CBS’ Wednesday lineup continues to assert its dominance. The network doesn’t have the top program of the night in 18-49 — that would be ABC’s Modern Family — but is solid throughout primetime, winning every hour in 18-49 and total viewers. Survivor (2.4) last night was even with its fast national last Wednesday, while Criminal Minds (2.8) and CSI (2.1) posted gains for a second straight week. Criminal Minds was up a tenth in 18-49 and drew its largest audience of the season (12.3 million), while CSI was up 11% and also hit a viewership season high (11 million).
If ABC needed a validation for its decision this week to try another comedy behind Modern Family in midseason, it got it last night. The slot’s current dweller, Super Fun Night (1.9) was down 10% from last week’s fast national to log the freshman’s lowest rating behind an original Modern Family. (Last week, the show was adjusted down a tenth in the final, which may happen again because of a minute of Modern Family overrun.) Modern Family itself (3.3) was down 13% from last week to its lowest fall result since its first season. The Emmy-winning comedy is showing vulnerability this fall, not helped by new 8:30 PM entry Back In The Game (1.6, down 11% from last week to a series low). The network is shaking things up in midseason, bringing Suburgatory back in the 8:30 PM slot where it performed best. 8 PM anchor The Middle (2.2) was down 8% to tie a season low. A lot has been said about the behind-the-scenes struggles on Nashville, with the network pushing for a soap, and the producers trying for a more realistic portrayal of the country music industry. Nashville has been aggressively ramping up its soapy quotient in Season 2, and it seems to pay off in the ratings as the drama (1.6) inched up a tenth for a second consecutive week to equal a 7-week high 18-49 rating and draw its largest week in 5 weeks (5.6 million).