There are four freshman series on Wednesday that are still awaiting decision on full-season orders: ABC’s Better with You and The Whole Truth, NBC’s Undercovers and CBS’ The Defenders. None of them made a case for itself one way or another last night, with the first 3 staying flat and The Defenders giving away last week’s solid ratings gains.
Much needed good ratings news for NBC which recently handed back orders – episodic or script – to all of its freshman series still on the air. One of them, Law & Order: Los Angeles (2.4/7 in adults 18-49), was up 26% after 2 consecutive weeks of 20%+ declines. It won the 10 PM hour and improved its retention of Law & Order: SVU to 92% from 83% last week. In fact, the entire NBC Wednesday lineup was up. SVU (2.6/7) was climbed 13%. Undercovers (1.5/5), the only new NBC series to only get script order this week, was flat with the show’s fast national number last week and up 7% vs. the final.
It was status quo at ABC, with The Middle (2.6/8) up 4%, Cougar Town (3.1/9) down a tenth and Better with You (2.1/6) flat with last week. Flagship comedy Modern Family (4.7/13) was also even with the show’s fast national rating last week. (The show tends to go up a tenth in the finals.) Like Undercovers, The Whole Truth (1.4/4) was flat with the fast national for its last airing two weeks ago and up a tenth from the final number. (The legal drama was preempted for a 20/20 special on the Chilean miners last Wednesday.)
CBS’ Survivor: Nicaragua (3.5/11) was probably affected by baseball, down 8% to tie its lowest-rated telecast this season. Criminal Minds (3.6/10) was actually up a tenth. But, after a nice 14% boost last week when there was no other pure legal drama competition in the 10 PM hour with The Whole Truth benched, The Defenders (2.2/6) retreated, down 12%. It finished second in the time slot behind LOLA. CBS still won the night in 18-49 (3.1) and total viewers (12.1 million) for a fourth straight week.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.