'CSI' wins at 10, but rookies 'Nashville,' 'Chicago' solid

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Fox captured Wednesday’s ratings race behind Game 1 of the World Series, while NBC’s “Tonight Show” had a strong showing post-primetime with President Obama as a guest. Also of note, rookie 10 p.m. dramas “Nashville” and “Chicago Fire” looked solid in their third outings, with the latter rising nicely week to week.

CBS vet “CSI” still won that 10 p.m. drama battle and was up as well. All of the 10 o’clock dramas may have benefited from a lopsided World Series game, which could have funneled Fox viewers elsewhere late in primetime.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the San Francisco Giants’ 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers averaged a 3.3 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 11.8 million viewers overall on Fox’s stations from 8 to 11; these numbers should edge up in the nationals as they don’t accurately incorporate West Coast viewing. In the metered markets, the Fall Classic earned a 9.3 household rating/15 share in primetime, just slightly off last year’s Texas-St. Louis opener (9.5/15).

Fox is expected to win the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

On the entertainment side, CBS had a typically solid night and ran second in 18-49 (tied with ABC), 25-54 and total viewers. “Survivor” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) and “Criminal Minds” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) were in line with last week, and “CSI” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) was up a tick.

At ABC, “The Middle” held steady (2.5/8 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall), and “The Neighbors” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and “Modern Family” (4.9/13 in 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall) edged up, with “Modern” standing as the night’s top program in various categories; at 9:30, “Suburgatory” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) was off a bit from its season premiere of last week. And at 10, “Nashville” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) matched its week-two delivery to place second among the dramas; the show spiked by 1 full ratings point in L3 numbers for last week’s episode.

NBC opened slowly as usual with “Animal Practice” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) and “Guys With Kids” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), but its Dick Wolf dramas “Law & Order: SVU” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall for its 300th episode) and rookie “Chicago Fire” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) were both up two or three ticks week to week and continue to make a compatible combo for the net. The 20% rise for “Chicago” left it just a tenth of a ratings point off its premiere score.

At CW, “Arrow” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) lost a bit in demos week to week but still looks like a much-needed hit for the net. Falling off a bit more was 9 p.m. vet “Supernatural” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall).

In latenight, President Obama’s visit to NBC’s “Tonight” averaged a 4.0 household rating/10 share in Nielsen’s metered markets, the highest overnights for a Wednesday telecast since March 2010 (during Leno’s first week back as host).

Last night’s hour improved on “Tonight’s” metered-market Wednesday season average by 48% (4.0 rating vs. 2.7). And while total viewer estimates won’t be available until next week, Wednesday’s “Tonight” figures to average around 5 million viewers, based on its overnight household rating and Wednesday viewership average this fall (3.4 million).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.3/9; ABC and CBS, 2.7/7; NBC, 1.6/4; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 11.8 million; CBS, 10.5 million; ABC, 8.1 million; NBC, 5.6 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 2.7 million.

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