ABC’s established comedies, Modern Family (3.8/10) and The Middle (1.8/6), returned with originals lower. Modern Family was down 14% from its last first-run episode March 23, The Middle down 10%. Sandwiched between them was Better With You (1.5/4), which aired its first original in more than a month, since March 2, and was down 12% from that. All three series hit season lows. In its quest to successfully launch a new comedy series, ABC is premiering two new hopefuls behind Modern Family this midseason. Following the short run of Mr. Sunshine, it was Happy Endings‘ turn last night. At 9:30 PM, the premiere of the new single-camera comedy drew a 2.7/7 in 18-49. That was down 27% from the debut of Mr. Sunshine in the slot and down 7% from the premiere of the short-lived comedy series Romantically Challenged last April. (Though thats series launched after Dancing with the Stars.) Also last night, ABC kicked off its three-hour Wednesday comedy block. A second new episode of Happy Endings in its regular 10 PM slot fetched a 2.3/6. It was followed by a Modern Family rerun (1.8/5).
Fox’s American Idol (7.1/20, 22.4 million viewers) once again dominated the competition. Its numbers were identical to the reality juggernaut’s fast nationals last week. (Idol always goes up in the finals.) Versus the comparable telecast last year, Idol was down 3% in 18-49 and up 9% in viewers. At 9:30 PM, new comedy Breaking In (2.8/7) was down a steep 20% from its promising debut last week. An alarming drop but still a solid result as long as the show doesn’t continue to slide. The network easily won the night in all categories.
CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (2.9/9, 10.8 million) was down 6% from its fast-national demo number last week and currently ranks as the veteran reality series’ lowest-rated regular telecast ever. (It may pick up a tenth in the finals.) Criminal Minds (3.4/9) was down 6%, while spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.5/7) was up 19% after being trounced by NBC’s Law & Order: SVU last week. Suspect Behavior is clearly impacted by SVU in a big way as it rose by almost 20% when airing against an SVU rerun vs. an original last week. NBC aired a new Minute to Win It (1.0/3, flat) at 8 PM, followed by Minute and SVU repeats.
CW’s America’s Next Top Model (2.3 million, 1.0/3 in 18-34) had its most watched episode in more than a month and was up 11% from last week in 18-34. The season finale of Shedding For the Wedding (1.4 million) hit series highs in total viewers and 18-49 (0.6/1) Probably too little too late …