“Masterchef” led FOX to a ratings win on Wednesday night, but the most notable Nielsen developments happened over on the CW, which has been an embarrassingly distant fifth place for virtually the whole summer but edged out ABC last night thanks to “America’s Next Top Model” and the promising debut of “Hellcats.”
For the night, FOX averaged a 2.4/7 rating/share in the 18-49 year-old demographic and 5.7 million viewers overall. NBC was second in the demo at 2.1/6 and won the night in total viewers with 8.4 million. CBS was third with a 1.8/5 and 6.8 million, followed by the CW at 1.3/4 and 2.9 million, just ahead of ABC’s 1.2/4 and 4.1 million.
CBS’ “Big Brother” won the 8 o’clock hour with 2.6/8 in the demo and 7.7 million viewers. “Masterchef” was second with a 2.3/7 and 5.5 million. NBC’s “Minute to Win It” was third with a 1.8/6 and 6.5 million. “Top Model” averaged a 1.3/4 and 2.9 million. That’s a bit off of the 1.5 demo rating the show’s premiere drew a year ago, but that was on a night when the bigger broadcast networks were pre-empting their programming for a President Obama address. Repeats of “The Middle” on ABC drew a 1.2/4 and 4.7 million.
At 9, the “America’s Got Talent” results show won the hour, with a 2.7/8 in the demo and 12 million viewers. “Masterchef” was close behind in the demo, at 2.6/7, but only 6 million viewers. A “Criminal Minds” repeat on CBS drew a 1.6/5 and 6.8 million, followed by “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” repeats on ABC combining to average a 1.4/4 and 3.9 million.
“Hellcats” held onto most of the “Top Model” demo, with a 1.2/3, and actually beat it out in total viewers, with close to 3 million. As promising as the retention of its lead-in was that the audience actually moved up a tick in the second half-hour, which is always a positive sign, since new shows tend to lose audience at the half-hour, even if they’re doing well overall.
At 10, a “Law & Order: SVU” repeat finished first with a 1.8/5 and 6.6 million viewers. CBS’ “CSI: NY” rerun drew a 1.2/4 and 6.1 million, while ABC’s “Castle” repeat did a 1.0/3 and 3.7 million.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.