Primetime is filling up with TV options once again now that the winter breaks are ending, and the latest Wednesday night ratings indicate that viewers were all about the One Chicago action, but not so much in the mood to laugh on January 27. NBC's primetime block of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. returned from a brief break to big ratings, while ABC's comedies took an unfortunate tumble. Here's where things stand now that the numbers are in for Wednesday night.
The three One Chicago dramas were off for an extra week beyond the original plan from NBC, but that didn't stop plenty of people from tuning in to watch Med, Fire, and P.D. In Live+Same day numbers from the key 18-49 age demographic, Deadline reports that Chicago Med won the whole night of January 27 with an audience of 7.07 million at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET with 6.8 million and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET with 5.86 million. Despite the differences in audience size, all three Chicago dramas were even in the ratings, each scoring an 0.9.
To compare, ABC's two-hour comedy block comprised of The Goldbergs, American Housewife, The Conners, and freshman series Call Your Mother weren't at the top in any category. The Goldbergs hit series lows with 3.3 million viewers and an 0.5 rating at 8 p.m., and the numbers weren't any better for American Housewife at 8:30 p.m. with 2.77 million and an 0.4. The Conners gave ABC a bit of a boost at 9 p.m. with 3.44 million and a rating of 0.5, although those numbers were still a drop from the week before. Call Your Mother at 9:30 p.m. only had an audience of 2.51 million and rating of 0.4, but that show did at least remain steady from week to week.
In all fairness, however, ABC isn't exactly the only network that lost big to NBC with One Chicago. No other show that aired during primetime on Wednesday, January 27 got closer to Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. with their 0.9 rating than CBS with the primetime edition of The Price Is Right, and even that only hit an 0.7. When it comes to viewership, even P.D. as the Chicago series with the smallest audience size beat all the competition on the other networks. The closest competition was also The Price Is Right on CBS with 4.79 million. But hey, every broadcast beat Nancy Drew on The CW at 9 p.m. with its 0.1 and 420,000 viewers!
It is worth noting that One Chicago easily dominating Wednesday might be a different story if the lineup in winter 2021 was the same as previous years, when The Masked Singer and Survivor would be in the mix as well. The Masked Dancer, which currently fills The Masked Singer's Wednesday slot on Fox, hasn't won nearly the same kind of audience size as the singing series, and the future of CBS' Survivor is very much uncertain due to the complications of production during a pandemic. For the time being, unless something major changes, there may not be much on Wednesday night to pose a threat to One Chicago, as it seems clear from January 27 that the ABC comedy block won't unseat Med, Fire, and P.D.
Still, it's possible that the numbers will shift somewhat once delayed viewing can be tallied to account for those who checked out these shows but didn't watch live. That's not to say that any of the non-NBC shows will rise to the kinds of numbers to beat One Chicago, though. In fact, the Wednesday night show with a history of huge gains from delayed viewing is actually one of the Chicago shows, with P.D. historically beating Med and Fire in delayed viewing. As for ABC and the comedies, those certainly aren't terrible numbers, and they might be flukes after they were all off for a week due to inauguration coverage. Only time will tell.