CBS won primetime Wednesday night with big ratings numbers from "Survivor: Nicaragua," "Criminal Minds" and the series premieres of "Defenders." NBC spy show "Undercovers" got off to a bad start and ABC's legal drama "The Whole Truth" crashed and burned.
— Episode two of "Survivor: Nicaragua" scored a 4.0 rating/12 share in the key adults 18-49 demographic from 8-9 p.m. Buoyed by the strong lead-in, the six premiere of "Criminal Minds" posted a 4.0/11 and "Defenders" debuted with a solid 2.7/8, good enough for second place from 10-11 p.m. behind "Law & Order: SVU."
— ABC, Fox and NBC all tied for second place (with a slight technicality). ABC and NBC both averaged 2.8/8 from 8-11 p.m. Fox scored 2.9/9, one point higher, but it runs a shorter 8-10 p.m. primetime schedule. Fox's Wednesday night lineup consisted of the two-hour season eight premiere of Gordon Ramsay's cooking competition "Hell's Kitchen."
— The season two premiere of ABC's hit "Modern Family" was the top show of the night with its highest rated episode ever at 5.0/14, but the network's new legal drama "The Whole Truth" landed with a thud from 10-11 p.m. "The Whole Truth" posted a 1.5/4 for the hour, leaving it stuck in third behind "The Defenders" and "Law & Order: SVU." In its final half hour, "The Whole Truth" lost about 20 percent of its audience. Clearly, audiences can only take so much legal action on Wednesday nights. Ratings for "The Whole Truth" were down 50 percent from last year's series debut of "Eastwick" in the same time slot. "Eastwick" was cancelled after about two months, "The Whole Truth" seems headed for a similar fate. ABC's other new show, the sitcom "Better With You," scored a much more respectable 2.5/7 from 8:30-9 p.m., holding nearly all the audience from its lead-in — "The Middle."
— NBC aired the premiere of J.J. Abrams' married spy show "Undercovers" from 8-9 p.m. "Undercovers" landed in fourth place for the hour behind "Survivor," "Hell's Kitchen" and the ABC sitcoms. The show scored a weak 2.0/6 and its chances for a long future don't look good. NBC had much better luck with the two-hour season 12 premiere of "Law & Order: SVU," which averaged a 3.2/9 from 9-11 p.m. "SVU's" ratings for the night were 23 percent higher than the numbers for the season 11 premiere in 2009.