ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ Edges Up In Ratings, Explodes on Twitter With Controversial Episode

ABC’s Wednesday lineup was on a slight rise last night, as “Modern Family” edged up and remained the top program in demos and “Black-ish” edged up with its topical episode about police brutality while drawing record Twitter activity and standing as easily the No. 1 program of the night on the social media platform.

Nielsen Social estimates that last night’s episode of “Black-ish” attracted 90,309 tweets — more than 25 times as many as last week’s episode (3,420 tweets) and well above the show’s previous high set with its series premiere in September 2014 (72,047). Among all programs, Fox’s “American Idol” ran second for the night in this category (70,227).

Looking at the night’s preliminary Nielsen TV ratings, “The Middle” (1.9/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) and “The Goldbergs” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) were on par with their scores of last week, finishing slightly behind veteran reality shows on CBS and Fox among 18-49. They were followed by week-to-week upticks for “Modern Family” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall), Wednesday’s No. 1 program in 18-49, 25-54 (3.2/9) and 18-34 (1.8/7), “Black-ish” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) and “American Crime” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall).

Wednesday’s “Black-ish,” which dealt with a fictional incident of police brutality and the various ways the Johnson family reacted to it, appears to have matched the show’s top ratings in its last five original episodes (its current 1.87 could still adjust down to a 1.8 in the finals); it led its 9:30 p.m. timeslot in 18-49, adults 18-34 (1.2/5), men 18-34 (1.0/4) and men 18-49 (1.5/5). “American Crime,” meanwhile, remained third among the broadcasters at 10 p.m. but was up a little week to week and appears to have drawn its top rating since its third episode of the season did a 0.99.

See More: ‘Black-ish’ Is the Ideal Sitcom for the Age of Black Lives Matter

Elsewhere, CBS opened with “Survivor” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall), which was up a tenth from its 90-minute premiere of last week and finished an eyelash behind Fox’s competing hourlong “American Idol” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall). It was followed by “Criminal Minds” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), which matched its prior original of two weeks ago and placed second to the ABC comedies in demos and first in total viewers.

Capping the night, the first-season finale of “Code Black” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) was up 0.2 from last week’s low and again finished second for its hour. The hospital drama started slowly last fall (averaging about a 1.2 in the demo) and picked up steam at midseason, but never really moved into “hit” territory.

At NBC, “The Mysteries of Laura” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) were steady, but in between “Law & Order: SVU” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) was down to its lowest rating of 2016. “Chicago PD” finished No. 1 in key demos as well as total viewers at 10 p.m. and was up slightly from the comparable night a year ago.

Fox’s “American Idol” was up a tenth from last week, while its “Hell’s Kitchen” was about average (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall).

And at CW, “Arrow” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) was up a tick from recent weeks, but “Supernatural” was about average (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall).

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