Ratings: Modern Family Returns Strong, Is Good to Its Neighbors; CSI, SVU and Minds Hit Lows

The Modern Family ties are still strong, as the ABC comedy returned on Wednesday to 14.2 million total viewers and a 5.5 demo rating, dominating the night and dipping just a few percentage points from its year-ago opener.

Alas, that set up ABC’s Neighbors — which TVLine readers gave an average grade of “D” — for a solid debut: 9.3 million viewers and a 3.3 rating, up sharply from the Apartment 23 and Happy Endings launches, yet demonstrating lesser retention of its lead-in (60 percent vs. about 70 percent).

Leading off the night for ABC, The Middle drew 9 mil and a 2.8, down 7 and 10 percent from its previous premiere, while a Revenge recap special placed a distant third at 10 pm.

Elsewhere on Wednesday….

* On CBS, Survivor (10.2 mil/3.0) was down 11 and 6 percent, Criminal Minds (11.6 mil/3.1) dropped 18 and 24 percent and delivered its lowest-rated premiere ever, as did CSI (down 16 and 22 percent to 10.7 mil/2.5). CSI, however, was on par with its season finale, whereas Minds… wasnt.

* Fox’s The X Factor (9.45 mil/3.3) led the 8 o’clock hour in the demo, and dipped just 8 percent in the demo week-to-week.

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* NBC’s Animal Practice (5.2 mil/1.4) was down sharply from its aprés-Olympics sneak preview (12.8 mil/4.1) and was down 39 percent from Up All Night‘s year-ago demo rating. Guys With Kids (4.8 mil/1.6) built on that lead-in, and rose more than 20 percent from its premiere. SVU‘s two-hour opener drew 7.1 mil and a 2.1, up a tenth in the demo from its finale but down 12 percent year-over-year to hit a premiere low.

COMING NEXT WEDNESDAY: The Neighbors moves to its regular 8:30 slot, Supernatural returns.