NBC's latest entry in the Law & Order franchise premiered to solid numbers, while several freshman shows substantially slipped, according to overnight Nielsen estimates.
Law & Order: Los Angeles drew 10.5 million viewers and easily won the 10/9c time slot among the 18-to-49 demographic. The show even built on its Law & Order: SVU lead-in of 9.9 million viewers. However, NBC's Undercovers (8.2 million viewers) was down 24 percent from its première in the demo, placing fourth in its timeslot.
Also falling hard Wednesday was ABC's The Whole Truth (8.6 million viewers), which fell 20 percent from its soft premiere-week demo rating. ABC placed fourth overall, as all of its comedies had double-digit drop-offs, including Modern Family (11.9 million), which despite its fall was the night's highest-rated show in the demo. The Middle drew 8.3 million viewers while Better with You and Cougar Town each drew 7.1 million viewers.
CBS won the night overall, though Survivor: Nicaragua (12.2 million) fell 15 percent to tie the show's lowest-rated episode ever. Criminal Minds (14.4 million viewers) was down 10 percent in the demo compared to a week ago and The Defenders (10.4 million) fell 14 percent in its second week.
Fox's two-hour block of Hell's Kitchen averaged 6.3 million viewers.