The Wednesday battle for demo supremacy got tighter this week as each of CBS’ hours improved while ABC’s lineup declined. The Alphabet still scored a narrow victory on the night in 18-49 while CBS opened up some distance as the leader in total viewers with its strongest showing on the night this season.

ABC’s “Pushing Daisies” continues to look good at 8 o’clock, down a tick week to week (3.6 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) but still on top among adults 18-49, with NBC gameshow “Deal or No Deal” its closest pursuer (3.1/9 in 18-49, 12.3 million viewers overall).

The rest of the hour was competitive for third place in 18-49, as Fox’s comedy combo of “Back to You” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and “Til Death” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and CBS’ “Kid Nation” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) were neck and neck. This repped an upturn for “Kid Nation,” which had seen declines the last three weeks, while “Deal” matched the previous week’s score as the best delivery in the time period for the Peacock since last December.

At 9 o’clock, ABC’s “Private Practice” (4.3/11 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) remained on top in 18-49 but was down about 10% week to week; still, four weeks in, it’s the season’s No. 1-rated new program. CBS vet “Criminal Minds” held steady (3.9/10 in 18-49, 14.9 million viewers overall), a competitive second in 18-49 while edging ahead of “Private” in adults 25-54 and once again standing as the night’s most-watched program overall.

Also in the hour, NBC’s “Bionic Woman” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) continued its decline after a strong premiere, barely edging out in 18-49 Fox’s rising unscripted series “Kitchen Nightmares” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall). CW’s “Gossip Girl” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) was flat week to week in its target 18-34 demo (1.7/5).

Closing out the night, CBS crime drama “CSI: NY” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 13.9 million viewers overall) again won easily over ABC’s “Dirty Sexy Money” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall), which continued its slow but steady decline. Holding up better relative to lead-in and week to week was NBC newcomer “Life” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.7/10; CBS, 3.5/9; NBC, 3.1/8; Fox, 2.8/8; CW, 1.9/5; Univision, 1.6/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 12.0 million; ABC, 10.1 million; NBC, 9.5 million; Fox, 6.9 million; CW, 3.7 million; Univision, 3.6 million.