It was a rather atypical Wednesday night, with usual demo winner Fox airing a mix of a little bit of baseball, rain delay-filling sitcom reruns and an hour of The X Factor that inadvertently ran simultaneously on both coasts. Or as Simon Cowell put it, “a total f up,” that will result in last night’s two-hour episode airing in its entirety on Tuesday night, pre-empting Fox’s fledgling comedy block and facing an all-new The Voice.
With Fox out of sorts, CBS swooped in and won the night in adults 18-49 (2.7/8), along with total viewers (10.8 million). Survivor: Philippines (2.7/8) and Criminal Minds (3.1/8) were both up a tenth from last week’s fast nationals, while CSI (2.4/7) was down two tenths. CSI‘s ratings fluctuations have been puzzling — it went up last week when it faced the premieres of ABC’s Nashville and NBC’s Chicago Fire and then retreated last night when its time-slot rivals dropped significantly from their debuts. (CSI still ruled the 10 PM hour.)
Nashville (2.0/6) tumbled 29%, while Chicago Fire (1.5/6) shed 21%. Nashville followed the season debut of Suburgatory (2.8/7) vs. an original Modern Family last week, but in similar circumstances (Happy Endings season debut vs. new Modern Family), Nashville‘s predecessor Revenge dropped 18% to a 2.7/7 in Week 2 last fall. Speaking of Suburgatory, the second-season debut of the suburban comedy in its new post-Modern Family slot came in surprisingly below the show’s series premiere last fall at 8:30 PM. It was also lower than the season premieres of Happy Endings (3.2) and Cougar Town (3.4) in the slot the last two falls as well as the preview of The Neighbors in the half-hour earlier this fall. (All three followed higher-rated episodes of Modern Family). The Neighbors (1.9/5) logged the same fast–national demo rating for a third straight week (it got adjusted up to a 2.0 last Wednesday). The Middle (2.5/8) was up a tenth.
The CW’s Arrow (1.3/4 in 18-49, 1.1/4 in 18-34, 3.5 million total viewers) sealed its back-nine pickup with a strong Week 2 showing. It matched its potent premiere numbers in 18-49 and 18-34 and slipped 16% in total viewers, mostly shedding older viewers. After tying NBC’s 8-9 PM comedies in 18-49 last week, Arrow topped them last night. Supernatural (1.0/3) was also steady in 18-49, down a tenth in 18-34 (0.9/3).
NBC’s dual-personality fall ratings performance continues, with very strong Monday-Tuesday and barely there Wednesday and Thursday. All the network’s shows last night trailed the competition; NBC’s highest-rated program was Law & Order: SVU (1.6/4), which was down 11% from last week. Animal Practice (1.0/3) was down 9%, and Guys With Kids (1.4/4) was flat.