ABC’s Country Music Association Awards dominated Wednesday night, jumping from last year’s record-low results.
The long-running music franchise popped 10% to a 3.2 rating among viewers ages 18-49. And the broadcast’s 14.29 million total viewers was up 14% compared with last year’s 12.5 mil.
In fairness, last year’s CMA Awards ran head-to-head against Fox’s broadcast of the historic Game 7 of the Cubs-Indians World Series. That gimongous game averaged 40 million viewers — the most for any baseball game since 1991, when the Minnesota Twins beat the Atlanta Braves 1-0 in another World Series Game 7 that went to extra-innings.
The 18-49 rating for this year’s CMA Awards still is among the lowest ever for the franchise, and its total-viewer tally finishes ahead of just 2012, 2015 and 2016 results.
Even so, in the demo, ABC delivered the highest rating for any network on any night this season with entertainment programming. Featuring its full primetime run of the 51st annual CMA Awards, ABC dominated Wednesday night, winning all six half-hours of the night, in both metrics.
ABC more than doubled its closest competition, leading CBS by 7.8 million viewers (14.3 million vs. 6.5 million) and Fox by 113% in the demo (3.2/12 vs. 1.5/6.
Meanwhile, Fox’s Empire (1.8, 5.409M) returned, after being preempted for World Series the past two weeks, and matched the 1.8 of its previous telecast on Oct. 18, which set a new series low. Fox’s Star (1.2, 3.785M) followed with a 1.2, its lowest rating to date when it’s had an Empire lead-in.
NBC’s The Blacklist (0.9, 4.99M) grew 13% in the demo, but slipped a tad in total viewers, after which Law & Order: SVU (1.1, 4.893M), bested its lead-in in the demo but not in overall audience. Chicago P.D. (0.9, 5.474M) did the reverse at 10 PM.
CBS’s Survivor (1.6, 7.727M) was the most watched non-CMA show of the night, followed by SEAL Team (0.9, 6.168M) at 9 PM and Criminal Minds (0.9, 5.474M) at 10.
CW’s Dynasty (0.2, 722K) revival continued to seek traction, clocking a 0.2 demo rating for its last three telecasts. Its Riverdale (0.5, 1.49M) lead-in, meanwhile, slipped a tenth to a 0.5 after opening its second season with a record 0.8, then settling in with 0.6’s with its three episodes that followed.