Criminal Minds Powers CBS To #1 On Wednesday

CBS had some formidible competition on Wednesday evening as ABC and FOX put up programs that made it a fight. Yet with one of the most veteran line ups on television, The Tiffany Network won out.

Getting off to an unusual start at 8P, ‘Survivor’ began 400,000 viewers behind ABC but did pull in 10.11 million viewers. Then at 9P came the nights biggest show, ‘Criminal Minds’ with 11.06 million, 120,000 viewers ahead of ‘Modern Family’. At 10P, the cornerstone of the network, ‘CSI’ crushed the competition with 9.45 million viewers on this Wednesday evening.

FOX featuring MLB’s ALCS with the Boston Red Sox losing to the Detroit Tigers in a now tied series, drew 8.09 million (5.2 rating/9 share) and made the network more than competitive throughout the evening. It finished 26.32% above last season’s comparable night. In Detroit, the game drew an astounding 34.5 rating with a 52 share of the audience. In Boston, the game pulled a 20.2/34; in Providence (18.9/29); Hartford (10.0/16); in Ft. Myers (Spring training home of the Red Sox, 7.4/12); in Tampa (7.5/13); Greensboro (5.5/8); Cleveland (6.3/11); West Palm Beach (5.0/8); and Richmond (5.1/8).

ABC with a ‘Toy Story of TERROR’ special, led off the evening and improved this time slot compared to a year ago by 20% at 8P winning the top spot for that hour with 10.54 million viewers and gave The Alphabet Network a terrific lead for the evening. But, ‘Back in the Game’ at 830P dropped to 6.35 million, a four+ million drop in audience in one half hour. ‘Modern Family’ at 8P was ABC’s #1 program and pulled 10.94 (down 13.04%), slightly less then ‘Criminal Minds’. LIVE+7 will determine which program actually won the #1 spot for the evening. But that is all it will do as the network’s line up for the balance of the evening fell apart after that. ‘Super Fun Night’ at 830P could not stand up to the competition and could only muster 5.95 million viewers, a drop of over 4 million in a half hour and down 25% compared to last year in this time slot. Then at 10P ‘Nashville’ with 5.76 million (down 15% compared to last season) simply was not competitive to the power of the Elizabeth & Ted show over on CBS.

Leaving NBC to suffer one more night when football or ‘The Voice’ does not appear on its schedule. ‘Revolution’ led off the evening in slow motion, drawing only 5.42 million but up 16.67% above last year at 8P.  ‘Law & Order-SVU’ (up 6.25%) with the retirement episode of long-time Richard Belzer’s (character Sergeant John Munch) role on the program pushed up NBC viewers at 9P with 7.48 million. That gave The Peacock Network very little support at 10P for ‘Ironside’, where it could only manage to draw 4.80 million (down 26.67% from last year). Too bad. It was a very inventive episode filled with backstory information building the character formation with flashbacks. But this most under-appreciated program has been cancelled by NBC. It is an unfortunate fate for a program that is this good to be placed on a network this bad.

A&E finished as top cable network for the evening and gained 3.726,500 million viewers on average with its top program, ‘Duck Dynasty’ drawing 7.260 million at 10P finishings as the #3 program in that time period on all of television.

The CW gave NBC all it could at 8P when ‘Arrow’ drew a great 3.06 million viewers. ‘The Tomorrow People’ followed up at 9P, drawing 2.15 million.

The power of CBS throughout the evening allowed it’s late show, ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ to win at 1130P with 2.7 rating and a 7 share, trouncing NBC’s ‘Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ able to scramble with 2.3/6. ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ finished badly with a 1.9/5. It’s performance gave little hope for ‘Nightline’ following it and only drew 1.2/4 on an evening of big news of governmental shutdown being averted. Blame it on ‘Criminal Minds’ and the rest of the CBS programming block. Late, late night saw CBS’ ‘Craig Ferguson’ in a rare win at 1235A with a 1.5/5 while NBC’s usual leader, ‘Jimmy Fallon’ finishing behind with a 1.2/4. Late, late, late found NB’s ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’ pulling in 08./4.

For the record, CBS was #1 on Wednesday evening with 10.089 million viewers and a  6.3 rating and 10 share. FOX drew 8.060 million viewers and had a 5.2/9 making it #2 for the evening; ABC #3 finished with 7.483 million and a 4.5/7, NBC #4 with 5.891 million viewers and a 3.8/6. A&E finished #5 with 3.727 million viewers, the top cable network of the evening; Univision was #6 with 3.1 million and a 1.6/3 while The CW #7 had 2.589 million viewers and finished with a 1.7/4.  Telemundo #8 with 1.2 million viewers and a  0.7/1.

All of which means, people were….

Switching Channels!

SOME OTHER FACTS FROM THIS EVENING: Richard Belzer retired a character on Wednesday that not only began on another show, NBC’s ‘Homicide: Live on the Street (1993-1999) but continued on that same network show ‘Law & Order-SVU’ (1999-2013). However not too many people know that Belzer played this character on seven other series and a sketch on a talk show, making ‘Munch’ the only fictional character to appear on 10 different television shows played by a single actor. For the record, they were: ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ (NBC); ‘Law & Order’ (NBC); ‘The X-Files’ (FOX); ‘The Beat’ (UPN; ‘Law & Order: Trial by Jury’ (NB); ‘Arrested Development’ (FOX); ‘TheWire’ (HBO); ’30 Rock’ (NBC); ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ (NBC) and ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ (ABC). Belzer has played Det. Munch for twenty-one consecutive season (‘Homicide-7 seasons & ‘Law & Order: SVU’-14 seasons), a primetime record in the history of television.

ACROSS THE POND: A very large audience, 11 million viewers, watched ITV’s World Cup qualifier with England beating Poland Wednesday. Proves one thing: Football is popular no matter where you live.

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