'Second Chance' Premiere Ratings Low for
Courtesy Fox

ABC’s “Modern Family” and Fox’s “American Idol” were the top-rated programs among young adults on Wednesday, but the standout performers were crime dramas “Criminal Minds” on CBS and “Law & Order: SVU” and “Chicago PD” on NBC, the latter of which hit a 14-month high. It was slow going, meanwhile, for the premiere of Fox drama “Second Chance,” which lost about half of its “Idol” lead-in and came in well below other recent premieres behind the music competition series.

While Fox won the night thanks to “Idol,” NBC pulled to within 0.2 of the lead — its closest Wednesday finish against all-original competition in more than eight years (since September 2007 with “Deal or No Deal,” “Bionic Woman” and “Life”). The Peacock also won last night in total viewers (7.8 million).

Looking at Wednesday’s ratings action, Fox’s “American Idol” dominated the night’s opening hour (2.5 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), down 0.5 from last week’s two-hour premiere. It was the evening’s No. 1 program in adults 25-54 (tie), all female demos and total viewers.

Review: ‘Second Chance’

“Idol” was followed by the series premiere of “Second Chance” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), a sci-fi crime drama that had been made available online via Hulu and Fox on Demand prior to its Wednesday premiere. The series, whose previous titles had included “The Frankenstein Code” and “Loookinglass,” placed a distant fourth in the 9 o’clock hour and came in well below recent low-rated hourlongs to bow behind “Idol” like “Backstrom” (1.9) and “Rake” (1.7).

ABC had a subdued night for its comedy block of “The Middle” (1.9/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), “Modern Family” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) and “Black-ish” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), all of which cooled from their returns of a week ago. “Black-ish” held up best relative to its same-day season average, as it continues to look a little healthier without “Empire,” another series with a mostly all-black cast, in its way.

Closing the night, “American Crime” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) was within a tenth of its premiere of last week and appears to be a slight timeslot upgrade over “Nashville.” “Crime” averaged a 1.0 for its final half-dozen episodes on Thursday during its first season last year.

CBS opened with the comedy tandem of “2 Broke Girls” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) and “2 Broke Girls” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), which matched their week-ago premiere scores and thus pulled a bit closer to ABC’s competing half-hours, which were down week to week. They were followed by “Criminal Minds” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), whose midseason premiere matched the show’s season premiere as its 2015-16 high to date. “Code Black” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) was done from its December highs when it didn’t have to face “Chicago PD,” but up a bit overall vs. its season average.

NBC had a good night across the board with its crime dramas, starting with “The Mysteries of Laura” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall), which was up 0.2 from last week to match its season high in the demo while drawing the show’s largest overall audience since last February. “Law & Order: SVU” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) was also up 0.2 from last week to equal a 14-month high and tie “Criminal Minds” in 18-49.

And at 10 p.m., “Chicago PD” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) impressed by improving by a tick over its week-ago season high set with the conclusion of a three-show crossover storyline event. “Chicago PD” copped its highest 18-49 rating since November 2014 and matched the show’s series premiere in January 2014 as its highest to date for an episode that wasn’t part of a crossover. In the demo, the Dick Wolf cop drama has now finished No. 1 among the broadcast networks in its time period with each of its last 26 original episodes.

CW aired out-of-timeslot repeats of superhero dramas “The Flash” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall) and “Arrow” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall). The net’s much-anticipated “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” launches one week from tonight.

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