CBS wins Wednesday thanks to strong performance by 'The Defenders' and 'Criminal Minds'

defenders-criminal-mindsImage Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS; Ron P. Jaffe/CBS Record 20863302Looks like no one should underestimate the appeal of Jim Belushi! The Defenders had a great night Wednesday and swept its timeslot among viewers (9.9 million) and adults 18-49 (a 2.5 rating/7 share). Compared to last week, the legal drama that also stars Jerry O’Connell was up 14% in the key demographic and 6% in viewers.

But then the freshman series got a great deal of help from Criminal Minds, which was the night’s most-watched show (13.8 million). The drama won its timeslot among adults 25-54 but trailed in second place in the key demo with a 3.5/9. Each 18-49 ratings point represents 1.3 million viewers.

Overall, CBS won the night in viewers  (11.9 million) and adults 18-49 (3.2/9), with Survivor: Nicaragua enjoying another winning performance at 8 p.m. The reality show reigned in viewers (12.1 million) and adults 18-49 (3.7/11) and gained an additional 80,000 viewers versus last week. CBS has won the 8 p.m. timeslot for five consecutive weeks.

Fox came in second for the night among adults 18-49 (3.1/9) because of another impressive performance by a two-hour version of Hell’s Kitchen. The show is especially popular with adults 18-34 and teens; It ranked No. 1 in both demos. Overall, the show averaged 6.7 million viewers.

Over at ABC, Modern Family won its timeslot yet again among adults 18-49 (4.7/13) and all the major demographics. It averaged 11.3 million viewers, placing second in the timeslot behind Minds. The drop off to Cougar Town, however, was substantial: The comedy posted a 3.2/9 in 18-49 and averaged 7.2 million viewers. And its tough going for ABC’s new Better With You at 8:30:  That laugher rounded up a mere 2.1/6 among 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers.

Overall, ABC finished second for the night in viewers (7.5 million) and third in adults 18-49 (2.7/8).

Onto NBC and its struggling freshman drama Undercovers. J.J. Abrams’ groundbreaking drama that features two black leads just hasn’t gelled with fans. It only averaged 5.9 million viewers last night  and a 1.4/4 in 18-49. It barely beat the CW in the first hour. Law & Order: LA is faring a little better; it averaged 7.1 million viewers at 10 and came in second behind The Defenders.

Comments (57 total) Add your comment
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  • Alicia

    I haven’t seen “The Defenders” yet but it is on my list to watch. I guess I’ve reached the point with “Criminal Minds” that Mandy Patinkin got to before he quit: The stories are just too disturbing. I’d rather watch the fake dead bodies on “Bones” and “NCIS” (and “CSI”) than watch another episode about these serial killers. Plus, what is with Matthew Gray Gubler’s new haircut? (I love that actor.)

  • tom

    Explain to me why “undercovers” is groundbreaking again?

    • Just Me

      2 Black leads on NBC I guess.

      • Rick Hunter

        I’m a liberal and even EW’s politics are starting to bother me. Groundbreaking how? The writing is like a Season 4 Alias reject script and the acting is boring and wooden. There isn’t any spark. But because its a show with two black people, we’re supposed to think its groundbreaking? Ugh. Even I’m offended.

      • Flip

        Rick, Season 4 of Alias was a good season. Season 3 was awful and Season 5 was subpar.

      • LaMonica

        Rick..trust when I tell you..having two black actors as the LEAD characters on NBC…is considered groundbreaking. If you can name ONE…JUST ONE..primetime drama..that had 2 African American’s as the lead … then you would be right…there is nothing groundbreaking about it..But you need to understand, just because television is more culturally reflective of society with different actors of different backgrounds and races , doesn’t mean that those races are given LEAD roles. Meaning..they carry the show as characters. Blacks are usually regulated to comedic leads or best friend side kick roles. It is what it is.

    • Labomba

      our you touched or something? Undercovers is groundbreaking and this just proves America does not want two Black leads.Its ashame.people need to do better

  • redvector

    Undercovers is DOA. It was a lame ripoff of Mr. And Mrs. Smith. There was nothing ground breaking about it.

  • Georgia Peach

    I like The Defenders…Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell are great as law partners.

    • DEBBIE

      LOVE this show. These leads have great chemistry together (not in that way!!) and it has great comedic timing + heart. Love it…!

    • John

      From the promos it looks as if this show SUCKS. I won’t waste my time to watch it.

  • dwilk999

    We have been fans of Criminal Minds since the beginning and have loved the show. The changes this season including the loss of Cook as JJ means that for us we will stop watching. It really lost what made it special….

    • Tico

      They need to keep Garcia in her geek hideaway. Hopefully that will be the last time for her to do field work.

  • derek

    The Defenders isnt too bad. I enjoyed that legal show more than “the whole truth” However I basically refuse to watch any show where the story wraps so easily. Legal, spy, cop dramas are just stale. They have to have some back story for me to want to get involved. None of the new shows have it. H50, Undercovers, Defenderss, Whole Truth, Chase,anything on CBS. This season is flooded with procedurals, its all been done and nothing has brought anything new to the genre its really nauseating. I had to look at my DVR and say was it really worth taping all of these even though I enjoyed them I said no and deleted them all.

  • Preston

    Good that The Defenders is increasing in viewership after its 4th show. I think that it’s building in momentum because of the strong chemistry between Belushi and O’Connell.

    • matt

      It’s building momentum b/c there was nothing else on.

    • Templar

      Love when they play the Rat pack era music. So evocative of my idea of Vegas. And Belushi is so true to his Chicago roots, can’t get enough of it.

  • mark in nyc

    If only they would move Blue Bloods off of Friday, that show is great but would do better during the week.

    • Templar

      I was sick of Blue Bloods after the first episode. Selleck has presence, but zero charisma and little or no emotion. He’s a refrigerator in a cop suit.

      • John

        I like Selleck, but have no desire to watch Blue Bloods.

  • DHU

    How come you never mention The Middle? It’s a really funny show-and this is from someone who dislikes Patricia Heaton. Last night’s episode was great!

    • Sarah

      I like The Middle too. That show gets no love :(

    • Anna L

      Hey, I’m with you, DHU and Sarah.
      To me, this year is funnier than last year.

  • Iakovos

    DEFENDERS is good TV and CBS has good flow. I am so over the creepy CRIMINAL MINS, however. Too much. But that’s why we have ABC’s MODERN FAMILY and COUGAR TOWN. Not sure why Courteney and company flounder with their FRIENDS at 40 series. I think it funyn and quick and a worthy guilty pleasure. Was tempted by UNDERCOVERS and the leads (great!) but the stories are snoozers.

  • laura

    The strong chemistry between Belushi and O’Connell is why I watch the Defenders. It is a really good show. I don’t care much for any of the CSI’s shows but for some reason Defenders got me.

  • laura

    wait wait .. I KNOW CSI is NOTHING like Defenders … they are all different. I meant that for some strange reason a CBS show got me hook. I really only watch The Good Wife on CBS …. oooh and now Hawaii 5-0. HHmmmm ok now I watch 3 CBS shows.

  • MikerMan

    Cougar Town is funny, but the audience that watches Modern Family doesn’t relate to it as much because it’s just not as relatable! Makes sense there is a drop off.

    • laura

      I love both shows MF and CT … but I actually love LOVE Couger Town more … it makes me laugh.

      • Anna L

        I’m liking Cougar Town more than Modern Family this year. And as I said above, The Middle is better and funnier this year. I still love Modern Family, though. I’m just laughing more now at Cougar and Middle.

  • Sheli

    I have been DVRing Defenders so far, but had not watched yet. But for lack of anything better on yesterday, we watched the first three episode yesterday, and I really enjoyed it. I was actually surprised, because this fall’s crop of new shows has been really sad so otherwise.

  • rachelle

    Criminal Minds is THE BEST CRIME SHOW ON TV and I even tempted to say best show period. There’s nothing like it. They have a perfect mix of interesting crimes, relationships between the characters. Plus you learn while being being entertained. I miss JJ but the show is still strong without her!

    • Rock Golf

      To me, most episodes of Criminal Minds is like watching a snuff video. You know the killer’s already struck, you know he’ll try again, and at least 80% of the time, the victim dies. Horribly.
      What really put me off the series was when several of the surviving 20% were stalked and killed by a different serial killer trying to harass the squad.
      It’s 60 minutes of nihilism.

      • Cas

        You really don’t get it do you? The show IS about serial killers and yes when an episode start the killer has struck that is why they call the offender a SERIAL killer. What in serial KILLER was misleading? How can anyone believe the victims would not die? 20% of the survivors. how did you get those numbers? of all the SK the team have hunt only 4 did attack some member of the team that is out of a 100 cases! I guess, since you don’t watch, you have no idea what you are talking about.

        It is 60 minutes of great TV. I for one love it and will continue to watch.

    • Beck

      I’m a fan of Criminal Minds but I think it’s a far cry from being the best show on TV. I don’t mind teh dark stories (it is about serial killers after all) and I think the cast works really well together but the writing is so up and down. One day you get a great episode and the next is crap. Unfortunately, the ratio of good to crap is getting worse.

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