New Wednesday dramas show spark

ABC's 'Nashville,' NBC's 'Fire' and CW's 'Arrow' hit mark

Wednesday was a big night for drama premieres on the broadcast networks, with ABC’s “Nashville” opening pretty well and NBC’s “Chicago Fire” hanging in there opposite it. And kicking off the night was CW’s “Arrow,” which gave the net some of its best numbers in a while.

Overall, according to preliminary Nielsen national estimates, Fox won in adults 18-49 with “The X Factor” while ABC was a close second and prevailed in adults 25-54. CBS won in total viewers.

For ABC, country music-themed soap “Nashville” opened to a 2.8 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 9 million viewers overall to win the 10 o’clock hour (though it declined in its second half, and CBS vet “CSI” edged it out in demos from 10:30 to 11). The 2.8 hourlong score is down from the 3.3 that “Revenge” premiered to in the timeslot last fall for ABC, but that show had a stronger lead-in from “Modern Family.”

In 18-49, “Nashville” is the season’s No. 3-rated new drama premiere, behind NBC’s “Revolution” and CBS’ “Elementary.”

The second of two “Modern” episodes at 9:30 (4.9/12 in 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall) served as lead-in for “Nashville,” giving it a clear leg up on its NBC and CBS competition. Beginning next week, “Suburgatory” will provide the lead-in for “Nashville.”

In its namesake market, Nashville delivered a big 21.9 household rating/33 share.

Earlier in the evening for ABC, “The Middle” remains a solid anchor kicking off the night (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall), but 8:30 p.m. rookie “The Neighbors” sagged (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall). The first “Modern Family” then easily led its regular 9 o’clock timeslot (4.7/13 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall).

At NBC, “Chicago Fire” averaged a 1.9/5 in 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers overall, in line or slightly exceeded its lead-in from “Law & Order: SVU” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall). While not a great start, NBC has to be pleased with the apparent compatibility between the two Dick Wolf shows; and “Fire” held steady from its first half-hour to the second.

The Peacock is struggling opening the night with rookie half-hour “Animal Practice” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall), while lead-out “Guys with Kids” again built on that lead-in (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall). “Guys” is likely picking up viewers from ABC, which is losing ground with its comedy handoff from “The Middle” to “The Neighbors.”

CW’s “Arrow” averaged a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and a little over 4 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour — better than anything the net has seen of late with any show other than “The Vampire Diaries.” While it didn’t connect that well with the net’s target audience of adults 18-34 (1.1/4), that was enough to tie NBC’s comedies for the hour.

And in total viewers, it gave CW its largest premiere audience since “The Vampire Diaries” three years ago and its best performance in Wednesday’s leadoff hour since an “America’s Next Top Model” finale in May 2009.

The stronger lead-in helped 9 p.m. vet “Supernatural” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), which was up over its premiere of last week and delivered its best adults 18-34 performance since March 2011 (1.0/3).

Fox’s two-hour “X Factor” averaged a 3.4/9 in 18-49 and 9.4 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., in line with last week’s hourlong score. In its time period, it finished just slightly behind ABC in both 18-49 and 25-54 while winning in persons 12-34 (3.0/10).

CBS had a solid yet unspectacular night as “Survivor” hit a season low kicking off the night (2.6/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) before “Criminal Minds” picked up at 9 (3.0/8 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall). And closing out the night, “CSI” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) finished second to “Nashville” in 18-49 and 25-54 while winning in total viewers.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.4/9; ABC, 3.2/9; CBS, 2.8/8; NBC, 1.6/5; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.5 million; ABC and Fox, 9.4 million; NBC, 5.6 million; CW and Univision, 3.7 million.

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