Fresh off it’s Emmy Best Comedy Win, “Modern Family’s” second season premiered with a bang, bringing in 12.6 million viewers and a 5.0 in the adults 18-49 demo, leading all shows on Wednesday night, well over its first season 3.9 average. Its strong showing bled into the second season premiere of “Cougar Town,” which delivered 8.5 million viewers and a 3.3 rating, also over its first season average. At 8 p.m., “The Middle” lured in 8.8 million viewers and a 2.6 in the demo, while freshman comedy “Better with You” brought in 8 million and a 2.5 rating.
But ABC’s good fortune for the evening didn’t translate to it’s 10 p.m. legal drama, “The Whole Truth.” It premiered to 4.91 million viewers and a 1.5 rating, less than half last fall’s “Eastwick” which premiered in the same timeslot to 8.5 million viewers and a 3.0 in the demo. “Eastwick” was ultimately cancelled after 13 episodes. “The Whole Truth” will likely be yanked much sooner than 13 episodes.
NBC was hoping for a little J.J. Abrams magic with his latest drama “Undercovers.” But the veteran producer of hits like “Lost” and “Alias” failed to deliver, as Undercovers delivered a solid 8.5 million viewers, but a very underwhelming 2.0 demo rating. The future appears bleak for the show. NBC had better luck with the two-hour season premiere of “Law and Order: SVU.” The show’s 12th season premiere averaged 10 million viewers and a 3.0 in the demo from 9-11 p.m.
CBS had reason to celebrate. “Survivor: Nicaragua” drew 12.5 million viewers and a 4.0 demo rating. At 9:00, “Criminal Minds” had a great showing with 14 million viewers and a 4.0, and new legal comedy “The Defenders” did reasonably well, bringing in 12 million viewers with a 2.9 in the demo.
Fox had a solid, if unspectacular night with a two-hour “Hell’s Kitchen” premiere. The show drew 6.5 million viewers and a 2.9 in the demo. The CW was at the back for the night with “America’s Next Top Model,” which brought in 2.8 million viewers and a 1.3 rating, while “Hellcats” was watched by 2.3 million with a 1.0.