'Modern Family' Death Boosts Series' Ratings

Modern Family's ratings got a bump on Wednesday night, due to a death in the family. The special episode also brought up the rest of ABC's comedy line-up.

ABC kicked off its night with The Goldbergs, which earned 4.98 million viewers and a 1.3 18-49 rating, up 0.2 from last week, reports TV By The Numbers. American Housewife picked up 4.35 million viewers and a 1.1 18-49 rating. Modern Family had 5.22 million viewers and a 1.5 18-49 rating, making it the highest-rated scripted show of the night.

Freshman sitcom Single Parents had 3.79 million viewers and a 1.1 18-49 rating. A Million Little Things was even with last week, with 3.51 million viewers and a 0.8 18-49 rating.

CBS' night started with Survivor, which had 7.35 million viewers and a 1.4 18-49 rating. SEAL Team had 5.42 million viewers and a 0.8 18-49 rating. Lastly, Criminal Minds had just 4.27 million viewers and a 0.7 18-49 rating. All three shows were even from last week.

NBC's Chicago night started with Chicago Med, which had 7.75 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in the demographic. Chicago Fire had 7.65 million viewers and a 1.3 rating. Chicago P.D. had 6.65 million viewers and a 1.2 18-49 rating. Both Med and Fire were up by a small margin, and P.D. was steady with last week.

Fox's night was taken up with Game 2 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The game averaged 11.33 million viewers and a preliminary 2.8 18-49 rating. That is down from Game 1's 3.4 early average. It was also a big drop from last year's Game 2, which had a 3.9 early rating and a 4.2 final rating.

The CW's Riverdale had 1.43 million viewers and a 0.5 18-49 rating. All American had 790,000 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 rating. Both shows were up from last week.

Modern Family earned extra attention from fans this week because it featured a death. DeDe Pritchett (Shelley Long), the ex-wife of Jay (Ed O'Neill) and the mother of Claire (Julie Bowen) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), was killed off. The character died in her sleep.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan explained that the writers usually think up possible milestone moments for each season. For season 10, they decided to test the family with a major loss. DeDe's death will continue to play a major role during the rest of the season.

"She's directly involved with three of our characters and she touched everybody's life in some interesting way. It seemed like the right character to put everybody through something," Levitan said of DeDe. "She seemed like right character because she so directly affects so many of our characters."

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New episodes of Modern Family air on ABC at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesdays.

Photo credit: ABC/Tony Rivetti