ABC’s new Matthew Perry comedy series Mr. Sunshine had a promising debut last night, drawing a 3.7/10 in adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers at 9:30 PM. It was helped by a hot Valentine’s Day episode of Modern Family (5.0/13, 13.11 million, up 9% in the demo from its last original on Jan. 19). In the battle of the former Friends stars, the premiere of Mr. Sunshine couldn’t quite match the series premiere of Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town in the same slot (4.3/11, 11.4 million on Sep. 23, 2009 with a 4.3/12, 12.7 million Modern Family lead-in). Still, Mr. Sunshine marked ABC’s best series debut this season in 18-49, retained solid 74% of its Modern Family demo lead-in and posted the best numbers in the slot in total viewers and 18-49 since the series premiere and second episode of Cougar Town, respectively. Modern Family‘s numbers are even more impressive given its weak lead-in last night, freshman comedy Better with You (2.0/5), which was down 9% in the demo from its last original on Jan. 19 to hit a series low. At 8 PM, The Middle (2.6/7) was even with its last original. Ditto for midseason drama Off the Map (1.9/5), which finished last in the 10 PM hour.
NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (2.6/7, 8.1 million) once again won the 10 PM slot in the demo, but it was down 10% from last week. Meanwhile, CBS’ Blue Bloods (2.3/6, 12.5 million) bounced back big, up 44% from last week when it tied a series low following a repeat of Criminal Minds vs. a fresh episode this week. It posted its best numbers since the September premiere. Criminal Minds (3.7/10, 14.3 million) was also up double digits, 16% from its last original 2 weeks ago. And like Modern Family, it was a self-starter, even more so as it was saddled with an anemic lead-in from Live to Dance (0.9/3, flat with last week and tied as series low, 4.8 million). NBC’s reality series Minute to Win It (1.8/5) was down 25% in its first regular airing as a two-hour program from 8-10 PM on Wednesdays.
Fox’s American Idol (8.3/23, 23.7 million) continues to hold up well, down 8% from last Wednesday’s episode and 8% vs. the comparable Tuesday episode last season. (Last week, the show was even with last season’s episode.) Idol was once again the top program of the night by a mile. Human Target (2.4/6) was down 8% from last week’s airing behind Idol. Fox (5.3/14, 16 million) won the night, while ABC (2.8/8, 8.4 million) finished second in the demo with its strongest Wednesday numbers for regular programming this season.