President Barack Obama's speech at the Tucson, Ariz., memorial for the victims of last weekend's shooting skewed Wednesday's prime-time ratings, throwing people off the trail of their regular shows.
The premiere of ABC's Off the Map — the latest from the Shonda Rhimes doctor-drama factory — also may have suffered from some high-profile scathing reviews, finishing second to NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (which featured Jeremy Irons' network TV debut) in the last hour of prime time.
L&O: SVU attracted 8.4 million viewers compared to Map's 7.5 million; on CBS, a delayed portion of Live to Dance and then The Defenders averaged 6.5 million. (By comparison, The Game grabbed 7.7 million people on BET Tuesday night.)
The Middle got an audience of 10.5 million at 8, easily outpacing its competition, which was all reruns. Modern Family, which started around 9:20 Eastern after the president's speech, drew 10.2 million.
The president's appearance in the wake of the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords led the four major networks to break into their programming between 8:30 and 9:30 Eastern.