A big night of premieres found CBS and ABC in a close race for most-watched network on Wednesday. The Eye edged out the Alphabet, according to overnight numbers, with the return Criminal Minds (the evening’s top-rated show), CSI: NY, and the 8 p.m. hour’s only sitcoms, The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried. ABC meanwhile scored with the season’s first eliminations on Dancing With the Stars, the healthy debuts of the critically-beloved comedy Modern Family and the slightly less-revered Cougar Town starring Courteney Cox. (And the showing for new dramedy Eastwick that was at least good enough to beat Leno.) NBC finished second in the 8 p.m. hour with the debut of the freshman nurse drama Mercy, but dropped to third at 9 p.m. with the season 11 premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on a new day and time. Fox’s Glee, which just received a full season order, held steady. The disappointing second episode of The CW’s The Beautiful Life, which dropped roughly 60 percent of its Top Model lead-in, indicated that America does not like fictional models; only “real” models tortured by Tyra.

TimeShowViewers (in millions)

8 p.m.

Dancing With the Stars: The Results (ABC)


8:30 p.m.

Gary Unmarried (CBS)


9 p.m.

Criminal Minds (CBS)


9:30 p.m.

Cougar Town (ABC)


10 p.m.



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