Fox Gives ‘New Girl’ First Full-Season Pickup

Zooey Deschanel is fall’s biggest star

She’s been an indie film actress, an alt-rock sweetheart and, as of this spring, an online content producer. Now Zooey Deschanel can add TV star to her manic pixie dream girl résumé.

Fox on Wednesday announced it has ordered an additional 11 installments of the Deschanel vehicle New Girl, bringing the series to a full 24-episode season order. The pickup came on the heels of another big ratings run for the new comedy.

According to preliminary Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, Deschanel’s fresh-off-the-shelf sitcom beat all comers Tuesday night in the all-important 18-49 demo, averaging a 4.4 rating/11 share.

All told, the second episode of New Girl delivered 9.26 million viewers, of which approximately 5.56 million, or 60 percent, were members of the dollar demo. The show dipped just 8 percent versus its premiere overnight delivery of 10.1 million viewers and a 4.8 rating/12 share, well within the standard 20 percent dropoff most new series experience in their sophomore broadcast.

New Girl improved on its Glee lead-in (8.34 million viewers) by 11 percent; more importantly, the comedy bettered Glee’s 3.6 rating in the demo by 22 percent. Glee dipped 5 percent from its premiere-week overnight.

The Fox comedy is one of just three new series to deliver a rating of 4.0 or above. CBS’ 2 Broke Girls averaged a 4.6 rating in the demo on Monday night, while Fox’s The X Factor premiered Sept. 21 to a 4.4, following that with a 4.3 last Thursday.

“We love the charming Zooey Deschanel and the entire cast, we’re knocked out with the work that [writer/creator] Liz Meriwether and the whole staff is doing, and we are really psyched about the upcoming episodes in the pipeline,” said Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly. “It’s great that audiences have responded so positively so far, and we’re confident that even more people will embrace the show.”

The two other freshman efforts on the Tuesday night schedule also held their own. At 10 p.m., CBS’ new procedural, Unforgettable, delivered 12.4 million viewers, down 11 percent from 14 million in its premiere, which notching a 2.5/7 in the demo, down 14 percent.

Meanwhile, at 9 p.m., The CW’s Ringer grew 5 percent with 2.01 million viewers and was flat in the 18-49 demo (0.9/2). In the network’s target demo, Ringer was rock steady, drawing a 1.3 rating/3 share with women 18-34.

CBS drew the biggest crowd of the evening at 8 p.m., as the indefatigable NCIS scared up 19.2 million viewers, down just 2 percent from a week ago. The Mark Harmon naval procedural earned a 4.2/12 in the demo against hour one of NBC’s The Biggest Loser (2.2/6) and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars (1.8/5).

All told, Fox won the night with a 3.6 rating/9 share, edging CBS (3.4/9). NBC and ABC tied for third with  2.2/6. In terms of overall reach, CBS ran away with the night, delivering 15.9 million total viewers. 

Publish date: September 28, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT