Wednesday ratings battle gets wilder

Throwdown between 'CSI' Vegas, soapy 'Nashville', heroes of 'Chicago Fire'

Auds looking for a little variety in their drama choices can head over to Wednesdays this fall.

The 10 p.m. hour features the most diverse trio of competing dramas on the week’s sked, as CBS’ forensics crimer “CSI” takes on new ABC soap “Nashville” and NBC’s debuting first-responder drama “Chicago Fire.” Even their locations are well distributed on the map.

The original Vegas-set “CSI,” entering its 13th season and its second in this timeslot, won the hour last fall with an average same-night adults 18-49 rating of 2.8 (bumped up to 3.9 with all DVR playback) and 11.3 million viewers overall (14.2 million with DVR viewing).

While solid, the show didn’t take full advantage of its potent “Criminal Minds” lead-in, and “CSI” could be vulnerable to a tough challenger — especially among adults under 50. Still, “CSI’s” popularity with men should help against femme-focused competish; also, it helps that, unlike a year ago, it won’t oppose any other crime shows.

ABC’s appealing “Nashville,” centered around rival country singers played by Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, figures to provide the stiffest competition for “CSI.” One year after “Revenge” became the net’s first Wednesday 10 p.m. success in years (it was promoted to Sundays this fall), ABC has smartly replaced it with a show the “Revenge” crowd might like.

“Nashville” should get a pretty good lead-in from 9:30 p.m. comedy “Suburgatory” (which follows the estimable “Modern Family”) and could match or perhaps slightly surpass last fall’s “Revenge” averages (2.7 in 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers overall; 3.7 and 10.8 million with DVR viewing).

NBC, meanwhile, put up a decent fight a year ago with its top drama, “Law & Order: SVU” (2.1 in 18-49, 7.6 million; 3.0, 9.9 million with DVR), but the crimer moves to 9 for its 14th season this fall to make way for “Chicago Fire.”

The new drama from Dick Wolf feels like a “Third Watch” redux, and doesn’t appear to be the game-changer NBC needs. It could draw some women 18-34, but “Nashville” will be vying for the same aud.

Bottom line: CBS should win in 25-54 and total viewers, but “Nashville” could strike a chord among the 18-49 set.

More TV

  • Ignacio SerricchioBET 'Zoe Ever After' Panel

    Telemundo International Studios Unveils First Drama Series at NATPE

    Auds looking for a little variety in their drama choices can head over to Wednesdays this fall. The 10 p.m. hour features the most diverse trio of competing dramas on the week’s sked, as CBS’ forensics crimer “CSI” takes on new ABC soap “Nashville” and NBC’s debuting first-responder drama “Chicago Fire.” Even their locations are […]

  • Black Lightning -- "LaWanda: The Book

    TV Review: 'Black Lightning' on the CW

    Auds looking for a little variety in their drama choices can head over to Wednesdays this fall. The 10 p.m. hour features the most diverse trio of competing dramas on the week’s sked, as CBS’ forensics crimer “CSI” takes on new ABC soap “Nashville” and NBC’s debuting first-responder drama “Chicago Fire.” Even their locations are […]

  • EVERYTHING SUCKS!

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Premiere Date, Trailer For '90s Comedy 'Everything Sucks!'

    Auds looking for a little variety in their drama choices can head over to Wednesdays this fall. The 10 p.m. hour features the most diverse trio of competing dramas on the week’s sked, as CBS’ forensics crimer “CSI” takes on new ABC soap “Nashville” and NBC’s debuting first-responder drama “Chicago Fire.” Even their locations are […]

  • DEADPOOL

    MPAA: Film, TV Industry Paid Out $49 Billion in 2016

    Auds looking for a little variety in their drama choices can head over to Wednesdays this fall. The 10 p.m. hour features the most diverse trio of competing dramas on the week’s sked, as CBS’ forensics crimer “CSI” takes on new ABC soap “Nashville” and NBC’s debuting first-responder drama “Chicago Fire.” Even their locations are […]

  • J.J. Abrams Broadway

    J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi Drama Series Shopped to Apple, HBO

    Auds looking for a little variety in their drama choices can head over to Wednesdays this fall. The 10 p.m. hour features the most diverse trio of competing dramas on the week’s sked, as CBS’ forensics crimer “CSI” takes on new ABC soap “Nashville” and NBC’s debuting first-responder drama “Chicago Fire.” Even their locations are […]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    '9-1-1' Renewed for Season 2 at Fox

    Auds looking for a little variety in their drama choices can head over to Wednesdays this fall. The 10 p.m. hour features the most diverse trio of competing dramas on the week’s sked, as CBS’ forensics crimer “CSI” takes on new ABC soap “Nashville” and NBC’s debuting first-responder drama “Chicago Fire.” Even their locations are […]

  • Ann Curry We'll Meet Again

    Ann Curry on Leaving NBC's 'Today': 'It Hurt Like Hell'

    Auds looking for a little variety in their drama choices can head over to Wednesdays this fall. The 10 p.m. hour features the most diverse trio of competing dramas on the week’s sked, as CBS’ forensics crimer “CSI” takes on new ABC soap “Nashville” and NBC’s debuting first-responder drama “Chicago Fire.” Even their locations are […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content