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Two ABC comedies premiere well

'Modern Family' and 'Cougar Town' draw viewers after 'Dancing With

September 25, 2009|Joe Flint

ABC can exhale now as two of its new Wednesday night comedies -- "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" -- got off to solid starts in the Nielsen ratings, both in total viewers and key demographics.

"Modern Family," the critically acclaimed sitcom that follows three families in mock documentary fashion, drew 12.6 million viewers, according to figures from Nielsen. "Cougar Town," which stars Courteney Cox as a divorced woman on the make, attracted 11.3 million viewers. For the hour, they finished a close second to CBS among vewers aged 18 to 49, the demographic that most advertisers are hoping to reach.

Both shows were no doubt helped by their "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in of 15.4 million viewers. Next week, they won't have that benefit because ABC will be premiering "Hank," its much-reworked Kelsey Grammer sitcom, at 8 p.m. and the Patricia Heaton family comedy "The Middle" at 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, the third day of the networks' fall season premiere week, was another strong night for CBS, which won in total viewers and edged ABC in adults 18 to 49. The return of "CSI: New York" at 10 p.m. did particularly well, averaging 15 million viewers. The premiere of ABC's female-skewing "Eastwick" averaged 8.5 million viewers and finished second behind "CSI: New York" in adults 18 to 49.

At NBC, the medical drama "Mercy" got off to a slow start. The show averaged 8.4 million viewers and was third in adults 18 to 49. Though that is nothing to crow about, it did do better in its 8-9 p.m. slot than what the network had averaged there last season.

At 10 p.m., NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" seesaw went down Wednesday night, to 6.4 million viewers, even with Leno and Vince Vaughn talking a little dirty and exercising with Jack Lalanne.

Fox's "Glee" didn't lose too many club members. The offbeat musical drama averaged 6.6 million viewers and kept 94% of its 18-to-49 audience from last week against much tougher competition.

Fox won the night in viewers 18 to 34.

At the CW, "The Beautiful Life" keeps getting uglier, averaging just more than 1 million viewers and barely registering with the 18-to-34 crowd.

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joe.flint@latimes.com

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