UPDATED WITH FINALS: NBC’s medical drama “Heartbeat” had a steady but generally weak pulse in its regular-timeslot debut Wednesday, placing fourth in demos for its timeslot on a night that saw CBS prevail overall behind “Survivor,” “Criminal Minds” — featuring Shemar Moore’s final episode — and a strong week-two showing for “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.” It was the last “Empire”-free Wednesday of the season, as the Fox megahit is set to return next week and figures to make life difficult for the competition.
CBS, which won the night in adults 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, opened with a typically solid performance by “Survivor” (2.1 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 9.31 million viewers overall), which swept its time period, according to final national estimates from Nielsen. It was followed by season highs for “Criminal Minds” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 10.94 million viewers overall), the night’s No. 2 program in demos and No. 1 in total viewers. For “Minds,” which said goodbye to the character played by original cast member Shemar Moore for the past 11 years, this was its highest 18-49 rating since January 2015.
It was followed at 10 p.m. by “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.75 million viewers overall), which retained 94% of last week’s premiere rating in 18-49 to match the season’s timeslot high, set by two episodes of “Code Black.” The show didn’t really wow in its bow last week, but this hold is impressive, especially considering that this time it went up against an original episode of NBC’s “Chicago PD” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.27 million viewers overall). The Peacock drama had consistently been winning the timeslot, but settled for second place last night as it hit a season low.
Elsewhere last night, NBC’s “Heartbeat” averaged a 0.9 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and 5.16 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour. NBC hasn’t been that strong in this hour in recent years, and last night’s premiere score is only a little below the average of “The Mysteries of Laura,” but the network was probably hoping for more pop for the show’s premiere. On the plus side, it was steady from its first half-hour to its second in nearly all categories, while edging up a bit among young women. (One night earlier, airing behind strong reality show “The Voice,” a special preview averaged a 1.4 in 18-49 and 6.3 million total viewers.)
Also for the Peacock on Wednesday, “Law & Order: SVU” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.11 million viewers overall) was down a tick from its prior original of three weeks ago but up 15% (0.2) from the same night last year. It placed third for the 9 o’clock hour.
ABC’s comedy lineup was nearly on par with last week, as “The Middle” (1.7/7 in 18-49, 7.24 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 6.73 million viewers overall) and “Black-ish” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 5.98 million viewers overall) held steady while 9 p.m. anchor “Modern Family” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 7.69 million viewers overall) lost a tenth. “Modern” was the No. 1 show of the night in 18-49, but tied its season low. Capping the night for ABC, “Nashville” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.10 million viewers overall) held at its return level of last week and again placed third in its timeslot.
At Fox, both “Rosewood” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 3.74 million viewers overall) and “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.54 million viewers overall) edged up a tenth week to week. The former was faring much better in the fall with “Empire” airing after it, so it will be interesting to see how much of that audience it can recoup when the second-year soap returns next week.
As it did the previous night with the first “The Flash” episode during Daylight Saving Time, CW’s “Arrow” hit a season low in its return after a few weeks off (0.7/3 in 18-49, 2.09 million viewers overall), down a big 0.3 from its prior original. “Supernatural” was also on the low side (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.69 million viewers overall), but within a tenth of its last first-run episode.