In a highly competitive comedy landscape (this TV season opened with the most new comedies in primetime in a decade) CBS, which was getting tired of all the “WTF happened to 2 Broke Girls?” reports, decided to point out that it’s leading the comedy derby. CBS has the three most-watched comedy newcomers and the two highest in the age bracket advertisers target. Three weeks into the new season, David E. Kelley’s Robin Williams-starrer The Crazy Ones is the top-rated new comedy among 18- to 49-year-olds, and No. 4 rated among all comedies, behind only the network’s The Big Bang Theory, ABC’s Modern Family, and CBS’ final season of How I Met Your Mother. (While The Crazy Ones averaged 3.9% of the country’s viewers in that key age bracket, The Big Bang Theory is clocking a whopping 6%. In fairness, the era of the out-of-the-box comedy hit is pretty over — The Big Bang Theory started out with so-so numbers and critical repulsion.)
CBS’ The Millers is the second-most-watched new comedy in the demo this season (3.2 rating), beating CBS’ returning Two And A Half Men and the aforementioned 2 Broke Girls, which have both slipped noticeably this season and are each logging 2.9 rating in the age bracket. On the other hand, Two And A Half Men no longer sits right behind The Big Bang Theory on Thursday nights; it’s now an hour removed from that cushy time slot, to make room for The Millers and The Crazy Ones. And if CBS can split up those two older comedies and wind up with four comedies that are working — well, that’s good TV math. Meanwhile, CBS slid 2 Broke Girls to 8:30, where it came up a tick in the ratings this week. Now if the network can only convince the creators of the merits of character and storyline development.
Anyway, getting back to new comedies and how they’re doing, ABC’s new Rebel Wilson starrer Super Fun Night is the third-highest-rated rookie in the demo (2.8). In overall audience, CBS’ Thursday shows The Crazy Ones (13.7 million) and The Millers (12.4 million), and Monday’s Mom (7.98 million) are the season’s three most watched new comedies. Next in line: ABC’s The Goldbergs (7.66 million).
Why does this matter? In the broadcast networks’ race to lower their median ages, comedies tend to skew younger than do broadcast dramas. And nothing pays out better than a big, broad-appeal comedy (see The Big Bang Theory). Also, CBS wants us to stop writing about 2 Broke Girls’ lousy season kickoff and start writing about how the network has three new comedies that appear to be working in the early days of the new season.