Day three of the new TV season proved tough going for the opening of NBC's new spy-drama "Undercovers." CBS, on the other hand, continued to have a rock-solid winning Wednesday.
Against a tough 8 p.m. time period, NBC couldn't get momentum for its J.J. Abrams-produced "Undercovers," only getting to a meek Nielsen preliminary 2.0 rating/6 share among 18-49 viewers.
CBS' "Survivor: Nicaragua" won the time period, but was down a bit from the week before to a 4.0/12. The NBC show also had to contend with Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" (2.6/8) and ABC's "The Middle (2.6/8) -- shows that were ahead of it viewer-wise.
Of the three other new shows that debuted later that night, CBS' 10 p.m. comedy-drama "The Defenders" posted the best results with a 2.9/8. Two ABC shows had lower numbers -- the 8:30 comedy "Better with You" took a middling 2.5/7, and the worst off was ABC's "The Whole Truth" at 10 p.m., with a dismal 1.5/4.
The best-rated show of the night was ABC's growing "Modern Family," which rang up its best-ever results with a 5.0/14. It was a full rating point ahead of CBS' "Criminal Minds," which landed with a good 4.0/11. ABC's "Cougar Town" continued strong at a 3.3/9 at 9:30 p.m.
NBC could take solace that "Law & Order: SVU" improved over 20% from the year before, earning a 3.5/10 and winning the 10 p.m. time period.
CW had some mixed results in its key women 18-34 demo, down a bit to a 1.9 rating from a 2.2 for "America's Next Top Model" but up slightly for "Hellcats" at a 1.8 from a 1.7 rating the week before.
For the night among 18-49 viewers, CBS was at a 3.6/10; Fox scored a 2.9/8; NBC and ABC tied with a 2.8/8; Univision had a 1.7/5; and CW took a 1.1/3.