TV Ratings: ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Criminal Minds’ premieres lead Wednesday

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, September 25, 2013.
Although it was way down from last year’s premiere, the hour-long launch for “Modern Family” was Wednesday’s top show both overall and among young viewers, though the return of “Criminal Minds” still helped CBS win overall.
On a busy premiere Wednesday, FOX got encouraging numbers for “The X Factor,” which actually rose week-to-week despite enhanced competition, pushing the network to second in the key demographic. NBC, meanwhile, was reminded of how strong “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” can be, especially when it goes into the 10 p.m. hour.
Wednesday’s only major premiere was ABC’s “Back in the Game,” which retained reasonably well from its “The Middle” lead-in.
There were no outright disasters on Wednesday, which resulted in the fall’s most competitive four-way night so far.
On to the numbers…
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 2.8 rating for Wednesday night, ahead of a tightly bunched pack in the key demographic. FOX was a close second with a 2.5 key demo rating, while CBS and NBC both posted a 2.4 key demo rating in third. The CW averaged a 0.3 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, though, CBS came out on top with 9.89 million viewers and a 6.2 rating/10 share for Wednesday primetime. In a close battle for second, ABC averaged a 5.5/9 and nearly 8.8 million viewers, compared to the 5.6/9 and 8.6 million viewers. FOX was a close fourth with a 4.6/7 and 7.61 million viewers, with The CW’s 0.6/1 and 906,000 viewers trailing.

8 p.m. – CBS started the night in first with 9.41 million viewers for “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” which tied for second with a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49, with only small declines from last week’s premiere. ABC was second overall and tied for second in the key demo with “The Middle” (8.76 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo) and “Back in the Game” (7.885 million and a 2.2 key demo rating). FOX’s “The X Factor” averaged 7.29 million viewers and an hour-winning 2.4 key demo rating, both somewhat randomly up by 15 percent over last week. NBC’s “Revolution” was fourth with 6.785 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating, which was way down from last year’s averages, but respectably in range with what the drama did in its somewhat disappointing spring, even with “The Voice” as a lead-in. The CW’s “Arrow” repeat averaged 1.18 million viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
9 p.m. – “Modern Family” led the 9 p.m. hour for ABC with 11.45 million viewers and a 4.1 rating among adults 18-49, down 25 percent from last year’s premiere, but still leading the night. CBS’ “Criminal Minds” averaged 11.29 million viewers and a 2.8 key demo rating, like everything else, down from last year’s premiere. The rare upwardly mobile outlier? “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which averaged 9.07 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo rating, up double-digits from last year’s return. FOX’s “The X Factor” averaged 7.92 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating in its second hour. The CW’s “Capture” averaged 631,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.
10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” pulled off a surprising 10 p.m. win with 9.94 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49. CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” had its lowest rated premiere ever with 8.96 million viewers in second and a 2.1 key demo rating to tie for second. ABC’s “Nashville” averaged 6.62 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating, which was below last year’s premiere, but above most of the soap opera’s spring performances.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.