NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” looked good as it returned for a ninth season on Wednesday, winning its timeslot and finishing behind only CBS’ “The Big Brother” among the night’s top-rated shows in young adults. Also at CBS, sophomore drama “Extant” remained sluggish but at least saw a ratings uptick in its new timeslot.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, NBC’s winning night opened with an “America’s Got Talent” clip show (1.2/5 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), placing third in most categories behind “Big Brother” and Fox’s “MasterChef.” The Peacock then spiked from there with “Last Comic Standing” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), which won in all key categories from 9 to 11. “Comic,” which looks likely to round up to a 1.6 in the nationals, will come in a bit below last year’s demo premiere score (1.7), but in total viewers this will be the show’s best showing in its last 36 airings (since its season five finale in September 2007).

At CBS, “Big Brother” (1.8/7 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) was down about 10% from last week but remained Wednesday’s No. 1 show in demos. It was followed by “Extant” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), which ranked fourth among the English-language broadcasters in its timeslot in 18-49, but was able to show an 8% improvement over last week (0.68 vs. 0.63), when it aired at 10. A repeat of “Criminal Minds” in its new 10 p.m. time period closed out the night (0.7/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), up 14% from last week’s “Extant” (0.72 vs. 0.63).

Fox’s “MasterChef,” which yesterday was renewed for another season, placed second at 8 p.m. (1.4/6 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall), but was down a tick from last week to match its summer low. It was followed by the premiere of alternative series “Home Free” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall), which placed second among the Big Four in 18-49 for the 9 o’clock hour hour and was a bit of an improvement over the prior four-week average for “Bullseye” (0.84), which ended its run last week.

ABC aired a “Black-ish” marathon from 8 to 10 p.m., averaging a 0.7 in 18-49 at both 8 and 8:30 p.m., and then a 0.8 at both 9 and 9:30; it averaged a little over 3 million viewers overall. Closing things out were “Modern Family” repeats at 10 (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) and 10:30 (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall).

One night after Telemundo scored a ratings milestone by pulling ahead of Univision in adults 18-49 for the first time, the networks were in a preliminary draw (0.6 rating).

CW aired repeats of “Arrow” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 1.0 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 1.4/5; CBS and Fox, 1.1/4; ABC, 0.8/3; Univision and Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.2/1.

TV Ratings Wednesday, July 22, 2015
18-49 ratings/share
  1. 1.

    Big Brother

    (8:00 CBS)

    5.8 Million Viewers
  2. 2.

    Last Comic Standing

    (9:00 NBC)

    6.0 Million Viewers
  3. 3.


    (8:00 Fox)

    4.4 Million Viewers
  4. 4.

    America’s Got Talent recap

    (8:00 NBC)

    7.5 Million Viewers
  5. 5.

    Home Free

    (9:00 Fox)

    2.9 Million Viewers