Wednesday is quickly becoming a night of diminishing returns for the broadcast networks. I noted last week how not a single show was able to crack the 2.0 adults 18-49 Live+same day rating on Premiere Wednesday. A week later, no program scored more than a 1.5 in the demo with a slew of week-to-week declines.
NBC fared the best with its new One Chicago lineup, which staged its first crossover for the season in Week 2 with Chicago Fire and Chicago Med swapping places. Chicago Fire (1.3, 8 million) at 8 PM was on par with its L+SD demo rating last week (up a tenth from the fast national); ChicagoMed (1.3, 8.8 million) ticked up a tenth from last week, while ChicagoP.D. (1.2, 7.8 million) was even. The three Chicago series finished #1-2-3 in total viewers for the night, with NBC claiming its biggest Wednesday viewership percentage margin over #2 with in-season series programming in nearly 16 years, since Dec. 11, 2002.
Fox, which was tied with CBS for No.1 in 18-49 last Wednesday, held solely the top demo spot last night though both of its series were down double digits week-to-week. Empire (1.5, 5 million) dropped 21% in the demo and 18% in viewers to hit and tie series low. Star (1.2, 4 million) slipped 14%.
Empire still was the top program of the night in the demo, tied with CBS‘ Survivor (1.5, 7.3 million), which held up relatively well, down a tenth from the fast national demo rating for the 90-minute season premiere last week, two tenths from the final. Leading out of that, the Season 2 premiere of SEAL Team (0.8, 5.1 million) was down from last year, matching a series demo low. Veteran Criminal Minds (0.7, 4.4 million) launched its fourteenth season with series lows. It was the lowest-rated program of the night in 18-49 on the Big 4 networks.
It was a string of week-to-week declines at ABC too. The steepest, -0.3 or 27%, was for new drama A Million Little Things (0.8, 3.8 million) at 10 PM. It came after encouraging Live+3 lifts for the relationship drama and a special rebroadcast of the premiere on Tuesday for extra sampling. Fellow new ABC series, comedy Single Parents (1.1, -15%; 4.3 million) and its lead-in, veteran Modern Family (1.4, 5.4 million) both were off by two tenths. In the 8-9 PM hour, The Goldbergs (1.3, 5.1 million) and American Housewife (1.1, 4.4 million) each slipped by a tenth.