NBC Ate The FOX While CBS Won Wednesday.

While the aging shows of CBS pulled the network into the top spot for the first Wednesday evening of the new television season, it was NBC that jumped up and showed the most improvement for the night. 

While FOX lost nearly 1.8 million viewers from last year’s comparable opening week, NBC was up over 2 million viewers. FOX’s ‘The X Factor’ continued it struggles (down -22.58% at 8P and down -27.78% at 9P), NBC’s ‘Law & Order: SVU’ was up +25% at 9P and +26.09% at 10P). 

This should not take away from CBS’ efforts. While the Tiffany Network drew nearly 10 million viewers, over a million more viewers than its next competitor (ABC), CBS was led by ‘Criminal Minds’ (11.289 million viewers). While ‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ (9.413 million) and ‘CSI’ (8.962 million) were competitive, both hit all time premiere series lows. There is a message here and it is not going to be pleasant. It may be time to consider something that would move the network into its next era. Both pillars of the CBS lineup for over a decade, something needs to happen to keep them alive.

ABC was steady as a rock, led by ‘Modern Family’. Of note, it ran two episodes on this premiere night and its second episode (930P) drew slightly more (11.462 million) than its show at 9P (11.434 million viewers).

For all the good ‘L&O:SVU’ did for the network on this premiere Wednesday, it is obvious that the suits at 30 Rock really need to take a look at what they did to a program that was hitting on all cylinders last year when it debuted and then was forced to disappear for a ‘hiatus’. ‘Revolution’ only drew 6.785 million on its first night back while hitting its series low gave evidence that the time shifting the network did destroyed any momentum this program had to succeed. Hopefully, in the future, the programming folks at NBC understand the errors they made and will give new shows a better chance to win if only given the chance.  

In late night, NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’, pulled a 2.8/8 for the top spot, followed by CBS’s ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ (2.4/7) and ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (1.8/5). NBC continued to win the late, late night time period with ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’ (1.5/6) coming in first, followed by CBS’ ‘Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’ (1.2/4) and ABC’s ‘Nightline’ (1.2/4).

For the evening, CBS finished #1 averaging 9.888 million viewers with a 6.2 average overnight rating and a 10 share followed by NBC pulling in 8.597 million viewers with a 5.6 rating/9 share; ABC was third with 8.797 million viewers and a 5.5 rating/9 share; FOX was fourth with 7.606  million viewers and a 4.6 rating/7 share; Univision was fifth with 3.5 million viewers and a 1.8 rating/3 share; Telemundo was sixth with 1.1 million viewers and a 0.7 rating/1 share while The CW finished seventh with 906,000 viewers and a 0.6 rating/1 share for this, the first Wednesday of the 2013-14 television season.

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