Comedy returns a bit higher than axed 'Animal Practice'

NBC’s “Whitney” opened its second season to soft numbers Wednesday, but it did fare a bit better than former timeslot occupant “Animal Practice,” which only lasted a few weeks. As for bragging rights on the night, Fox, ABC and CBS each won an hour among young adults.

According to preliminary national estimates, Whitney Cummings comedy “Whitney” averaged a 1.4 rating/x share in adults 18-49 and 4.2 million viewers overall in leading off the night — better than the final four episodes of “Animal Practice” to air in the slot but leaving the net a distant fourth among the major networks. “Whitney” did a 1.6 demo rating with its first-season finale, in the same Wednesday timeslot, in March.

“Whitney” was followed by “Guys With Kids” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), which matched the score of its most recent original. And from 9 to 11, “Law & Order: SVU” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) matched its season low, and rookie “Chicago Fire” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) was down from its “The Voice”-inflated numbers of last week and matched its scores of two weeks ago.

At Fox, “The X Factor” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) was up 12% from last week, when the show faced special competition from NBC’s “The Voice.” Fox won the night’s opening hour and finished as the Wednesday leader in 18-49 as well as younger demos.

CBS had a typically solid Wednesday, with “Survivor” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall), which was down a bit week to week, “Criminal Minds” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall). “CSI” edged up vs. last week and won the 10 o’clock hour in all key categories while the other two shows were second in demos and won in total viewers.

ABC’s entire lineup was down week to week, though “Modern Family” at 9 was the night’s No. 1 program (4.6/12 in 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall). In the opening hour, “The Middle” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) and “The Neighbors” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) were both down two ticks but soundly defeated their NBC comedy competition, and 9:30 p.m. sophomore “Suburgatory” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) lost half a ratings point and ranked third in its slot. “Nashville” closed the night with week-to-week declines (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) and matched its lowest demo score to date.

CW’s “Arrow” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) was down slightly in demos while drawing its second largest overall audience to date and beating NBC’s comedies in all male demos. “Supernatural” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) matched its delivery of last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.9/8; CBS, 2.7/7; ABC, 2.5/7; Univision, 1.6/4; NBC, 1.5/4; CW, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.0 million; Fox, 8.1 million; ABC, 7.7 million; NBC, 5.2 million; Univision, 3.9 million; CW, 3.1 million.

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