There was reality show drama, heartfelt tunes, an appearance by First Lady Michelle Obama and the departure of a longtime character on primetime TV last night as the 2013-2014 season drilled into its final two weeks. No spoiler here, but the departure came on the season finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (1.9/6). Wrapping its 14th cycle, the still-strong crime drama rose 12% from last week’s spinoff setup show. Perhaps more importantly, especially on a competitive night of originals, CSI was basically even with its Season 13 ender of May 15, 2013 with just a 5% slip. While one character many be gone, CSI of course is not — CBS renewed the show in late March with leading man Ted Danson coming back too.
CBS’ Wednesday started off with Survivor (2.4/8) which bopped up 4% from last week. That small lift helped lead-out Criminal Minds (2.3/7), which saw a 5% rise from its April 30 episode. Once again, in its head-to-head hour with the two-hour live American Idol (1.7/6), the CBS series finished well ahead. Idol drew a 1.7 and 7.64 million viewers in the 8 PM slot compared with Survivor and its audience of 9.82 million, while drawing a 1.8 and 8.05 million viewers in the 9 PM hour against Criminal Minds and its 10.43 million viewers, which made Criminal Minds the night’s most-watched show. Overall, CBS won Wedensday in adults 18-49 (2.2/7) and total viewers 10.06 million.
On the just-renewed Idol, it was performance night for the Final Four as each sang a trio of tone-specific love songs. With a strong reaction from judge Jennifer Lopez to one particular tune, it was an emotional and steady night with the competition show dipping just 6% from its April 30 episode. In preliminary numbers, last night’s results are a series low for Idol but, as has been the trend, there could be an adjustment when the final numbers come in later today.
It was a very Hollywood night for the First Family on Wednesday. President Obama was in LA for a fundraiser and to accept an award from Steven Spielberg, while Michelle Obama was on Nashville (1.2/4). The previously announced appearance by the First Lady did ABC‘s country music drama few favors — the show was even with last week. The same can’t be said for the first part of the network’s night, which saw The Middle (1.5/6) and Suburgatory (1.2/4) fall 17% and 20%, respectively, to series lows. The top-rated show of the night, Modern Family (2.8/8), was even with its April 30 episode and tied a series low. Newbie Mixology (1.3/4) was also even with last week, which probably was no help to its Nashville lead-out.
NBC would have likely been happy with that result but instead the network got a night of lows. Revolution (1.1/4) fell 15% from its April 30 episode while newly renewed Law & Order: SVU (1.4/4) was down 22% and Chicago P.D. took a 26% drop.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.