Wednesday night ratings roundup: Cubs outdraw NBC’s “Chicago” shows in Chicago

The Cubs and “Empire” cam “Fly The W”.

Broadcast networks continue to struggle; Empire top-rated 18-49 show of night nationally

Wednesday night, NBC’s Chicago shows returned with their season premieres.

But it was the Chicago Cubs who beat the Chicago-based dramas on their own home turf.

Fueled by their chase for the NL Central championship, the Cubs game from Wrigley Field topped all prime-time programs in viewership in the Chicago market Wednesday evening with a 7.3 household rating on NBC Sports Chicago – outdrawing NBC’s trio of shows set in the Windy City: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D., who went into syndication this week as an off-network strip.

Playing the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs were ahead 6-0 until the eighth inning when they allowed several runs. With the Pirates tying the game in the ninth, the Cubs won it in the tenth to keep their razor-thin lead in the division against the Milwaukee Brewers. The game was also notable for a play in the eighth where a fan interfered with Anthony Rizzo trying to catch a pop-up fly in foul grounds (sounds familiar?)

The ratings victory is just another example of how tough the major broadcast networks have it these days regarding competition, whether if its from cable or streaming as numbers for the new season are already down from last year. Even worse for NBC’s Chicago shows, getting beaten on your own home turf by the Cubs is flat out embarrassing.

Switching over to the adult 18-49 national ratings, the Chicago shows didn’t fare any better: all three lagged in the ratings with Med earning a 1.2/6; Fire with a 1.3/5; and P.D. with a 1.2/5. NBC might want to rethink having all of its Chicago shows on one night as the network couldn’t extend its total-night primetime ratings winning streak to a third consecutive night, as they fell to fourth place (CBS finished first.)

Switching to ABC, the network season premiered its two-hour block of The Goldbergs (1.4/7); American Housewife (1.2/6); Modern Family (1.6/7); and Single Parents (1.3/6). Regarding the latter show, can we please stop casting Brad Garrett in these “sadsack” roles? Better yet, stop casting Garrett all together – his “sadsack” shtick has long since wore thin.

Closing out prime-time was the premiere of A Million Little Things, with a 1.1/5. The promos showed a very powerful drama dealing with the suicide of a close friend, but I’m not sure if a depressing plotline like this could be sustained every week.

CBS premiered its latest edition of Survivor with a 1.7/7, followed by the season finale of Big Brother with a similar 1.7/7, hosted by former The Talk host Julie Chen Moonves, whose sudden use of her last name a few weeks ago made the show about herself instead of the contestants.

Fox had the highest-rated show of the night nationally with the season premiere of Empire (1.9/8) followed by Star (1.4), who dropped from the lead-in by 26 percent.

The CW did have an original; leftover summer series Burden Of Truth, limped with a 0.1/1.

Of note on cable – aside from the Cubs game, the 21st season premiere of South Park earned a 0.7 rating, down 30 percent from last year’s season premiere. I won’t spoil it if you haven’t watched, but last night’s episode had the mother of Downer Endings outside of Avengers: Infinity War.

FX’s American Horror Story was the top scripted show on cable Wednesday night with a 0.9.


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