Ratings: Cougar Town Uncorks Smaller Audience Upon Delayed Return, Ringer Plunges

Cougar Town‘s Season 3 premiere, which after sitting on the shelf for so long was met with grape expectation by its fans, wound up drawing 4.8 million total viewers on Tuesday night, while scoring a 1.8 demo rating with the coveted 18-49 crowd.

That marks a drop of 4 and 10 percent from the comedy’s hour-long Season 2 finale, which of course aired on a Wednesday, leading out of Modern Family. The demo number also is, sadly, a series low.

For further comparison’s sake:
Cougar Town Season 3 premiere: 4.8 million total viewers, 1.8 demo rating
Cougar Town Season 2 finale: 5 mil, 2.0
• Cougar Town
Season 2 premiere: 8.4 million, 3.3
Work It premiere: 6.1 mil, 2.0
Work It‘s final broadcast: 4.9 mil, 1.5
Man Up! premiere: 7.8 mil, 2.4
Man Up!‘s final broadcast: 4.8 mil, 1.6

But as CT boss Bill Lawrence expressed via Twitter, there is hope for a bump once Glee enters its seven-week hiatus after next Tuesday’s episode.

Plus, overall TV usage was down 7 percent because of the holiday some of y’all got to celebrate.

Another case in point: Glee didn’t feel much Valentine’s Day love, dropping 15 percent in the demo to a season-low 2.8. Lead-out New Girl was also down, 9 percent, to an all-time low 3.2. Raising Hope, however, held steady with a 2.1.

NCIS, with 19.4 million total viewers and a 3.9 rating, dipped 7 percent week-to-week yet led the night on both counts, while the baddest news was received by The CW’s Ringer, which drew barely a million total viewers (down 10 percent) and plunged 40 percent in the demo (to a 0.3).

Elsewhere:

* Setting the table for Cougar Town, Last Man Standing (7.6 mil/2/2) was down a few percentage points.

* Both NCIS: Los Angeles (16.1 mil/3.2) and Unforgettable (11 mil/2.3) gained a tenth in the demo.

* ABC’s The River (5 mil/1.7) build on Cougar Town‘s audience but sank 34 and 29 percent from its premiere.

* In the 10 o’clock hour, Body of Proof (6.16 mil/1.2) fell more than 20 percent to place third in the demo behind Parenthood (which was flat at 4.44 mil/1.6).

What were you tuned into this Tuesday?