Fox won Wednesday’s ratings race behind “American Idol,” though the music contest was beaten out as the night’s top program by ABC’s “Modern Family” in key demos and CBS’ “Criminal Minds” in total viewers. Also of note, NBC came back to earth one week after a crossover storyline boosted its crime dramas, and CW’s “Arrow” hit a low.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged a 2.7 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 10.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., up slightly in the demo from its prelim score of last week and on par in total viewers. It won its two-hour block in most categories.
Elsewhere, CBS was a solid second in demos as well as total viewers behind solid performances from “Survivor” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), which matched its two-hour season premiere score of last week, and “Criminal Minds” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall), which was the night’s most-watched program overall and was up from both its most recent episode (at 10 p.m. a week ago) and its most recent original in its regular timeslot of two weeks ago (2.5). CBS notes that “Survivor” and “Criminal Minds” had their most competitive finishes ever in total viewers opposite “American Idol,” with both coming within 1 million viewers of the singing competition.
Not faring as well, and dropping more than usual from its lead-in, was 10 p.m. drama “CSI” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall), which was down 15% from its prior original but nonetheless was the top broadcast program in its timeslot in key demos as well as total viewers.
ABC bounced back from its Wednesday lows of last week, starting with “The Middle” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and “Suburgatory” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall), which rose 12% and 21% respectively; though the gap between them could widen in the nationals, this was a better hold than usual of its “Middle” lead-in for “Suburgatory.” The stronger start to the night seemed to help “Modern Family” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall), which was up 6% (0.2) from its season low of last week, and newcomer “Mixology” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) retained more than 90% of its numbers from last week. The serialized, singles-in-a-bar comedy may have benefited from extra exposure on Monday (airing behind the seemingly compatible dating show “The Bachelor”), but it’s unclear if ABC is planning any other catch-up runs of the show.
Closing the night, “Nashville” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) was more competitive, rising a tick from its low of last week and finishing just 1 share behind the competing dramas on CBS and NBC.
At NBC, “Revolution” held steady at 8 p.m. (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), and could edge up in the nationals, but “Law & Order: SVU” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) were down 20% and 32% respectively from their Olympics-promoted crossover storyline event from last week. “SVU” ran fourth in 18-49 in its tough hour, and “Chicago PD” was No. 2 among the dramas.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.7/8; CBS, 2.2/7; ABC, 1.9/6; NBC, 1.5/4; Univision, 1.1/3; CW, 0.6/2; Telemundo, 0.4/1.
In total viewers: Fox, 10.5 million; CBS, 10.1 million; ABC, 6.0 million; NBC, 5.6 million; Univision, 2.7 million; CW, 1.8 million; Telemundo, 1.1 million.