By James Hibberd
May 29, 2014 at 03:44 PM EDT

Edward Snowden may not be able to return to the United States, but he sure can beat a CSI repeat in the ratings.

Brian Williams’ interview with the former National Security Agency contractor easily won the 10 p.m. hour Wednesday, and actually tied to rank second overall for the night among adults 18-49. The special edition of Brian Williams Reports delivered 5.9 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the demo. Competition last night was scarce, however — almost every show was a repeat. Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance premiere ranked first while Snowden tied a repeat of ABC’s Modern Family for second. During the interview, Snowden defended his decision to leak documents about classified surveillance programs.

As for SYTYCD (5.3 million viewers and a 1.6 rating), the competition series was down 16 percent from last year’s opener despite a much-promoted appearance by singer Justin Bieber, who was on hand to announce a side competition to the show for dance crews. Still, you could say, albeit probably unfairly: Bieber beat Snowden.  Full chart:

NET/TIME/SHOW  18-49 rating  total viewers (+000)
FOX 8-10P SO-CAN DNC- P 1.6 5,300
ABC 8:00P MIDDLE- R 1.1 4,721
8:30P GOLDBRG-1 RS 1.1 4,074
9:00P MODRN FMLY- R 1.3 4,210
9:30P GOLDBRG- RS 1.1 3,712
10-11P MOTIVE- 0.9 3,946
CBS 8-9P HI 5-0 SPC- RS 0.8 5,692
9-10P CRIMNL MND- R 1.2 7,151
10-11P CSI- R 1.1 6,139
NBC 8-10P LAST CMC- RS 1.1 4,041
10-11P B WILLIAMS S 1.3 5,912