After letting FOX win last Wednesday with World Series coverage, CBS dominated this Wednesday with its regular lineup, as only "Modern Family" prevented a primetime sweep both overall and in the all-important young adult demographic.
CBS still won the night among adults 18-49, averaging a 3.3 rating in the key demo, topping the 2.8 rating for ABC. NBC was third with a 1.8 rating, beating FOX's 1.3 rating and the 1.1 rating for The CW.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 12.19 million viewers and a 7.2 rating/12 share. ABC's 8.25 million viewers and 5.1/8 held off NBC's 4.8/8 and 7.18 million viewers. FOX was a distant fourth with a 2.0/3 and 3.23. The CW's 1.6/3 and 2.47 million viewers finished fifth.
8 p.m. -- "Survivor: Nicaragua" started primetime with 12.26 million viewers and a 3.7 demo rating, both up from last week. ABC's "The Middle" and "Better with You" averaged 8.685 million viewers and a 2.7 demo rating as part of a continued rise. NBC's "Undercovers" averaged 5.85 million viewers (up slightly from last week) and a 1.3 demo rating (down from last week). FOX's repeat of "Hell's Kitchen" was fourth with 3.27 million viewers. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" was fifth with 2.974 million viewers, up from last week, and tied with FOX and NBC for third in the demo.
9 p.m. -- CBS' "Criminal Minds" won the 9 p.m. hour overall with 14.4 million viewers and finished a close second with a 3.8 demo rating. ABC was second overall with "Modern Family" (12.21 million viewers and a 4.8 demo) and "Cougar Town" (7.54 million and a 3.0 demo) and won the demo. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" averaged 7.96 million viewers and a 2.1 demo rating in a low week. FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" repeat was fourth, beating the 1.965 million viewers for The CW's "Hellcats."
10 p.m. -- "The Defenders" averaged 9.91 million viewers and a 2.3 demo rating, both slightly up from last week and both enough to carry the 10 p.m. hour. NBC's "Law & Order: Los Angeles" averaged 7.72 million viewers and a 1.9 demo rating. ABC was third overall with the 6.195 million viewers for "In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts" and tied for second in the demo.
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.