The Middle Modern Family Ratings Christmas

Univision ties for the broadcast lead; ESPN expected to win easily with Fiesta Bowl game

The broadcast nets will be back with original programming tonight, but it was slow going on Wednesday, where encores of ABC’s “Modern Family” and CBS’ “Criminal Minds” were the top draws.

CBS edged out ABC for the Big Four lead in 18-49 and won easily in total viewers. Univision tied with CBS in 18-49 and was the top broadcaster among adults 18-34. ESPN was expected to easily win the night with its coverage of college football’s Fiesta Bowl between Central Florida and Baylor.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS was paced by the 9 p.m. repeat of “Criminal Minds” (1.3 rating/3 share in adults 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) — the night’s most-watched series telecast. The night opened with a special repeat of “Hawaii Five-0″ (0.9/2 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) and closed with an encore of “CSI” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall).

ABC had a good opening half of the night Wednesday, winning in 18-49 among the broadcasters with repeats of “The Middle” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” on a special night (1.3/3 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) and “Modern Family” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall); the net had to be pleased that “Goldbergs,” albeit in repeats, built slighty among young adults on its lead-in. Closing out the night were encores of “Super Fun Night” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and “Nashville” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall).

NBC went with repeats of “Revolution” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: SVU” at both 9 (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) and 10 (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall). And Fox aired rebroadcasts of Tuesday comedies “Dads” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall at 8 p.m., and 0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall at 8:30) and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall at 9 p.m., and 0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall at 9:30).

CW aired repeats of Wednesday regulars “Arrow” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) and “The Tomorrow People” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.0 million viewers overall).

At Univision, a two-hour episode of “Lo Que la Vida Me Robo” delivered a solid 1.2/3 in 18-49 and 3.0 million viewers overall from 9 to 11.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS and Univision, 1.1/3; ABC, 1.0/3; NBC, 0.7/2; Fox and Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.3/1.

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