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Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Fox Wins; ABC’s Happy Town Collapses
CW 1.8/ 3
American Idol (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS), Modern Family (ABC)
Mercy (NBC), Cougar Town (ABC), Fly Girls (CW), Happy Town (ABC)
Led by American Idol, Fox ruled the overnight ratings roost on Wednesday and it will, no doubt, dominate in total viewers and adults 18-49. Second in the overnights was CBS, which continues to benefit by Criminal Minds at 9 p.m., followed by ABC and CBS in the distant No. 3 spot, and last-place The CW. ABC’s diminished performance was a result of the collapse of drama Happy Town in week two.
Fox opened this first Wednesday in May with a repeat of Lie To Me (#3: 3.5 rating/6 share at 8 p.m.), followed by American Idol at a 13.2/20 at 9 p.m. While Idol stood well above anything else last night, the 12.3 rating in the overnights one night earlier translated into a below-average 17.5 million viewers, with a 6.2 rating/18 share among adults 18-49 based on the live plus same day ratings on Tuesday, May 4. While any network would still be happy with a performance of this caliber for any of its shows, the nine year-old music competition has indeed sprung a leak. Who knows what will happen without Simon Cowell next season.
CBS’ on-the-fence The New Adventures of Old Christine won the modest Wednesday 8 p.m. half-hour, with a 4.3/ 8 in the overnights, followed by a repeat of The Big Bang Theory (#2: 4.2/ 7), aforementioned Criminal Minds (#2: 8.6/13) and CSI: NY (#1: 6.9/11). Old Christine concludes its current fifth season next Wednesday, leading into another encore telecast of my personal favorite sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.
ABC’s 8-10 p.m. comedy block, which is in need of an 8 p.m. anchor next season, performed at typical levels, with Modern Family the standout and Cougar Town not holding enough of the lead-in. Take a look:
8:00 p.m. – The Middle (R): 3.4/ 6 (#2)
9:00 p.m. – Modern Family: 6.3/10 (#3)
9:30 p.m. – Cougar Town: 4.3/ 7 (#3)
Look for Modern Family, of course, to deliver as usual among key adults 18-49. But the sad reality of the ongoing erosion for Cougar Town out of Modern Family (32 percent this week) is that Courteney Cox and company have seemed to really find their groove together. Too bad few people have seemed to notice.
Week two of ABC drama Happy Town fell off the map, unfortunately, with a very last place 2.8/ 5 at 10 p.m. Compared to its already lackluster debut one week earlier (3.8/ 6 on April 28), that was a loss of 26 percent. Will ABC even keep Happy Town on the air for the remainder of its episode order? Stay tuned.
NBC opened the evening with a repeat of game show Minute to Win It (#4: 3.2/ 5), which has not benefited by the network mixing originals and repeats in two different time periods, followed by relocated (and waiting-to-be axed) medical drama Mercy at a distant fourth-place 2.8/ 4 in the overnights at 9 p.m. The only sign of life on NBC last night was veteran Law & Order: SVU (#2: 6.0/11), which is expected to win the 10 p.m. hour among adults 18-49.