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Debate dominates Wednesday action

'X Factor,' 'Survivor' tops in night's opening hour

Fox’s “The X Factor” and CBS’ “Survivor” were the top-rated programs on a Wednesday night that was primarily devoted to the first presidential debate. Ratings for the debate will be sustained by Nielsen and not count in nightly averages.

According to preliminary estimates, Fox’s “X Factor” led the opening hour in adults 18-49 with a 3.4 rating/10 share — on par with last week — while drawing 9.3 million viewers overall. CBS’ “Survivor” ran second in the demo (2.9/9), down slightly week to week, while leading in adults 25-54 (4.1/11) and total viewers (10.5 million),

ABC’s “The Middle” saw a steep falloff in its second episode (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) and was followed by the timeslot debut of “The Neighbors” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), which showed good retention but was down sharply from its special 9:30 p.m. premiere of last week.

NBC’s competing 8 o’clock hour comedies “Animal Practice” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and “Guys With Kids” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) were both up a bit week to week to close the gap with ABC.

As for the debate, NBC’s stations drew the highest 9-11 p.m. 18-49 average (3.2/8), followed by ABC and Fox (both 2.8/7), CBS (2.7/7) and Univision (1.2/3). In total viewers, the order was CBS (9.7 million), ABC (9.5 million), NBC (8.0 million), Fox (7.0 million) and Univision (2.8 million). These numbers don’t reflect the whole picture, though, as they include non-debate programming in the West.

Wednesday’s debate ran from about 9 to 10:33 p.m. ET, with analysis filling out the rest of primetime in much of the country.

With the Big Four nets focused on the debates, CW aired the season premiere of “Supernatural” in the 9 o’clock hour (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall), which was on par with last year’s Friday premiere in demos while drawing the show’s largest overall audience since February.

Next Wednesday will see the series premieres of dramas “Chicago Fire” on NBC, “Nashville” on ABC and “Arrow” on CW.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.0/8; CBS, 2.8/7; NBC, 2.7/7; ABC, 2.6/7; Univision, 1.3/3; CW, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.7 million; ABC, 8.8 million; NBC, 8.0 million; Fox, 7.9 million; Univision, 3.0 million; CW, 1.4 million.

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