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Primetime Ratings: 'Modern Family,' 'Cougar Town' Premieres Start Strong

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ABC’s Wednesday night comedies Modern Family and Cougar Town fared well, winning their respective time slots for an even finish with CBS for the night in the 18-49 demographic.

CBS, with its powerful crime lineup that included season premieres of Criminal Minds and CSI:NY prevailed among total viewers averaging 12.5 million for the night to ABC’s 11.8 million, according to preliminary data supplied by Nielsen Media Research. But both networks finished the night with a 3.5 rating/10 share in the demo.

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars led an anemic 8 p.m. hour with a 3.2/10 averaging 14.9 million viewers, down from its season premiere on Monday. Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance was second in the hour with a 2.5/8 and 5.6 million viewers. The return of CBS comedies The New Adventures of Old Christine (2.3/7) and Gary Unmarried (2.4/7) kept CBS in the game while NBC’s new medical drama Mercy managed a 2.3/7 with 8.2 million viewers putting it behind only Dancing With the Stars for total viewers. The CW’s America’s Next Top Model finished the hour with a 1.3/4 and 2.8 million total viewers.

Modern Family won its 9 p.m. time slot in the demo with a 4.3/12 and 12.7 million viewers. At 9:30 p.m., Cougar Town posted a 4.3/11 with 11.4 million. CBS’ Criminal Minds was second in the demo for the time period behind ABC’s comedies, with a 4.2/11, but led in total viewers with 15.4 million. Fox’s Glee built on its So You Think You Can Dance lead-in with a 3/8 and 6.6 million total viewers. The CW’s The Beautiful Life finished the hour with a dismal .5/1, barely managing to crack 1 million viewers.  

At 10 p.m. ABC’s Eastwick could not hang on to its Cougar Town lead-in, eking out a 3/8 with 8.5 million viewers. But that was enough to put it over NBC’s The Jay Leno Show which finished the hour with a 2/5 and 6.4 million viewers. CBS’ CSI:NY finished the hour on top in the demo (4/11) and total viewers (14.5 million).