With another comedy series Emmy in hand, "Modern Family" returned for a fifth season Wednesday as the night's highest-rated show, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
The season premiere of the ensemble comedy following the lives of a Southern California extended family drew 11.4 million viewers and a rating of 4.1 in the advertiser-desired 18-49 demographic, for which a ratings point equates to about 1.3 million people.
Still, the rating was down 25% from last year's season premiere, when it scored a 5.5.
"Nashville's" premiere was also down 25% from last fall's kickoff, to a rating of 2.1 and 6.6 million viewers, despite or because of an extensive makeover of the show's tone and feel.
The Season 5 premiere of "The Middle" at 8 p.m. on ABC opened down 17% from last year's first episode, to a 2.4.
The network's new comedy "Back in the Game," about a single mom who moves in with her estranged dad (James Caan), launched to an audience of 7.89 million and a rating of 2.2, an improvement of 16% over the show that held the same time slot last year, the introductory episode of "Neighbors."
ABC won the 18-49 demographic in prime time with a rating of 2.8.
"Revolution" returned for a second season on NBC. In its new time slot, the series opened down significantly from last fall's series premiere when it got a big boost from its lead-in, "The Voice." But its 18-49 rating of 1.9 was just 5% lower than the average rating for its last five spring sweeps telecasts.
"Revolution" had an audience of about 6.79 million.
The sci-fi action-adventure led into a two-hour "Law & Order: SVU" season opener, which brought in an average audience of 9.5 million and a rating of 2.7, surging 29% from last year's premiere.
CBS' "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" drew 9.41 million viewers and a rating of 2.3, down 12% from last week's season premiere. "Criminal Minds" opened down 10% from last year's premiere but matched its finale, and "CSI" fell 16% from last year.
Fox's "X Factor" looks like it's gaining some ground, hooking 7.6 million viewers and lifting its 18-49 rating to a 1.9, up 14% from last week.
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