‘Modern Family,’ ‘Criminal Minds’ Top Wednesday While ‘Arrow’ Hits Target

Modern Family

The CW drama sets a series high in young men; Fox's 'X Factor' bounces back from series low

UPDATE: In Nielsen’s updated national estimates released late Thursday, ABC’s “The Middle” and NBC’s “Revolution” were among the shows gaining one tenth. As a result, “Middle” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 8.93 million viewers overall) had its best 18-49 score since its season premiere, and “Revolution (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.17m) hit a five-week high. Also edging up were CBS’ “Survivor” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.87m) and CW’s “Arrow” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 3.09m). Losing a tick was ABC’s “Super Fun Night” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.84m).

FX’s “American Horror Story” was cable’s No. 1 show in 18-49 (2.3/7 in 18-49, 4.16m), beating “CSI” and “Nashville” in the demo for the 10 o’clock hour.


Led by “Criminal Minds,” which bounced back from last week’s sub-par performance and drew its largest audience of the season, CBS won Wednesday in key demos while ABC’s “Modern Family” remained the top program among young adults and the net’s comedy block overall looked pretty good.

Also of note, Fox’s “The X Factor” showed gains too but remains well off its year-ago pace, and CW’s “Arrow” matched a series high in the net’s target demo.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS was the broadcast leader among adults 18-49 in five of six half-hours on Wednesday (including one tie), opening with another solid performance from “Survivor” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall), which led in all categories at 8 and was on par with last week. Closing out the night for the Eye, both “Criminal Minds” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) rebounded from last week when they opposed the “CMA Awards” on ABC.

Up 17% (0.4) in 18-49 week-to-week, “Criminal Minds” was also Wednesday’s most-watched program overall as CBS, which easily led the night in total viewers.

At ABC, the opening-hour comedies “The Middle” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) and “Back in the Game” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) were both a tick from their most recent original of two weeks ago; the former tied with “Survivor” for the 18-49 lead at 8, and the latter tied with “X Factor” for second.

With its first original episode in three weeks, “Modern Family” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) more than doubled its lead-in and was the dominant demo program of the night, even if it remains about 15% below its year-ago average. It was followed by “Super Fun Night” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), which was in line with its recent performances behind an original “Modern Family” and up 24% from two weeks ago, when it aired after a repeat. “Super Fun Night’s” 18-49 retention last night was slightly better than last year’s “Suburgatory” (pending updates in the nationals). And at 10, “Nashville” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) was up a tenth from its last episode.

Fox’s “The X Factor” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), which returned to record lows last week following its baseball break, was heading in the right direction this week, up 13% in the demo and nearly 30% in total viewers. A year ago, though, it did a 2.9 rating in 18-49, so it still has some ways to go.

At NBC, “Revolution” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) is about the most consistent performer on any net this season, matching its demo score of the previous four weeks; with three days of DVR playback, last week’s episode grew a best-yet 0.8 in 18-49. “Law & Order: SVU” followed with its best numbers in four weeks (1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), and a special “Dateline” kept the lights on at 10 (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall).

CW’s second-year drama “Arrow” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) was up across the board from last week, matching the show’s best score to date in adults 18-34 (1.1/4) and setting a new mark in men 18-34 (1.4/5); in the latter, it was the No. 1 broadcast program in the 8 p.m. hour. At 9, “The Tomorrow People” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall) was flat in 18-49 and up in total viewers from last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.4/7; ABC, 2.2/6; Fox, 1.7/5; NBC, 1.4/4; CW, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.6 million; ABC, 7.1 million; Fox, 5.8 million; NBC, 5.4 million; CW, 2.3 million.

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  1. thorpedoed says:

    The Middle is that little show, virtually ignored by critics, that gets better and better each season and stronger and stronger in ratings and total viewers. Nice to see the underdog coming out at the top of the ratings ladder for the night. This is one of those shows that could eventually grow to become the number one show in its timeslot. At 2.3 and 9 million viewers, it’s darn near there now.

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