Modern Family Ratings

On sluggish night overall, Alphabet's new comedy 'Family Tools' opens modestly

Fox captured the first Wednesday of the May sweep but its “American Idol” hit an all-time low for a Wednesday episode and was again bested by ABC’s “Modern Family,” which was the night’s No. 1 program among young adults. Prior to “Modern Family,” the Alphabet saw modest tune-in for the premiere of “Family Tools.”

Overall, it was a depressing night for the Big Four, which combined for just 25% of the available 18-49 audience — down from 32% for the comparable Wednesday of last year. If you add in CW, though, which was up from last year, the five English-language broadcasters combined for a 28 share, versus last year’s 33.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged a 2.8 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 11.1 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., down 15% (0.5) from last week’s average and more than 35% from last year. The music contest, which did stand as Wednesday’s most-watched program overall, may have been impacted by a special recap hourlong episode of NBC’s “The Voice” from 8 to 9, though it wasn’t a big draw (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall).

Elsewhere, ABC’s “The Middle” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) was in line with its most recent original and with last year, but the series premiere of “Family Tools” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) lost about 25% of its lead-in and was down by the same amount from last year’s episode of “Suburgatory” in the timeslot; “Tools” was down 12% from “Suburgatory’s” final airing in the 8:30 slot two weeks ago. It was followed by “Modern Family” (3.5/10 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), down 8% from its most recent first-run episode and off about 15% from last year but ruling as the night’s No. 1 show and beating Fox’s “Idol” head-to-head in 18-49 (3.5 to 2.9) for a third straight time with an original episode.

“How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) continues to perform OK at 9:30 p.m. for ABC, retaining about 63% of its “Modern Family” lead-in (pending updates) — better than the 56% hold a year ago for “Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23.” And at 10, “Nashville” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) was in a tight battle for the hour’s 18-49 lead but was off 19% from last year’s “Revenge” (2.1).

At CBS, “Survivor: Caramoan” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) was down about 20% from its high of last week (2.9) and off 12% year to year. And from 9 to 11 p.m., “Criminal Minds” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) were each off more than 20% from last year. “CSI” edged out its drama rivals in 18-49 while winning outright in 25-54 (2.6/7) and cruising in total viewers.

NBC followed its “Voice” special with “Law & Order: SVU” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), which was down about 20% from last week when it faced less original competition, and “Chicago Fire” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which was up a tick from its most recent original but down a bit from what “SVU” did in the hour a year ago.

CW’s “Arrow” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) continue to be a good pairing, down a tick from last week but up sharply from the net’s lackluster performers of a year ago (“L.A. Complex” and “America’s Next Top Model”).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.8/8; CBS, 2.2/6; ABC, 2.1/6; NBC, 1.6/5; Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 11.1 million; CBS, 9.4 million; ABC, 6.6 million; NBC, 5.9 million; Univision, 3.4 million; CW, 2.5 million.

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