The most wonderful time of the year also worked out for NBC in the ratings Wednesday night, with the holiday specials "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" and a "Saturday Night Live Christmas" combining to win the night among 18-to-49-year-old viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
"Rockefeller," featuring performances from Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande, drew 9.86 million viewers overall and a rating of 2.3 in the 18-49 demographic, the category most coveted by advertisers, up 10% from last year. That led into "SNL," which hauled in 7.4 million viewers and a 2.6 rating in 18-49, bringing NBC's average to a 2.5 in the demo, the best among the major networks.
CBS had the edge in total viewership with an average of 8.9 million in prime time, led by "Survivor," which hooked its largest audience this season (10.6 million). The reality stalwart also increased its 18-49 rating week-to-week by 18%, to a 2.6. "Criminal Minds" and "C.S.I." were both reruns.
ABC's Wednesday lineup returned after last week's break, and it was down pretty much across the board, with "The Middle" and "Back in the Game" slipping double digits, while "Modern Family" fell 9%. "Super Fun Night" lost 6% in the demo for a low of 1.7. "Modern Family's" 3.1 figure made it the top-rated telecast of the night in 18-49. "Nashville" was flat with a 1.6.
Fox's "X Factor" live performance show saw an uptick in interest, adding 17% to its rating for a 1.4.
On the CW, comic book hero the Flash (a.k.a. Dr. Barry Allen) made his first appearance on "Arrow," sending the series' viewership to its highest since February (3.17 million for Wednesday's episode). Compared with last week, it increased 19% in total viewers and 10% in 18-49. "Tomorrow People" jumped 17% in the key demo.
Follow on Twitter: @rfaughnder
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times