UPDATED: While other networks filled the Thanksgiving holiday with repeats and specials, TBS opted to launch a new scripted series on Black Friday. For most shows that would spell gloom and doom, but not if the series has Tyler Perry’s name in it. Perry once again proved his drawing power as his latest TBS sitcom, Tyler Perry’s For Better Or Worse, drew 3.4 million viewers (1.8 million in adults 18-49) in its launch Friday night. The series based on Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? movies was significantly down from the stellar debut of Perry’s first TBS sitcom, the recently canceled House of Payne, which opened with 5.9 million viewers in June 2007, but closer to the premiere audience for Perry’s second TBS comedy Meet The Browns (4 million) in February 2009. For a launch in the middle of a four-day holiday, For Better Or Worse did solid business. The question is why the premiere was slotted there.
After breaking Comedy Central’s ratings records with his holiday special exactly three years ago, Jeff Dunham did it again for the BIO Channel last week. The special Jeff Dunham: Birth Of A Dummy last Tuesday became the most-watched telecast in the network’s history, drawing 714,000 total viewers, 425,000 adults 25-54 and 321,000 adults 18-49 in its premiere, all ratings records for BIO. In 2008, Comedy Central’s Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special averaged 6.6 million viewers, also an all-time high for the network.