Fall 2010 ratings: CBS dominates with 'Survivor' and 'The Defenders'; ABC's 'Modern Family' was the night's top-rated show in adults 18-49

insider-ratingsImage Credit: Bob D'Amico/ABC; Art Streiber/NBC; Sonja Flemming/CBSThe move to Wednesdays has done little to shake Survivor out of the victory circle: The latest installment that features ex-NFL coach Jimmy Johnson averaged 12.46 million viewers last night and helped CBS to win the night in viewers and most key demographics, including adults 18-49. In fact, CBS stayed strong throughout the night, despite heavy competition from the return of Modern Family on ABC (which won its timeslot in adults 18-49 and viewers with 12.60 million). Criminal Minds at 9 — which featured Tim Curry as one freaky looking bad guy — averaged 14.05 million viewers while the debut of The Defenders with Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell averaged an impressive 12.08 million.

But oh, how that Best Comedy Emmy helped to boost Modern Family! The show’s second season debut averaged a stunning 5.0 rating/14 share among adults 18-49 — up 19 percent versus its series premiere a year ago. It also won its 9 p.m. timeslot in most demos and viewers, and was the top-rated show of the evening. Unfortunately, the rest of the laughers in ABC’s comedy block didn’t fare as well, but they should still be celebrating over at the alphabet network: The Middle averaged 8.81 million (a series high) and the new Better With You lured 7.96 million. Courteney Cox-Arquette and her buddies on Cougar Town averaged 8.34 million. Overall, ABC tied NBC for second place in adults 18-49 last night and came in third in viewers (7.92 million).

Speaking of NBC, did you catch J.J. Abrams’ new show Undercovers? Only 8.5 million sampled the Hart to Hart-type drama at 8 p.m.. The two-hour start of Law & Order: SVU was up 23 percent versus last season’s one-hour premiere in adults 18-49 and averaged 10 million viewers. And Fox aired the two-hour premiere of Hell’s Kitchen, which ranked No. 1 among adults 18-34 and posted a 6 percent gain in eyeballs (6.56 million).

On the CW, America’s Next Top Model was flat versus last week among adults 18-34 (1.4/5), but the new Hellcats showed a 6 percent gain among women 18-34. The CW averaged 2.56 million viewers last night.

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  • glenn

    Survivor has the craziest cast ever this season, I love it!

    • Aaron

      Hillbillies vs. Swimsuit Models. Best ever!

    • RCB

      2 TCs, 2 lunatics gone!

  • Ralph

    Isn’t 14.05 million (the number for Criminal Minds) more than 12.6 million (the number for Modern Family)?

    Just checking. I watched and enjoyed Survivor and Modern Family.

    • Ralph

      My reasoning being (since I didn’t say it above) that Modern Family wouldn’t end up as the top-rated show of the evening.

      • Sarah

        Probably has to do with the 18-49 demo. Sounds like Modern Family won the demo even though Criminal Minds had more total viewers.

      • xfoley8

        Yeah, I’m finding that a bit confusing, too- noticed similar math in the assessments for previous nights. I think it has more to do with who won the prized target demo of 18-49 (or 18-34- haven’t figured out which is considered the real winning demo, yet).

      • Stacy

        i think its the 18-49 demographic. CBS shows like criminal minds pull in a lot older audience usually

      • Rock Golf

        I think Lynette missed a word. The sentence in question should read “It also won its 9 p.m. timeslot in most demos and viewers, and was the top-rated ABC show of the evening.”

  • Kate

    I liked Undercovers, but it doesn’t seem to be an 8pm show. It should be aired at 9pm at the earliest.

    • TR

      Undercovers is a great show. It’s sad, because most people won’t watch it because the main characters are ….

      • RyRyNYC

        Actually, most people won’t watch it because they already saw it in theaters a few summers ago. It was called Mr. & Mrs. Smith back then.

      • @RyRyNYC

        in that movie neither one knew what the other really did for the majority of the movie, so your response make no sense

      • I didn’t watch it because I hate spy shows. *shrugs*

      • ty

        I would hope that’s not the case. I have been looking forward to Undercovers all summer (along with The Event and No Ordinary Family). I had to DVR it however, because I watch Survivor live so I don’t run into any spoilers before I watch it.

      • TR

        @RyRyNYC, my response makes no sense, yet you knew exactly what I was talking about. Reality sucks! The reason is clear. Why did JJ and NBC even bother?

  • xfoley8

    Wednesday is easily the weakest night of tv during the work week. Only appointment show for me is Modern Family. Wed is ‘catch up on my DVR’ night.

    • Joe Swanson

      I do the same thingon Wednesdays. I may check out that Law & Order: LA but I doubt if I’ll see anything new with that show.

  • t.t

    great news all around
    so glad better with you did well i loved it and love joanna garcia and the fact tht cougartown, the middle and modern family did well too is icing on the cake
    also i am glad defenders did well, i enjoyed it
    and of course survivor :D:D:D so glad its still winning its time slot hope this show is on for another 10+ years!

    • ST

      I agree t.t, I love Joanna Garcia so I hope the cast chemistry and the show continue to improve. Not bad for a freshman show overall.

  • Carrie #2

    I couldn’t even concentrate on this article because of Jerry O’Connell’s freaky eye in that photo at the top.

  • Sarah

    So glad Modern Family is doing well! Here’s hoping it overtakes 2 1/2 Men as television’s most-watched comedy.

    • Lorie


      • Jason

        That would be great – and so well deserved!

  • angie

    SVU is not doing to good. Think this is the last season for it?

  • Sean

    How did The Whole Truth do?

    • Asher

      I would be curious to know that too. Did you watch it? I did and thought it was pretty solid, definitely will watch again.

    • Kristen

      The Whole Truth did not do well. It only managed to get 4.5 million viewers and it’s ratings share was bad. Not off to a good start at all and with LOLA premiering next week, I doubt things will get better. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Kevin

    Undercovers is really the one show I tune in every Wednesday nights. Hope NBC pickup for a full season.

  • Jen

    ashamed to admit it, but I’m pleased Hellcats improved. it’s a craptastic show & I find it rather entertaining for light entertainment so I hope it stays on. LOVED Modern Family last night, so happy to have that show back.

  • ceebee

    Watched Cougar Town for the 1st time b/c of JAnniston…how in the world can people find this show funny? It was a series of 2 1/2 min scenes w/1 joke per each scene – the quick editing was too distracting…won’t be watching this again…and CCox needs to lay off the botox!! She is starting to wander into wax territory!

    • Rion

      It’s a shame that the humor went over your head. Go watch Two and a Half Men.


      Agree with Rion, I’m sure Everybody Loves Raymond reruns are on somewhere. I know you need the laugh tracks.

    • tomm

      Cougar is fun and zany, like the good old single camera shows in the 60’s ‘Bewitched’, ‘Gidget’.

      • Rock Golf

        Gosh, I still remember that zany sex toy episode “Gidget Gets a Gadget”.

    • polly

      of course they need the laugh tracks so they know when they have to laugh! Cougar Town rocks!

    • Casey

      The quick camera cuts are what Bill Lawrence does best. He did it with Scrubs and it works with Cougar Town. I’m surprised how much I find that show to be funny.

  • Rion

    Cougar Town is the only show I MUST watch on Wednesday nights. Modern Family is good, but CT is funnier. Love it!

  • Rion

    Undercovers was a little too fluffy for my taste. By 8:30, I was bored to tears. Don’t think I’ll watch it again.


    Modern Family is an awesome show. It makes me feel good to know that so many people are watching a show with an openly gay couple. Maybe America IS opening up and becoming less bigoted.

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