ABC continues to build a successful comedy block on Wednesdays, with its new 8 p.m. half-hours getting off to credible starts and its 9 p.m. hour looking solid in week two.
Elsewhere, Fox had a good night as "Glee" continues to hold up well and NBC's "Mercy" was relatively steady.
A first look at the numbers, per Nielsen's prelim fast national data:
--Critically savaged Kelsey Grammer sitcom "Hank" (2.2/7 in adults 18-49) finished in second place at 8 p.m. in the key demo, beating CBS's comedies. Its number was just a tad better than "Pushing Daisies" last year, so ABC isn't jumping for joy. But it's not a disaster given the overall weakness of the slot.
Things perked up a bit at 8:30, with Patricia Heaton's "The Middle" (2.5/7) also ranking second and up more than 20 percent vs. the second half hour of "Daisies" last year.
The better news for ABC: "Modern Family" (3.7/10) and "Cougar Town" (3.6/9) did fine at 9. Yes, they were down -- "MF" about 12 percent, "CT," a bit more -- but they hardly tanked.
"MF" won its hour in adults 18-49, while "CT" was a close second.
At 10 p.m., "Eastwick" (2.4/7) slid 20 percent. Not great, not awful.
--Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" (2.7/8) easily won the 8 p.m. hour (the vajajay controversy resulted in an 8 percent rise: Well played, Nigel! Well played). That lifted "Glee" (3.2/9), which improved from its week-ago perfomance (OK, only 3 percent, but still!)
Big sigh of relief at Fox, which has already ordered a full season of the musical comedy.
--CBS had another nice night. It was first for the night in total viewers and tied Fox for the demo lead.
After routine performances for its 8 p.m. comedies, "Criminal Minds" (3.6/10) won the 9 p.m. hour in demos (though it dropped over 20 percent from its premiere). "CSI: NY" (3.2/11) took a similar drop but still easily dominated at 10.
--Let's do a glass half-full report for NBC. "Mercy" (2.1/6) dropped 9 percent at 8 p.m., but you know what? That's not bad. It's also a lot better than what NBC average in the slot last year. And the Peacock is in the game in this hour-- assuming "Mercy" can hold steady or grow (four words: big name guest star).
At 9, "SVU" was stable week to week.
The Jay Leno/Future of Television Watch, Brought to You By Comcast: 1.9/5 in the demo. Six million eyeballs. Third place. Down 5 percent from last week.
--On the CW, "Top Model" notched a 1.8/6 with adults 18-34 and was up 13 percent from last week. It tied its best performance of the season with viewers and women 18-34.
A "Melrose Place" rerun at 9 did better than last week's original episode of "The Beautiful Life: TBL."
LATE NIGHT UPDATE
No surprise here: CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" dominated premiere week ratings, which were released today. Letterman had big guests such as President Obama and former prez Bill Clinton; Conan O'Brien was in repeats on Friday due to a head injury.
"Late Show" won the week in both viewers and adults 18-49, and had its best premiere week in overall audience since 2001.