The first Wednesday of the year without Fox’s dominant “Empire” didn’t seem to free up viewers of other shows, as ABC’s “Modern Family” and NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” matched their lowest scores of the season. The combo of “Survivor” and “Criminal Minds” lifted CBS to victory, though the jury remains out on the net’s 10 p.m. newcomer “CSI: Cyber,” which was edged out in the young-adults demo by NBC’s “Chicago PD.”
Fox’s “American Idol,” meanwhile, seemed to miss skedmate “Empire,” as its first Wednesday installment of the season without the drama airing behind it delivered easily the show’s lowest scores on the night this season.
Of note in latenight, meanwhile, it was more of the same in the early going of “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” with the CBS newcomer faring better than NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in households (1.2 rating vs. 1.1 in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets) while the Peacock program prevailed among adults 18-49 (0.4 rating vs. 0.3). Through three nights in the fast nationals, “Late Late Show” was averaging 1.49 million viewers and a 0.3 rating in 18-49 — up 5% in the former and even in the latter vs. the comparable nights a year ago with Craig Ferguson as host.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the 30th edition of “Survivor” averaged a 2.2 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 9.5 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, down a tick from its two-hour average last week though it very well could round up to a 2.3 in the nationals. It was the No. 1 show in its timeslot and ranked second among series on the night in 18-49.
“Criminal Minds” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall) was in line with its 2015 average to date opposite “Empire,” placing second to the ABC comedy hour in 18-49 for its hour while ruling as Wednesday’s most-watched program overall. It was followed by the fourth week of “CSI: Cyber” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall), which matched last week’s score when it aired behind “Survivor” — placing a close second in 18-49 and first in 25-54 (2.1/6) as well as total viewers.
ABC’s comedy quartet was on the low side as it returned to originals after a couple of weeks off, but the block won its two hours in 18-49 and was up a smidge vs. the comparable week of last year. “The Middle” (1.8/7 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) and “The Goldbergs” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) delivered their second lowest scores of the season and “Modern Family” matched its (2.8/9 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) — falling 0.6 from its prior original but back to standing as the No. 1 show on the night in 18-49 now that “Empire” has wrapped. “Black-ish” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) was down 0.2 from its prior original but won its timeslot in 18-49 and its retention of lead-in (75%, pending updates in the nationals) looked pretty good.
The 2.2 average in 18-49 for the comedy block was up a tick from last year when “Modern” was considerably stronger (3.6), but “Mixology” dragged down the net’s average.
The “Nashville” special “Nashville: On the Record,” featuring musical performances by some of the show’s stars, averaged a 0.8/3 in 18-49 and 4.1 million viewers overall. The country music-set soap returns with originals next week.
At Fox, a two-hour “American Idol” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) was about on par with the show’s two-hour Thursday episode of last week but down nearly 30% from the 2.4 it did with its most recent hourlong episode of two weeks ago. It delivered less than one-third the demo rating of the monster “Empire” for its final two hours last week (6.5), though that was still good enough to tie for second on the night in 18-49.
NBC’s drama lineup returned to originals after three weeks off, with “The Mysteries of Laura” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: SVU” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) matching their season low; the former was down 0.4 from its prior original (which was boosted by guest star Eric McCormack) and the latter lost 0.2
The net’s standout of the night was “Chicago PD” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), which won in 18-49 over “CSI: Cyber” in their first matchup of originals. “Chicago” has now ranked No. 1 in 18-49 among the 10 p.m. Wednesday broadcast dramas (either outright or tied) with nine of its last 10 original episodes, and last night marked the fifth time in six tries that it has built on its “SVU” lead-in.
CW had a positive night relative to the competition, with both “Arrow” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall) up a tick from last week.