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

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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.