Why in the world did NBC put on repeats of Law & Order: SVU and especially fledging Law & Order: Los Angeles last week? After 2 consecutive 20%+ declines, LOLA rebounded big time 2 weeks ago, up 24% in the 18-49 demo to a 2.4/7 and a time slot win. SVU (2.6/7) was also up, by 13%. But instead of keeping the momentum going, NBC aired reruns of the crime dramas last week. The result: LOLA (1.9/6) was down 21% from the last original airing, tying its lowest rated-telecast from 3 weeks ago and tying ABC’s entertainment special for second place in the 10 PM hour. SVU (2.1/6) was down 19% from its fast national result 2 weeks ago (22% from the final) for a season low. At 8 PM, Undercovers (1.3/4), the only NBC Wednesday series to air an original last week, was down a tenth for an series low. (It grew a bit week-to-week in total viewers to 5.8 million)
Even without a Halloween hook this week, ABC’s sophomore comedy The Middle (2.9/9) had a ratings uptick in the fast nationals that may carry over to the finals. The family comedy was up a tenth vs. its fast national result last week (flat vs. the national) for a season high while all the other ABC comedies were flat (Better with You, 2.5/7) or down (Modern Family, 4.8/13, -6% and Cougar Town (3.0/8, -9%). A country music-themed news special (1.9/5, 6.2 million) improved ABC’s performance in the 10 PM hour with The Whole Truth last week by a whopping 72% in the demo. It drew ABC’s largest audience in the time slot since last December.
After taking a hit against the World Series last week, CBS’ series rebounded last night. Survivor: Nicaragua (3.7/11, 12.3 million) was up 6%, Criminal Minds (3.8/10, 14.4 million) up 12% and The Defenders (2.3/7, 9.9 million) up 10%. CBS won the night in adults 18-49 (3.3/9) and total viewers (12.2 million). Note: Fox aired Hell’s Kitchen reruns (1.4/4) because of the early finish of the World Series.