Private Practice Second in Wednesday Ratings

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It was a big ratings night for CBS' Criminal Minds Wednesday.

After weathering the assault of two high-profile rookies at the 9 p.m. hour in ABC's Private Practice and NBC's Bionic Woman, as well as a major recasting after star Mandy Patinkin's abrupt exit during the summer, the veteran crime drama emerged as the top program in the hour this week.

With 15.7 million viewers and a 4.3 rating/11 share - its best ratings in nine months - Criminal Minds beat Private Practice and ranked No. 1 on the night in terms of total viewers and 18-49, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Private Practice (11.4 million, 4.2/10) was a close second in the 9 p.m. slot, while Bionic Woman (6.3 million, 2.5/6) continued its descent with its lowest number to date, finishing behind Fox's Kitchen Nightmares.

A Trio of Docs

Additionally, the CW's America's Next Top Model (5.3 million, 2.6/8) hit season highs in adults 18-34 (2.5/7) and adults 18-49, and in the process lifted the freshman drama Gossip Girl to its best numbers since the premiere.

For the night, CBS led with 12.1 million viewers and a 3.5/9, followed by ABC (9.5, 3.4/9), Fox (7.2, 2.9/8), NBC (6.5, 2.3/8) and the CW (4.1, 2.0/5).

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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