In the battle of the crime drama spinoffs at 10 PM, it was a draw between veteran Law & Order: SVU and newcomer Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which finished tied for first place in the 18-49 demo with a 2.5/7. (Suspect Behavior was tops in viewers, 9.9 million vs. 8 million) But it was good news for SVU, up 14% from last week, and bad news for Suspect Behavior, down 24% from its premiere last week. And that despite its lead-in, the mothership Criminal Minds series (3.4/9, 13.4 million), being up 6% in the demo. Also slightly up, by a tenth, was CBS’ veteran reality series Survivor (3.3/9, 11.2 million), which posted its lowest-rated premiere/telecast last week facing Fox’s American Idol for the first time.
An already overcrowded reality field at 8 PM became even more crowded last night with the season premiere of CW’s America’s Next Top Model (2.3 million, 1.3/4 in 18-34), which faced Idol, Survivor and NBC’s Minute to Win It. Model did OK under the circumstances, down 7% in 18-34 from its fall premiere and 21% in total viewers. And in 18-49 (1.1/3), it actually tied NBC’s Minute to Win It (1.2/3 from 8-10 PM, up 20% from last week.) But new CW reality series Shedding for the Wedding (1.2 million, 0.5/1) was off to a rough start. It still improved on the DOA debut performance of High Society (up 17% in 18-34) and Fly Girls (up 40% in 18-34) last March.
ABC’s two midseason Wednesday series took ratings swings in opposite directions. In its third week, comedy Mr. Sunshine (2.4/6) was down 11%, following a 30% drop last Wednesday. On the bright side, Off the Map (1.7/5) up 13% from last week despite its lead-in’s dropoff. The medical drama still finished distant third in the 10 PM hour. The other 3 ABC series stayed close to their numbers from last week: The Middle (2.4/7) was up 4%, Better with You (1.8/5) was flat, while Modern Family (4.1/11) was down 5% for a season low.
Fox’s American Idol (7.9/21, 22.6 million) once again towered over the competition. It was down 4% from last Wednesday in 18-49 and 9% from the comparable episode last season.