On Wednesday night, the premiere of CBS’ Survivor: One World faced Fox’s American Idol, while Elisabeth Shue joined the cast of CSI.
A two-hour Idol (18.6 million viewers, 6.0 adults 18-49 rating) won the night and was unfazed by the added reality competition from Survivor. Idol matched Monday’s episode of NBC’s The Voice and will likely edge higher in the national ratings this afternoon.
CBS was second with Survivor (10.7 million, 3.0) dipping 6 percent from last spring’s premiere. The durable long-running reality hit slips pretty much every cycle and this is a mild decline compared to some previous years. Still, last night marked the lowest-rated Survivor premiere ever.
Criminal Minds (11.8 million, 3.0) was down 9 percent. Despite having lower-rated lead-in this week, CSI (11.1 million, 2.7) climbed 8 percent for Shue’s first episode. That’s a potentially good sign.
Between the two-hour Idol and the return of Survivor, ABC’s block fell across the board to season lows: The Middle (8.1 million, 2.5), Suburgatory (6.9 million, 2.4), Modern Family (11.2 million, 4.7) and Happy Endings (5.8 million, 2.5). At 10 p.m. a pivotal episode of Revenge (7.6 million, 2.4) fell 4 percent (which seems odd if you’re a fan but… it’s Happy Endings lead-in was down 14 percent and rival CSI was up so… guess it could have been worse).
NBC had Whitney (4.5 million, 1.6), up 7 percent, and Are You There, Chelsea (3.5 million, 1.4), down 7 percent. The comedies were followed by Rock Center (3 million, 0.8), falling 27 percent, and L&O: SVU (5.8 million, 1.7), down 15 percent to a series low.
The CW aired a steady One Tree Hill (1.4 million, 0.7).