Fast National ratings for Wednesday, September 22, 2010.
 
ABC's Emmy-winning comedy "Modern Family" returned on Tuesday night with high demo numbers, but CBS got stronger across the board performances from "Survivor: Nicaragua," "Criminal Minds" and the premiere of "The Defenders" to win the night overall and in the all-important demographic.
 
Among Tuesday's new series premieres, "Undercovers" probably premiered below expectations for NBC, ABC's "Better with You" and "The Defenders" were OK and "The Whole Truth" tanked for ABC.
 
For the night, CBS averaged a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49, tops in the key demographic. FOX's 2.9 rating nipped the 2.8 rating for CBS and ABC.  The CW's 1.1 rating was fifth.
 
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 12.878 million viewers to go with a 7.7 rating/13 share. NBC was a solid second with an estimated 9.538 million viewers and a 6.1/10. ABC's 4.9/8 and 7.925 million viewers held off the 3.7/6 and 6.568 million viewers for FOX. The CW was fifth with a 1.6/3 and an average of 2.569 million viewers.
 
"Survivor: Nicaragua" led the night off in first for CBS with an estimated 12.472 million viewers and a 4.0 demo rating. NBC's "Undercovers" averaged 8.574 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating, up in audience, but down in the demo from last fall's premiere of the far-less-expensive and far-less-heavily-promoted "Mercy." ABC was third with "The Middle" (8.812 million viewers and a 2.6 demo) and the series premiere of "Better with You" (7.966 million viewers and a 2.5 demo). FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" averaged under 5.95 million viewers but tied for second in the demo. On The CW, "America's Next Top Model" averaged 2.82 million viewers.
 
CBS stayed in first overall in the 9 p.m. hour with the 14.08 million viewers for "Criminal Minds," which also did a 4.0 demo rating. ABC's "Modern Family" averaged 12.61 million viewers and had a 5.0 rating among adults 18-49, the night's best, though "Cougar Town" slipped to 8.35 million viewers and a 3.3 demo rating. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" was third with an average of 9.68 million viewers, but fourth in the demo. FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" improved to 7.19 million viewers and was third in the demo. On The CW, "Hellcats" averaged 2.32 million viewers for fifth.
 
The series premiere of "The Defenders" had an averaged of 12.09 million viewers and a 2.9 demo rating, slipping from "Criminal Minds," but only dropping moderately at the half-hour. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" improved to 10.36 million viewers and won the hour with a 3.5 demo rating. ABC's series premiere of "The Whole Truth" was DOA with 4.91 million viewers and a 1.5 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.