Britney Spears is not, in fact, magical.
NBC's last-minute plotting paid dividends on Wednesday as a hastily scheduled hour of bind auditions for "The Voice
" comfortably trumped FOX's heavily hyped relaunch of "The X Factor
." While "The X Factor" took a big jump in its second hour, allowing FOX to win the night among young viewers, it still struggled to find an overall audience against NBC's "America's Got Talent" and came in well below last fall's premiere.
For the night, FOX averaged a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49, beating NBC's 2.7 rating in the key demographic. [And yes, FOX still beat NBC even in the two hours the networks shared, so no asterisk required.] CBS was a distant third with a 1.5 rating, followed by ABC's 0.9 rating and the 0.3 rating in the key demo for The CW.
Overall, though, NBC finished on top for Wednesday night with a 5.6 rating.9 share and 8.93 million viewers, edging out the 5.2/8 and 8.47 million viewers for FOX. CBS was far back in third with a 4.0/7 and 6.06 million viewers, roughly doubling the 2.1/4 and 3.025 million viewers for ABC. The CW averaged a 0.5/1 and 814,000 viewers for Wednesday primetime.
8 p.m. - The expected 8 p.m. battleground between "The Voice" and "The X Factor" wasn't much of a battle at all. "The Voice" averaged 10.66 million viewers and a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49, down from Tuesday's comparable hour, but still easily in first. FOX's revamped "The X Factor" averaged 7.45 million viewers and a 2.7 key demo rating for second. CBS took third with 6.12 million viewers and a 2.0 key demo rating for "Big Brother." ABC was fourth with 3.36 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating for repeats of "The Middle" and "Suburgatory." Finally, enhanced competition knocked The CW's "Oh Sit!" down to 930,000 viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - "America's Got Talent" won the 9 p.m. hour overall for NBC with 11.01 million viewers and finished second with a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49. Without "The Voice," FOX's "X Factor" took a big jump to 9.49 million viewers and a 3.8 key demo rating, roughly three million viewers below last year's "X Factor" launch in a much more competitive landscape that included premieres for "Modern Family" and "Criminal Minds." CBS was a distant third with 5.62 million viewers for a repeat of "Criminal Minds," while ABC's repeats of "Modern Family" averaged 3.21 million viewers and tied CBS with a 1.2 key demo rating. The CW's repeat of "Supernatural" averaged 697,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - CBS finished primetime in first overall with 6.43 million viewers for a "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" repeat, coming in second with a 1.3 key demo rating. NBC's sneak premiere of "Guys with Kids" averaged 6.28 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49, followed by 3.93 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating for an encore of "The New Normal." On ABC, a repeat of "Revenge" averaged 2.51 million viewers and a 0.6 key 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.