CBS captured Wednesday in key demos behind its veteran lineup including "Survivor," but ABC's "Modern Family" rebounded from its sub-par scores of last week to easily rule as the night's top show in young adults. The struggles for Fox's "The X Factor" continued, meanwhile, as it finished behind NBC's own singing competition, "The Sing Off," head-to-head.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS beat its rivals in adults 18-49 in five of six half-hours on Wednesday, led by "Survivor" (2.5/8 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) and "Criminal Minds" (2.4/7 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall), which was the night's most-watched program overall. "Survivor" was about on par with last week as it heads into its season finale on Sunday, but the drama was down about 14% in 18-49 from its most recent original.
Also down 14% from its previous original episode, "CSI" (1.8/5 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall) was nonetheless the broadcast leader across the board for the 10 p.m. hour.
Elsewhere, ABC opened with "The Middle" (1.9/6 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) and "Back in the Game" (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), with the former flat week to week and at its season low, and the latter up a tick from last week. "Modern Family" followed at 9 p.m. (3.5/10 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), more than doubling its lead-in and rising 9% (0.3) from its season low of last week and standing as the No. 1 program of the night in 18-49 -- one full ratings point higher than "Survivor."
Finishing the night for ABC, "Super Fun Night" (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) was up a bit from last week and looks to have again retained about half of its "Modern Family" demo lead-in. And at 10 p.m., "Nashville" (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) was down 12% (0.2) from last week and tying its low.
From 8 to 10 p.m., NBC's "The Sing-Off" (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) beat Fox's "The X Factor" (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), with the latter on par with last week and placing fourth in its timeslot. "Sing Off" was down 25% from its Monday premiere (2.4), which benefited from a "The Voice" lead-in, but gave NBC one of its best demo averages in the two-hour block this fall. And compared to its second episode in the show's most recent season (in 2011), "Sing-Off" was up a tick (1.7).
NBC then did OK closing the night with the special "Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Tale" (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), which was neck-and-neck with ABC's "Nashville" and above the net's average this season.
At CW, "Arrow" was solid (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), down a bit from its highs of last week in 18-49 and total viewers but rising to a series high in men 18-34 (1.6/4); in fact, this was the best score for any series on the network since "Smallville" in October 2010. In adults 18-34, "Arrow" (1.1/4) tied with Fox and ABC in the 8 o'clock hour.
At 9 p.m., rookie drama "The Tomorrow People" was down a bit from last week (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall).
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.2/6; ABC, 1.9/6; NBC, 1.7/5; Fox, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.2/3; CW, 0.8/2; Telemundo, 0.5/2.
In total viewers: CBS, 10.3 million; ABC, 6.8 million; NBC, 5.7 million; Fox, 4.9 million; Univision, 3.1 million; CW, 2.2 million; Telemundo, 1.3 million.
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