ABC's telecast of the Country Music Association Awards was down slightly from last year, but not enough to make a big difference. The CMAs helped ABC dominate on Wednesday night, sweeping primetime in the key measures and taking a bite out of the competition at every turn.
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 4.7 rating, far ahead of FOX and CBS' 2.7 rating in the key demographic. NBC was a distant fourth with a 1.6 rating, while The CW was fifth with a 1.1 rating.
Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 16.45 million viewers to go with a 9.8 rating/16 share. CBS was well back in second with a 6.4/11 and 10.676 million viewers. NBC's 4.2/7 and 6.356 million viewers finished third, while FOX's 3.3/5 and 5.71 million viewers was fourth. The CW trailed with a 1.4/2 and 2.31 million viewers.
8 p.m. -- The first hour of the 44th Annual CMA Awards averaged 16.41 million viewers and a 4.5 demo rating for ABC in the 8 p.m. hour. CBS' "Survivor: Nicaragua" was second with 11.25 million viewers and a 3.2 demo rating. FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" averaged 5.51 million viewers in third. NBC's "Undercovers" showed its already-cancelled form with 5.13 million viewers and only a 1.2 rating in the key demo. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" had a low week with 2.67 million viewers in fifth, tying NBC in the demo.
9 p.m. -- The CMAs improved to 17.12 million viewers and a 4.9 demo rating for ABC in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' "Criminal Minds" had 12.44 million viewers and a 3.0 demo for second. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" averaged 7.17 million viewers in third. FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" was up to 5.9 million viewers in fourth. The CW's "Hellcats" dipped to 1.945 million viewers for fifth.
10 p.m. -- ABC completed its primetime sweep with 15.83 million viewers and a 4.7 demo rating for the CMAs. CBS' "The Defenders" took a big plunge to 8.33 million viewers and a 1.8 demo rating in second. NBC's "Law & Order: Los Angeles" was third with 6.775 million viewers and a 1.7 demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.