The big winner on TV last night was CNN with Donald Trump and the second GOP debate. While that three-hour clipfest hit highs for the cable news network and attracted a lot of the eyeballs that usually look to broadcast, there were some victories on the Big 4, too.
Both America’s Got Talent (2.1/7) and MasterChef (1.5/5) declared winners as they wrapped their latest seasons. With a ventriloquist taking the $1 million prize, the live 10th anniversary season-ender of the NBC series airing from 9-11 PM was the top show of the night among adults 18-49, hitting a Wednesday season high and rising 17% from last week. However, AGT was down 12% in the key demo from its Season 9 finale of September 17 last year. That makes last night a finale low for AGT, which also saw judge Howard Stern bid farewell after four seasons. AGT does see adjustments in final numbers, but it will have to have a real boost to make it out of that low.
Overall, NBC was the top in the demo and in viewers for Wednesday with a 1.8/6 rating and an audience of 8.24 million.
It was also a finale low for the Gordon Ramsay-hosted cooking competition on Fox. With a home chef from the San Diego area cooking up the win, MasterChef was even with last week but tumbled 25% from the Season 5 ender of September 15, 2014, a Monday. Of course, Ramsay will be back with more hopefuls next year as Fox renewed the show for a seventh season in July.
With the Republican debate on cable news sucking up viewers and demo, CBS saw Big Brother (1.8/7) go down 14% from last week. Following a Criminal Minds repeat in the now-ended Extant’s slot, the special NFL: Undrafted (0.5/2) performed OK; the docuseries heads back to its regular perch on the NFL Network tonight. The CW’s America’s Next Top Model (0.5/2) was down 17% from its September 9 show. Lead-out A Wicked Offer (0.3/1) rose a tenth.
ABC was all encores last night.