NBC’s two-night, three-show crossover storyline featuring its Dick Wolf dramas produced strong ratings as the stunt wrapped on Wednesday, teaming with a special hour of “The Voice” to lift the net to a rare victory on the night in key demos. The Peacock beat its rivals for a fourth straight night in adults 18-49 — making it the first network since December to achieve this feat — and also drew its largest overall audience on an in-season Wednesday (excluding the Olympics) in more than six years.
ABC’s “Modern Family” remained the top-rated program in young adults, though it fell to a series low even though the shows on either side of it continue to be stronger this season.
Looking at the preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, a special Wednesday hour of “The Voice” averaged a timeslot-leading 2.5 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers overall. This is the net’s best in-season demo score in the time period (excluding the Olympics) since May 2013.
The stars of the night, though, were “Law & Order: SVU” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), both of which rose about 50% week to week to hit a season high. “SVU” hasn’t done better in 18-49 since its two-hour premiere last season, and this is its second largest total-viewer tally since 2011. And for the second-year “Chicago PD,” which scored its first timeslot victory of the season, the 2.2 demo rating ties its series high, while the 9.5 million is its biggest overall audience to date.
In addition to winning the night in 18-49, NBC also prevailed in total viewers — logging its best in-season, non-Olympics Wednesday average (10.0 million) since April 2008.
It was a mixed ratings bag at ABC, where 9 p.m. anchor “Modern Family” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) hit a series low, down 0.3 or 0.4 from its most recent original (depending on where it lands in the nationals) though still the top program on the night in 18-49 by more than half a ratings point. The rest of the lineup came back from a week off with solid numbers, starting with “The Middle” (1.9/6 in 18-49, season-high 8.1 million viewers overall) and “The Goldbergs” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall), which were on par with their prior originals despite extra competition from “The Voice.”
“Black-ish” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) was Wednesday’s No. 2 show in adults 18-49, down a bit from its prior original but able to avoid a low despite its softest lead-in to date. And capping the night, “Nashville” (1.4/5 in 18-49, season-high 5.6 million viewers overall) was on par with its most recent original, pulling into an 18-49 tie with CBS’ “Stalker.”
For CBS, “Survivor” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall) keeps plugging along, matching its prior four-week average despite tough reality competition from “The Voice.” “Criminal Minds” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) also held up nicely despite facing a stronger “SVU” on NBC, rising 0.2 above its season low of last week set opposite the CMA Awards on ABC, and standing as Wednesday’s most-watched program overall. At 10 p.m., “Stalker” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) edged down a tick to its low.
At Fox, “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) was up a tick from last week despite extra reality competition in its timeslot. “Red Band Society” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) held steady while hitting a series high in female teens (2.0/9).
At CW, “Arrow” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) was below average, but “The 100” edged up (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) to its season high.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 2.4/7; ABC, 2.1/6; CBS, 2.0/6; Fox, 1.2/4; Univision, 1.1/4; CW, 0.7/2; Telemundo, 0.6/2.
In total viewers: NBC, 10.0 million; CBS, 8.8 million; ABC, 7.4 million; Fox, 3.3 million; Univision, 2.9 million; CW, 2.2 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million.