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CMAs, Rivals Drop to Ratings Lows

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

A grim morning in the ratings with ABC's telecast of the 44th annual Country Music Awards winning the night amid a slew of all-time lows. 

Carrie Underwood hosted the three-hour CMAs, which delivered 16.5 million viewers and a 4.7 preliminary rating among adults 18-49. That was easily enough to give ABC a ratings victory, but also represents the annual telecast's weakest delivery (guess Gwyneth Paltrow making her country singing debut wasn't quite the draw).

ABC notes that the network's margin against rivals increased notably this year despite the show dropping 11%.

CBS and Fox tied for second place. The CMAs put pressure on rivals but seemed to cut most into the CBS audience. Survivor (11.3 million, 3.2) was down 14% to a series low, while Criminal Minds (12.4 million, 3.0) was down 23% and Defenders (8.3 million, 1.8) fell 22% to match their lows.

Fox's two-hour Hells Kitchen (5.7 million, 2.7) returned after two weeks off the air due to baseball pre-emptions, down 13% to a season low.

NBC's walking dead, Undercovers (6.1 million, 1.2), slipped again; Law & Order: SVU (6.9 million, 2.0) was down 9% and Law & Order: Los Angeles (6.8 million, 1.7) was off 11%. All were season lows.

The CW's America's Next Top Model (2.3 million, 1.2) and Hellcats (1.8 million, 0.9) were about steady in the adult demo though showed their best numbers since premiere week for women 18-34.