It was the first edition of the “comedy sigalert” three-way Tuesday face-off last night as ABC launched its new comedy block of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23 to face NBC’s Go On and The New Normal and Fox’s New Girl and The Mindy Project (Mindy was pre-empted last night for a relocated The X Factor).
Fox’s New Girl (2.7/7) came out the dustup unscathed, on par with its last original two weeks ago. It also topped its now two comedy competitors in the 9 PM slot: NBC’s Go On (2.5/7, down 11% from its fast national two weeks ago, 4% from the final) and Happy Endings (1.9/5), finishing right behind CBS’ NCIS: LA (2.8 from 9-9:30 PM) in the half-hour.
It was a slow start for Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— (1.7/4), which have been left to fend for themselves this fall after alternating for a run behind hit Modern Family last season. Not surprisingly, both comedies were down sharply from their most recent season/series debuts behind Modern Family last season: -39% for Happy Endings and -41% from Don’t Trust The B—-, which hit a series low. On the bright side, Happy Endings was up 12% from its April season finale. Of the other comedies last night, Fox’s Raising Hope (1.7/5) was even with last week; Ben And Kate (1.4/4) showed some spark, up 17% from last week, while NBC’s The New Normal (1.8/4) was down 10% from two weeks ago. (The presidential debate pre-empted the networks’ 9-11 PM programming last Tuesday).
Both The Voice (4.1/12) and Dancing With The Stars results (2.2/7) were down from last week — The Voice by 11%, Dancing by 10%. The X Factor (2.4/6) aired a re-cut hourlong version of the doomed two-hour Thursday episode from last week — the airing that was plagued by baseball rain delays and technical snafus. It ran from 9:30-10:30 PM.
The 9-9:30 PM victory over the comedies was a consolation prize for NCIS: LA (2.7/7 from 9-10 PM, 16.3 million viewers), which was down 10% from two weeks ago to log its lowest-rated fall telecast. Its lead-in, NCIS (3.2/9 in 18-49, 17.4 million), was down -6% for a season low. The day CBS’ freshman Vegas received a full-season order, it plunged 25% to a series low of a 1.5/4. Its viewership, 10.7 million, also was down.
It was a case of steady wins the race at 10 PM. After tying Vegas for its first No. 1 finish in the hour this season in the fast nationals two weeks ago, NBC’s Parenthood (1.9/5, down a tenth from two weeks) posted its first outright win last night by a wide margin. ABC’s Private Practice (1.4/4) did not get a boost from the Friday announcement that it is ending its run, down 13% from two weeks ago to a series low.
Discouraging news for the CW freshman Emily Owens, MD (0.3/1,1.1 million), which dived 40% in 18-49 from last Tuesday’s soft series premiere. Its lead-in, Hart Of Dixie (0.5/2, 1.3 million), was down 17%.