Although it comes courtesy of the highly touted producer of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice," ABC's "Off The Map" did not enjoy an auspicious start.
At 10 p.m., the new Shonda Rhimes-produced medical show, set in a South American jungle, earned a modest Nielsen 2.3 rating/6 share among 18-49 viewers. It ended up in second place to NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" which pulled in a 2.5/7.
A big asterisk, however, will be plunked down on the night. Right in the middle of prime time -- 8:39 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. -- President Obama's Tucson memorial speech took place, which disrupted/shifted many network shows a bit, upsetting viewers' usual habits on the night.
As a result, ABC scheduled "Off the Map" to get another shot the next night, Thursday, with an encore performance, after "Grey's Anatomy." "Private Practice" took the night off.
Because of the speech, many networks shifted to reruns -- especially earlier in the evening. Later in the night, CBS ran originals of Paula Abdul's "Live to Dance" and its drama/comedy "The Defenders." The 10 p.m. hour for those two shows averaged a 1.5/4. NBC ran originals of "Minutes to Win It", getting a 1.6/5.
ABC still owned the night. "The Middle," with little competition against it, took a big win with a 3.1/9, the highest ever for the series. After the president's speech, "Modern Family" came back on to earn a 3.7/10 -- well off its 4-plus rating average, and down from its 4.8 rating the week before.
When the dust settled on Wednesday night, ABC topped all comers on the night with a 2.9/8 among 18-49 viewers. NBC was more than a full rating point behind, with a 1.8/5; CBS was next at a 1.4/4. Univision had the same result, with a 1.4/4; Fox was well behind at a 0.8/2; and CW was at a 0.6/2.