TV Ratings: 'Survivor' returns strong, but NBC's 'Talent,' 'Outlaw' rule Wednesday
'Big Brother' and 'Masterchef' finales also make Wednesday interesting
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One of the busiest small screen nights in months saw finales for "America's Got Talent," "Big Brother" and "Masterchef," plus the premiere of "Survivor: Nicaragua" and the special sneak of NBC's "Outlaw."
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 3.3 rating for the night, nipping the 3.2 rating for CBS in the key demographic. FOX was a distant third with a 2.0 rating, with The CW and ABC tying for fourth with a 1.2 rating.
Overall, NBC had more of a cushion with an average of 14.33 million viewers to go with an 8.5 rating/14 share. CBS was a distant second with a 5.3/9 and 9.26 million viewers on average. FOX's 2.8/5 and the 2.7/4 for ABC followed, while The CW stayed in fifth with a 1.7/3, seeing solid retention for its Wednesday lineup and big year-to-date improvements for the night.
NBC started the night in first overall with an 8.2/14 for the first part of the "America's Got Talent" premiere. CBS' "Survivor: Nicaragua" had no difficulty moving to its Wednesday home, averaging 12.005 million viewers to go with a 6.8/11 and winning the hour with a 3.9 demo rating. ABC's repeats of "The Middle" nipped the 2.6/4 for the first hour of FOX's "Masterchef" finale. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" had a 1.9/3 with 2.905 million viewers, up very slightly from last week's premiere.
"America's Got Talent" improved to a 10.5/17 and a 4.4 demo rating in the 9 p.m. hour, dominating in all measures. The first hour of CBS' "Big Brother" finale was a distance second with a 4.5/7 and a 2.9 demo rating. FOX's "Masterchef" moved up to third with a 3.0/5, pushing ABC's repeats of "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" to fourth. On The CW, the second week of "Hellcats" had a 1.6/3, averaging 2.675 million viewers, down from last week, but only by a reasonable 300,000-ish viewers.
The sneak premiere of "Outlaw" won the 10 p.m. hour for NBC with a 6.8/12. The Jimmy Smits drama averaged strong 10.897 million viewers, plummeted to a less-than-impressive 2.4 demo rating, though the turn-off at the half-hour wasn't so extreme. The end of CBS' "Big Brother" finale had a 4.5/8 and won the hour with a 2.8 demo rating. ABC's "Castle" repeat was 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.