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TV Ratings: 'Survivor' returns strong, but NBC's 'Talent,' 'Outlaw' rule Wednesday
'Big Brother' and 'Masterchef' finales also make Wednesday interesting
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.