The premiere of the DC Comics-inspired "Arrow" was the most-watched show on the CW in three years Wednesday, while ABC's "Nashville" premiered to a solid number and NBC's "Chicago Fire" had a soft debut. Fox won the night overall on the strength of "X Factor."
The CW, which has spent most of its half-decade of existence targeting women 18-34, is trying to branch out this season after ratings were down in 2011-12. With "Arrow," an adaptation of the comic book "Green Arrow," that plan seems to be working. No CW show has earned such a large audience since the debut of "The Vampire Diaries" in September 2009.
Its 1.3 rating/4 share in the 18-49 would have been a letdown to other networks, but was great for the smaller CW. It had 4 million total viewers.
"Nashville," meanwhile, a country music drama starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere as musical rivals, scored a 2.8/8 and 9 million total viewers. "Chicago Fire," an ensemble drama from "Law & Order" mastermind Dick Wolf, had a disappointing 1.9/5 and 6.4 million.
Fox, meanwhile, took the night's top ratings spot overall with a 3.4/9 and drew third in total viewers with 9.4 million. The network's primetime slate consisted of "The X Factor" from 8 to 10, which ran even in the demo from last week and saw a marginal bump in total viewers.
ABC came in second in ratings and total viewers with a 3.2/9 and 9.4 million. Aside from the "Nashville" premiere at 10, the network ran "The Middle" at 8, which was up slightly from last week for a 2.4/7 and drew 7.8 million total viewers, while the new offering "The Neighbors" ran even with last week for a 1.9/5 and took 6.3 million total viewers. "Modern Family" at 9 posted a 4.7/13, down 15 percent from its season premiere two weeks ago, and attracted 12 million total viewers. A special airing of "Modern Family" at 9:30 was the night's top-rated and most-watched program of the night, racking up a 4.9/12 and amassing 12.2 million total viewers.
CBS took third in ratings and first in total viewers with a 2.8/8 and 10.5 million. "Survivor" at 8 slipped 13 percent from last week for a 2.6/8 and picked up 9.6 million total viewers. "Criminal Minds" the following hour posted a 3.0/8 and grabbed 11.4 million total viewers, while "CSI" at 10 inched up from it last original airing two weeks ago for a 3.0/8 and attracted 10.6 million total viewers.
NBC drew fourth place in ratings and total viewers with a 1.6/5 and 5.6 million. The "Chicago Fire" premiere was preceded by a series of declines for the network's offerings, starting with "Animal Practice" at 8, which slipped 15 percent from last week to a 1.1/3 and 3.9 million total viewers. "Guys With Kids" at 8:30 fell 13 percent from last week, taking a 1.4/4 and posting 4.2 million total viewers. "Law & Order" dropped 14 percent from its season premiere two weeks ago for a 1.8/5 and taking 6.2 million total viewers.