2.3/6; Univision, 1.3/4; NBC, 1.2/3; CW, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.9 million; CBS, 11.3 million; ABC, 6.4 million; NBC, 4.0 million; Univision, 3.3 million; CW, 1.8 million.

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