Wednesday nights on broadcast TV this fall is going to be filled with that new show smell. ABC’s all new, NBC has 2 new hours, and the CW and Fox are each 50% new. Only CBS is bringing back a veteran line up, presumably they’ll hang a little evergreen tree on the rearview mirror.

Below are the hourly lineups, including each shows 18-49 demo rating average (which includes in-slot repeats) from the 2008-9 season as well as my guesses for the fall nightly overall results.

If you enjoyed the Wednesday look ahead for the new season, check out Tuesday’s.


Hank (ABC), New

New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS),  2.0 18-49 demo rating

America’s Next Top Model (CW), 1.9 fall ’08, 1.8 spring ’09 demo ratings

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox), ~3.5 demo rating for Wed. & Thu. summer 2009 through 8/30

Mercy (NBC), New


The Middle (ABC), New

Gary Unmarried (CBS), 2.1 demo rating


Modern Family (ABC), New

Criminal Minds (CBS) 3.4 demo rating

The Beautiful Life (CW) New

Glee (Fox), New

Law & Order:SVU (NBC), 3.3 demo rating (@ 10pm last season)


Cougar Town (ABC), New


Eastwick (ABC), New

CSI:NY (CBS), 3.2 demo rating

The Jay Leno Show (NBC), New, Fall 2009 Tonight Show averaged about a 1.4-1.5 demo rating

My Guess

Wednesday looks like an easy CBS win with their strong 9 and 10pm shows. Their margin would be even bigger if it wasn’t millstoned by the 8pm comedy hour ratings losers. Since I expect Law & Order: SVU to improve its ratings at 9pm this season (vs. 10pm last season), if Mercy doesn’t crash immediately, NBC could start in a strong second due to early Leno tune in. Ultimately, I think that whoever ends up in second place (almost certainly Fox or NBC) will be well back of CBS’ nightly ratings in the 18-49 demo.

I think the best ABC can expect is to find a couple keepers out of its all new night. The worst case, a complete wipe out, is also possible. CW could easily  improve on the night if The Beautiful Life does better than Stylista did in the same slot, not a very high hurdle.

Note: I make all my guesses completely unburdened by having read any reviews of any of the new shows, having seen any of the pilots, or knowing any more than the most casual details of their subject matter. Does that make mine better or worse than the typical TV writer which focuses almost solely on those? Your mileage may vary.

Fox caveat: Regardless of their other shows outcome of the major league baseball playoffs can make or break Fox’s fall averages. If they get long series with good matchups their overall season averages benefit tremendously. If they get short series with bad matchups, they’ll suffer.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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