Tight three-way Wednesday ratings race

CBS edges ahead in demos; Fox's 'Factor,' 'Daughter' down

Wednesday saw its most competitive demo finish of the season this week, with CBS, ABC and Fox all placing within about 60,000 viewers among adults 18-49. CBS eked ahead in rating as Fox saw declines for the final performance show of “The X Factor” and the second week of half-hour “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.”

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, a consistent CBS opened with “Survivor” (3.3 rating/9 share in adults 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), up week to week as it nears the end of its season. It was followed by the durable “Criminal Minds” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 12.3 million viewers overall), second in demos and first in total viewers for its 9 o’clock hour, and “CSI” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall), which prevailed in all broad categories at 10.

In addition to narrowly winning in 18-49 – which would be its first Wednesday victory this fall – the Eye also led in adults 25-54 (4.1/10) and total viewers (11.6 million).

ABC was down vs. its recent Wednesday averages with “The Middle” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), “Suburgatory” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall), “Modern Family” (5.0/13 in 18-49, 2.9/7 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), “Happy Endings” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and “Revenge” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall). Still, the net finished in a virtual tie for the 18-49 lead and each of its comedies was up over the same timeslot a year ago, and “Revenge” was well ahead of the comedy repeats the net aired in the 10 p.m. hour last year.

At Fox, the 90-minute performance finale of “The X Factor” averaged a 3.3/9 in 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers overall, neck and neck with “Survivor” among adults 18-49 for its first hour and second to “Modern Family” at 9; it was down about 10% week to week. It was followed by “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), which slid 25% from its OK bow of last week when it was opposed by repeats on ABC and CBS.

NBC’s “Up All Night,” which is getting a schedule upgrade to Thursday nights beginning in January, was on the upswing (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), rising 20% in 18-49 from its most recent original and hitting a seven-week high in total viewers. Following a repeat “Up” at 8:30 (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), “Harry’s Law” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: SVU” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) were down from their above-average deliveries of last week opposite softer competition; both shows lagged their broadcast rivals in key demos.

At CW, “America’s Next Top Model” wrapped its cycle with improved numbers (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), matching season highs in all key demos and drawing its largest overall audience since April.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.1/8; ABC and Fox, 3.0/8; NBC and Univision, 1.6/4; CW, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.6 million; Fox, 9.3 million; ABC, 8.4 million; NBC, 6.1 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 1.8 million.

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