TV Ratings: ‘Mysteries of Laura’ debut, ‘America’s Got Talent’ finale lead NBC Wednesday

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, September 17, 2014.

How can you be a mom *and* draw big ratings? Debra Messing knows!

Despite aggressively negative reviews, “Mysterious of Laura” had a solid debut on Wednesday night, airing following the finale of “America's Got Talent.” NBC dominated primetime in all measures.

The “Talent” finale airing in the earlier two-hour block than last year's finale and delivered lower key demo numbers, but a bigger audience.

Although the “Laura” debut posted a decent drop at the half-hour, it still did strong enough numbers for NBC to be optimistic heading into next week's Wednesday 8 p.m. premiere.

On the other side of the equation, FOX can't be overjoyed with the early returns for “Red Band Society.” But despite soft figures, “Red Band Society” grew from its “Hell's Kitchen” lead-in overall and didn't drop in the half-hour, staving off panic. Still, “Red Band Society” finished tied with ABC comedy repeats among young viewers, which isn't great.

The night's other semi-notables were on CBS, where “Big Brother” beat “AGT” in the key demo in their head-to-head hour and “Extant” rose week-to-week in its season [series?] finale.

More analysis coming later with Finals, but on to the Fast National numbers…

Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 2.2 rating for Wednesday night, tops in the key demographic. CBS and FOX finished second with a 1.4 key demo rating, topping ABC's 1.0 key demo rating. The CW did a 0.4 rating for the night in the key demo.

Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 11.46 million viewers and a 7.1 rating/12 share for Wednesday primetime, far ahead of CBS' 5.62 million viewers and 3.6/6. FOX was a distant third with 3.96 million viewers and a 2.4/4, followed by ABC's 3.21 million viewers and 2.2/4. The CW's 1.13 million viewers and 0.7/1 trailed.

8 p.m. – “America's Got Talent” won the 8 p.m. hour overall with 10.83 million viewers, but finished second in its first hour with a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC. CBS was second with 6.65 million viewers for “Big Brother,” which won the hour with a 2.3 key demo rating. “Hell's Kitchen” was third with 3.89 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating, topping the 3.72 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for ABC's repeats of “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs.” The CW's “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” had a strong 1.6 million viewers and 0.6 key demo rating.

9 p.m. – The conclusion of NBC's “America's Got Talent” finale averaged 13.13 million viewers and a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 to win the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' “Criminal Minds” repeat was far back in second with 4.75 million viewers and fourth with a 1.0 key demo rating. FOX's “Red Band Society” was third with 4.03 million viewers and tied for second with a 1.3 key demo rating. [“Red Band Society” had second all to itself among adults 18-34 with a 1.1 rating.] ABC's repeats of “Modern Family” averaged 3.78 million viewers and also did a 1.3 key demo rating. On The CW, a repeat of “The 100” averaged 662,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.

10 p.m. – “The Mysteries of Laura” won the 10 p.m. hour for NBC with 10.42 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49. [That's 11.26 million and a 2.3 key demo for the 10 p.m. half-hour and 9.6 million and a 1.9 key demo for the 10:30 half-hour.] CBS' “Extant” finale averaged 5.45 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating in second, comfortably ahead of the 2.14 million viewers and 0.6 key demo rating for ABC's “Nashville” repeat.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.