Despite the impending Thanksgiving holiday, ABC opted to air original episodes for its two-hour comedy block, which resulted in lower-than-normal ratings for all four shows, but also gave the network a Wednesday win in the key demographic, if not overall.
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 2.3 rating, topping the 1.8 rating for FOX in the all-important demo. CBS' 1.7 rating and the 1.6 rating for NBC followed closely. The CW was fifth with a 0.5 rating.
Overall, though, CBS still came out victorious, averaging 8.19 million viewers and a 4.9 rating/9 share. ABC was a solid second with 7.36 million viewers and a 4.4/8. While NBC and FOX both posted a 3.0/5, FOX averaged 5.32 million viewers to NBC's 5.21 million. The CW was fifth with a 0.9/2 and 1.44 million viewers.
8 p.m. -- A "Survivor: Nicaragua" clip show helped CBS started the night in first with 8.03 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating. ABC's new "The Middle" and "Better with You" averaged 7.48 million viewers and tied for first with CBS in the demo. NBC's reairing of "Merry Madagascar" and the new "Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special" averaged 5.92 million viewers and a 1.5 demo rating. FOX's "Human Target" slipped to just under 5.6 million viewers and a 1.4 demo in its second episode, probably not so big a fall considering the holiday drop overall. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" recap episode was fifth with 1.86 million viewers.
9 p.m. -- CBS' "Criminal Minds" repeat carried the full 9 p.m. hour overall with 9.18 million viewers. ABC's "Modern Family" (10.53 million and a 3.7 demo) actually won its half-hour overall and combined with "Cougar Town" (6.72 million and 2.5 demo) to win the hour among adults 18-49. FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" was third with 5.06 million viewers and second in the demo with a 2.1 rating. NBC's "Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now?" special was fourth with 4.96 million viewers. The CW's repeat of "Hellcats" finished fifth.
10 p.m. -- A repeat of "The Defenders" won the 10 p.m. hour overall for CBS with 7.35 million viewers, but finished third in the demo. ABC's "Primetime" special on celebrity plastic surgery was second overall with 5.96 million viewers and won the hour with a 1.8 demo rating. NBC's "Biggest Loser" reunion special was third with 4.75 million viewers and 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.