Fast Nation ratings for Wednesday, September 21, 2011.
 
FOX will spin Wednesday premiere numbers for "The X Factor" in all manner of positive directions, but the Simon Cowell-fronted talent show failed to deliver a massive audience and got royally trounced by ABC's "Modern Family" in its second hour.
 
Still, FOX narrowly won Wednesday among young viewers, though second-place ABC also got encouraging returns for "Revenge" and "The Middle."
 
On the negative side, NBC's "Free Agents" has become a confirmed dud after only two episodes and viewers largely rejected the retooled return of "Harry's Law," while The CW's "America's Next Top Model" and "H8r" continued to slip. 
 
Let's examine...
 
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 4.2 rating for the night, edging out the 4.1 rating for ABC in the key demographic. CBS was a competitive third with a 3.5 rating, with a big drop to NBC's 1.8 rating. The CW trailed with a 0.6 rating for the night.
 
Overall, though, CBS won the night, averaging 12.34 million viewers and a 7.6 rating/12 share. FOX was a close second with a 7.2/11 and 12.14 million viewers, with ABC's 7.0/11 and 11.36 million viewers close behind. NBC was a distant fourth with a 4.4/7 and 6.62 million viewers. The CW averaged a 0.9/1 and 1.32 million viewers.
 
8 p.m. - Primetime began with "The X Factor" in first with 11.72 million viewers and a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49, decent numbers by most standards, but far below "Idol" numbers and even below many of the nights for NBC's similar "The Voice." CBS was second with "Survivor: South Pacific," which delivered a steady 10.355 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the key demo. ABC's "The Middle" launched its third season well with 9.64 million viewers and a 3.0 key demo rating. NBC was a good deal less enthusiastic about "Up All Night" (6.04 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating) and "Free Agents" (3.86 million and a 1.3 key demo rating). On The CW, "H8r" averaged 1.09 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.
 
9 p.m. - "Modern Family" stormed into first for the 9 p.m. hour with 14.29 million viewers and a huge 6.0 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "Criminal Minds" premiere was a close second overall with 14.07 million viewers and a respectable third in the key demo with a 4.1 rating. FOX's "X Factor" was up to 12.56 million viewers and a 4.4 key demo rating in its second hour. On NBC, "Harry's Law" averaged nearly 7.3 million viewers and a wicked low 1.2 key demo rating. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" slumped to 1.56 million viewers in its second week.
 
10 p.m. - CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" moved to its new night with new lead Ted Danson and won the 10 p.m. hour overall with 12.59 million viewers, coming in second with a 3.1 key demo rating. ABC's "Revenge" squandered a lot of its lead-in but still premiered encouragingly with 10.15 million viewers and an hour-winning 3.4 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" averaged 7.6 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating in third.
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.