Ratings: NBC’s ‘Chicago’-‘SVU’ Crossover Stunt Shines on Wednesday

chicago pd law and order svu
Image courtesy of NBC

The first Wednesday of the May sweep was a competitive one, with NBC’s crossover stunt boosting its crime dramas and taking some air from those on CBS. ABC had a good night with its comedy block, with each half-hour up vs. last year, and Fox’s “American Idol” edged up.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC emerged the winner among young adults behind “The Middle” (2.0 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall), “Modern Family” and “Black-ish” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall). “Middle” was up 0.2 from last week to tie for the 8 p.m. lead in 18-49 and match its top score since the start of Daylight Saving Time, while “Goldbergs” held at its high-end level of last week. “Modern Family” was again Wednesday’s top draw in key demos, though both it and lead-out “Black-ish” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) were down a tick from last week, and may have been impacted by the special and above-average NBC programming in the hour.

All four comedies were up vs. those in the same timeslots on the opening Wednesday of the 2014 May sweep, with “Goldbergs” (up 40% over “Suburgatory”) and “Black-ish” (up 54% over “Mixology”) the biggest gainers. And closing out the night, “Nashville” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) was even with last week and up a tick from the same night a year ago.

At NBC, a repeat of Tuesday’s “Chicago Fire” kicked off the night (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and was followed by the final two legs of the three-show crossover: “Chicago P.D.” at a special 9 p.m. time (1.8/6 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: SVU” at a special 10 p.m. time (2.0/7 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall). These were the best scores for “Chicago P.D.” and “SVU” since a similar three-program, two-night crossover storyline with “Chicago Fire” in November.

Chicago PD” was up 0.3 from its most recent original of April 8 and placed second in 18-49 for the 9 p.m. hour, while “SVU” was up 0.2 from its April 8 original and dominated its special timeslot.

CBS had a down night, as its crime dramas “Criminal Minds” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) and “CSI: Cyber” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) were clearly impacted by the stronger NBC competition in the timeslots; each show fell 0.3 from last week to hit season lows. The night got off to a quieter start than usual too with “Survivor” (2.1/8 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall), whose 30th edition has been a little bit more up-and-down than recent ones. CBS won the night easily in total viewers, averaging about 1 million more than both NBC and Fox.

At Fox, “American Idol” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) was up for a second straight week to post its top demo score in four weeks. And at CW, “Arrow” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) lost some of the gains it had made of late, while “Supernatural” held steady (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 1.9/7; CBS, 1.7/6; Fox, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.5/5; Univision, 0.9/3; CW, 0.8/3; Telemundo, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 8.3 million; NBC and Fox, 7.3 million; ABC, 6.2 million; Univision, 2.6 million; CW, 2.1 million; Telemundo, 1.5 million.

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