Nets spread Wednesday wealth

NBC's special 'Voice' fans 'Fire'; 'Arrow,' 'Middle' up too

NBC’s special two-hour Wednesday edition of “The Voice” had no problem topping rival music show “The X Factor” on Fox, and the Peacock momentum on the night extended to the final hour as “Chicago Fire” established season highs.

NBC won the night in key demos and CBS led in total viewers but they weren’t the only ones with good news as nearly everyone bounced back from their soft Halloween night numbers of a week ago. ABC saw gains for its comedy block and drama “Nashville,” and CW’s “Arrow” shot up nicely too.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, NBC’s special off-night edition of “The Voice” averaged a 3.7 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 10.4 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., while Fox’s regularly scheduled “The X factor” pulled a 2.6/7 in the demo and 7.0 million viewers overall; the Fox show won among teens but the NBC show prevailed in all other categories.

Of course, going head to head didn’t help either. “The Voice” fell to its lowest score for a two-hour episode this fall and was down 18% from Monday’s two-hour playoff-round episode, while “X Factor” was down a tick from its season low set a week ago. “The Voice,” however, more than doubled what NBC has been pulling Wednesdays from 8 to 10 p.m. this fall, and the 3.7 rating is the best in-season for an NBC entertainment series in the timeslot since January 2008.

Following “The Voice,” NBC’s rookie drama “Chicago Fire” averaged a 2.3/6 in 18-49 and 7.1 million viewers overall, tying in 18-49 with CBS vet “CSI” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall), and ahead of ABC’s rookie soap “Nashville” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), which bounced back 10% from its low set last week.

“Chicago Fire” grew a big 44% week to week (from a 1.6/4 when it followed “Law & Order: SVU”) and logged the net’s best regular score in the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour since last season’s premiere of “SVU.”

While the other dramas gained, “CSI” was off a tick week to week but won its hour outright in both 25-54 (3.0/7) and total viewers.

Earlier in the evening, ABC’s comedy quartet had its highest averages of the season, with “The Middle” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) and “The Neighbors” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) delivering best-since-premiere scores; the former has gained in 18-49 with each of its last four outings. “Modern Family” (4.7/12 in 18-49, 12.3 million viewers overall) was below average for the season but up half a ratings point from last week and was the night’s top program in 18-49, 25-54 (5.7/13) and total viewers, and “Suburgatory” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) either matched or set a season high depending on how the nationals come in.

CBS’ “Survivor” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) and “Criminal Minds” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall) edged up week to week and won their hours in total viewers.

And at CW, “Arrow” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) was up sharply in all demos and matched or set series highs in all categories. “Supernatural” (1.0/2 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) was also up meaningfully week to week.

Univision saw a strong series premiere at 9 p.m. for “Amores Verdaderos” (True Love), which averaged a 1.7/5 in 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers overall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 3.2/9; ABC, 2.8/7; CBS, 2.7/7; Fox, 2.6/7; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.9 million; NBC, 9.3 million; ABC, 8.0 million; Fox, 7.0 million; Univision, 3.6 million; CW, 3.0 million.