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?

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  1. Chmarin says:

    I just hope HE doesn’t drop too much next week. Fingers crossed – it’s actually a pretty funny show with a lot of potential.

    On the other hand, the CM spinoff went up again. That piece-of-s**t-show JUST. WON’T. DIE. -.-”

  2. Colleen says:

    Didn’t Mr Sunshine have almost 11 million viewers and like a 3.7 in the demo at the premiere? I am not sure I would call these numbers almost on par

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I was speaking of “lead-in audience retention.” As noted, MODERN FAMILY was down 12 percent, so HAPPY ENDINGS had less to work with. I have added language to be more crystalline.

      • BRETT says:

        Can anyone explain why audience retention is important in first episode ratings?

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          It gives the network a quantifiable idea of how well two shows pair up together, do they share enough audience. How HAPPY ENDINGS does from here on is all (or more) on HAPPY ENDINGS and its own merits.

          • BRETT says:

            OK. But I guess what I was asking was more does audience retention factor in when comparing two shows for cancellation/renewal (COUGAR TOWN/MR SUNSHINE/HAPPY ENDINGS)? Or is it just a factor for pairing two shows? Not sure if I’m making sense… Thanks for answering though, Matt!

  3. D says:

    Criminal Minds 6×21 “The Stranger”
    That last scene with Hotch and Strauss got me thinking something.
    Are the writers preparing us to see the last of Thomas Gibson as a series regular? The contract negotiations are not settled yet, so we still don’t know what is going to happen. They could be planning to bring Hotch in only as a reccuring character or a special guest star during season 7, and in the episodes where he doesn’t show up he would be supervising the other departments Strauss used to supervise.
    If so, even with Paget Brewster and/or AJ Cook back but without Thomas Gibson as a series regular, I’m not sure if I would watch Criminal Minds. Even worse if Shemar stays and Thomas doesn’t, that way I would never watch it again. But I would watch it without Morgan. (I am NOT a racist, I just don’t like Derek Morgan)
    I hope this is nothing but expeculation from me. There can’t be Criminal Minds without Hotch, it just can’t happen!
    Thoughts? Am I being a little pessimistic? Or just thinking too much about something that might mean nothing, overreacting?

    • sofia says:

      I thought that too. But until the contract negotiations are settled all we can do is speculate! CBS already made a HUGE mistake last year when they didn’t renewed AJ Cook’s contract and reduced Paget Brewster’s role, I guess they’re not gonna want to loose two more actors whose characters are so important to the show.

  4. Sarah says:

    The CW ratings are so honteux WOW

  5. S says:

    Happy Endings was surprisingly decent! I stuck around to watch the second ep

  6. davey says:

    I was really impressed by Happy Endings so I watched the second episode and laughed even more. It would be a great show to place directly after Cougar Town (which is what I’m assuming ABC is thinking as well). Here’s hoping the ratings stay up – or alteast don’t fall too much in the coming weeks!

  7. Jake says:

    Im glad ABC is happy with those numbers! i thought happy endings was pretty good and has a lot of potential, and i hope it gets to stick around.

  8. Harper says:

    Loved Happy Endings! It has alot of potential. I agree with whoever said it should be placed directly after Cougar Town. Sidenote: I didn’t see ANY promotion for the new Modern Family until Tuesday. Maybe it was just me, but, I think ABC hurt themselves by promoting HE so much, and ignoring Modern Family. Just a thought.

  9. Sarah says:

    I loved Happy Endings! It was surprisingly witty, cleaver and hysterically funny. I haven’t laughed out loud like that at a comedy, especially a new one, in recent memory. Although I love the gays on Modern Family, HE’s portrayal of their token gay as a beer drinking, sports watching dude was so refreshing and real.

  10. ggny says:

    did people forget about Modern Family? Last new episode was like 12mil and a 5.0 wasnt it?

  11. AlistairCrane says:

    I watched MF but didn’t bother sticking around for HE. I just want Cougar Town back! 4 more days, 4 more days….

  12. Rebecca says:

    I watched Justified. It’s one of the best shows on TV right now.

  13. KCB says:

    I’m one of the Pia fans…but I thought I’d give Idol a chance without her. It $ucked, and won’t be watching again.

  14. lacey says:

    I watched MF and while it wasn’t their greatest episode it was still worth watching. Does DVR/Tivo or watching it online play into ratings at all?

  15. Mandy says:

    I really liked Happy Endings, though the first episode was much funnier than the second. I am definately going to give it another chance.

  16. keith says:

    I really liked Happy Endings. I hope it stays on the air. Of course I recorded Justified as well.