There were big swings at 10 PM on a otherwise pretty uneventful Wednesday night. After declining for 2 consecutive weeks and last Wednesday logging CBS' lowest-rated original telecast in the hour in 7 years last week, the network's new light legal drama The Defenders (2.5/7, 9.9 million viewers overall) bounced back, up 14% from last week among adults 18-49 and winning its time slot in the demo for the first time. CBS' series may have benefitted from having less legal drama competition in the 10 PM hour last night. ABC preempted its new court drama The Whole Truth to air a 20/20 special on the Chilean miners rescue (1.8/5, 6.2 million). The newsmagazine improved on The Whole Truth's last week ratings performance in the time slot by 29% in 18-49, logging ABC's largest audience in the hour in 10 months. Meanwhile, things look grim for NBC's new crime drama Law & Order: Los Angeles (1.9/6), which was down 21% from last week, following last week's 25% drop from the series' premiere. LOLA has not been helped by the fact that its lead-in, veteran Law & Order: SVU (2.2/6), has also been dropping fast, down another 15% last night. Meanwhile, the network's new spy drama Undercovers (1.5/4) seems to have stopped the bleeding, flat with last week but only .1 ahead of CW's America's Next Top Model in the 8PM hour. Other highlights from last night:
Fox's reality series Hell's Kitchen (3.1/9) marked its 100th episode with another solid performance last night, down a fraction from last week and leading the network to a second place finish for the night in the demo, .1 behind CBS.
ABC's Modern Family (4.7/13) was up a fraction from last week to post its second-highest demo rating ever. Also up, by 9%, was Cougar Town (3.2/9), while the 8-9 PM ABC comedies were both down, The Middle (2.4/8, -4%) and new sitcom Better with You (2.1/6), which slipped -9% after a promising ratings uptick last week.
CBS's Survivor Nicaragua (3.7/11, 12.1 million) and Criminal Minds (3.5/9, 13.8 million) were both virtually flat with last week. CBS nabbed its fourth consecutive Wednesday win this season in both 18-49 and total viewers.
CW's America's Next Top Model (1.5/5 in adults 18-34, 3 million) hit cycle highs in all key demos and total viewers. New cheerleading drama Hellcats (1.1/3, 2 million) was pretty much even with last week.