Ratings: ABC Has To Be Happy About 10 PM; The CW's Wedding Finale Packs On Viewers

The beginning of Happy Endings was a case of “OK news, better news” for ABC on Wednesday.

The sitcom’s special 9:30 pm bow drew 7.27 million total viewers and a 2.7 demo rating, which (at 76 percent and 71 percent) is almost on par with the Modern Family audience retention that Mr. Sunshine enjoyed in its own debut. (Though the Matt Perry comedy premiered to larger numbers, Modern Family this week was down 12 percent, hitting a season low.)

The interesting thing is that come 10 o’clock — aka Happy Endings’ regular time slot as of next week — ABC’s pairing of a second Happy half hour (5.72 mil/2.3) with a Modern Family repeat (4.6 mil/1.8) largely improved on Off The Map‘s finale numbers (less than 4 mil/1.3). Sure, SVU was in repeat mode, but….

ABC reports that Happy Endings gave the network its best 18-49 numbers in that 10:00 half hour in 13 weeks, and its best 18-34 demo rating in 1-1/2 years.

Elsewhere this Wednesday:

8/7c | American Idol this week topped the night with 22.4 million total viewers and a 7.1 demo rating, quite literally matching its week-ago numbers. (So much for scorned Pia fans tuning out. Sigh.) Survivor also held steady with 10.8 mil/3.0, while ABC’s The Middle (6.1 mil/1.8)/Better With You (5 mil/1.5) sitcombo placed third, with both shows at season lows. Top Model (2.24 mil and a 1.0 rating) saw gains of 11 percent.

9/8c | As noted above, Modern Family (9.53 mil/3.8) was down 12 percent from its previous fresh eppy. Criminal Minds was flat at 13.26 mil/3.5. Fox’s Breaking In (8.4 mil/2.8) dropped 15 and 20 percent, respectively, from its debut, while The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding finale somehow packed on 50 percent more viewers, drawing 1.4 mil and scraping together a 0.6 demo rating. Huh.

10/9c | Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior topped the hour with 9.9 million viewers and a 2.5 rating, opposite ABC comedies and an SVU rerun.

What were you watching this Wednesday?