Ratings: ‘The Middle,’ ‘Nashville’ Bookend Winning Night for ABC

UPDATE: In updated national estimates from Nielsen released Thursday afternoon, NBC’s “Chicago PD” (1.5 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 6.71 million viewers overall) was revised up a tenth and marked the first time this season that it had built on its “Law & Order: SVU” demo lead-in. There was a three-way tie in 18-49 at 10 p.m. between “Chicago PD,” ABC’s “Nashville” and FX’s “American Horror Story,” with CBS’ “Stalker” a tick behind the trio.

Also rising a tick in the nationals was CW’s “Arrow” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.06 million viewers overall), which ended up tying its second best score of the season (behind only last week’s crossover episode with “The Flash”).

ABC’s comedies didn’t budge, so “The Goldbergs” didn’t technically improve upon “The Middle” for the first time. They each finished at a 2.2 in the roundoffs, but for those who care about these things, “Goldbergs” (2.24 rating) did out-draw the vet (2.16).

And at Fox, both “Hell’s Kitchen” hours gained a tenth.


The Middle” bounced back nicely from its low of the previous week, helping to lift the rest of ABC’s Wednesday comedy block and drama “Nashville” to strong numbers as the net scored a narrow demo victory over CBS. Also of note, the Eye’s “Survivor” had a good night as it nears the end of its season, but NBC’s dramas had a rough evening as they returned to lower numbers after a two-week break.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Middle” (2.2 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) surged about 35% above its series low of last week, matching its season high and just a tick behind “Survivor” for the 8 o’clock lead. It was followed by “The Goldbergs” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), which improved 29% from its low of last week — and if it edges up in the nationals to a 2.3 as expected, it would mean it built on its lead-in with every original episode this fall.

Modern Family” (3.1/10 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) was up 0.3 from last week’s low and was the night’s No. 1 show in 18-49 and 25-54 (4.0/10), and “Black-ish” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) was up 0.2 from its low and won its half-hour among young adults. “Nashville” capped the night for ABC (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall), matching its top score since last December and finishing a tick ahead of the competing dramas on CBS and NBC in 18-49 for the first time this season.

Overall, ABC was up 10% vs. the comparable night a year ago, with every timeslot but “Modern Family” showing improvement.

CBS, which won the night in adults 25-54 and total viewers, opened nicely with “Survivor” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), which was up 0.3 from the previous week to match a nine-week high; its two-hour finale is next Wednesday. “Criminal Minds” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) was at the low end of its season range but placed second for its hour in demos and was the night’s most-watched program overall. “Stalker” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) closed things out by matching its low, though it led its hour in adults 25-54 (2.0/6) and total viewers.

NBC seemed to pay the price for having its crime dramas off the air for a couple of weeks, as “The Mysteries of Laura” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) all matched or hit outright season lows. “Chicago PD” fared the best, finishing within a tick of the broadcast 18-49 lead for its hour and retaining all of its “SVU” lead-in for the first time this season.

Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) was on par with its below-average score of last week, but a second episode at 9 p.m. (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) was an improvement over “Red Band Society” in the timeslot, and helped the net come within shouting distance of NBC on the night.

At CW, “Arrow” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) came back to earth after its huge crossover episode with “The Flash” last week, but “The 100” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall) managed to match its score of last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.1/7; CBS, 2.0/6; NBC, 1.4/4; Fox, 1.2/4; Univision, 1.0/3; CW, 0.8/3; Telemundo, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 8.9 million; ABC, 7.3 million; NBC, 7.2 million; Fox, 3.6 million; Univision, 2.7 million; CW, 2.4 million; Telemundo 1.3 million.

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