Uh-oh. In a heated bidding war last year, ABC ponied up big to keep the Country Music Association Awards with a new 10-year deal. In the first year of that deal, the 46th Annual CMA Awards last night drew a 3.8/10 in adults 18-49 and 13.6 million viewers, down 21% and 17%, respectively, from last year to mark the awards show’s lowest-rated telecast ever in both 18-49 and total viewers. The CMAs still logged a nightly victory for ABC in both categories.

Like last year, the CMAs faced Fox’s The X Factor (they clashed on Wednesday, CMAs long-time night, last fall). Both were shadows of their 2011 selves when the CMAs drew a 4.8 demo rating and X Factor posted a 3.7. Last night, X Factor managed a 2.3/6, even with last week’s re-cut Tuesday special that spilled out of the network’s primetime. But it was a series low for a regularly scheduled episode of the singing competition as the transition to live shows and the introduction of hosts Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez have failed to provide a boost.

CBS’s The Big Bang Theory (5.1/15) was up a tenth from last week and Two And A Half Men (3.6/10) was down a tenth, but both may be adjusted down as CBS’ San Diego affiliate carried an NFL game from 8-9 PM. Person Of Interest (3.0/8) also was up a tenth, while freshman Elementary (2.4/6) perked up by two tenths (9%). Following a Voice repeat, NBC’s Rock Center With Brian Williams (1.3/3) was boosted by coverage of the Sandy aftermath, up 18% from last week.

On the CW, The Vampire Diaries (3.2 million viewers, up 10%; 1.6/5 in 18-34, up 14%; 1.5/5 in 18-49, up 15%) posted its highest-rated and most-watched episode since the season premiere. Beauty And The Beast was up a tenth in 18-34 (0.7/2) and 18-49 (0.6/2).