Ratings: Mr. Sunshine Bright In Debut, as Modern Family Ties All-Time High

Could ABC be more pleased?

The Wednesday night forecast called for more Sunshine than expected (given middling reviews), as ABC’s Matthew Perry-fronted comedy premiered to better-than-Cougar Town numbers.

Specifically, Mr. Sunshine drew 10.57 million total viewers and a 3.7 rating in the coveted 18-49 demo, improving on Cougar Town‘s season-to-date average by 32 percent.

More superlatives: Sunshine‘s demos were up 9 percent from Cougar Town‘s own series premiere, it gave ABC its best Wednesdays-at-9:30 numbers in 16 months, and it also marked the Alphabet network’s strongest scripted midseason debut since March 2007.

Of course the real test, as with any new series, comes when folks decide whether to show for Week 2.

Elsewhere on Wednesday:

8/7c | With 23.7 million total viewers and a 8.3 rating, American Idol enjoyed week-to-week retention of 94 percent. CBS’ Live To Dance took its final steps before an audience of 4.8 million.

9/8c | Criminal Minds topped the hour in total audience with 14.3 million viewers (up 18 percent), while Modern Family (13.1 mil/5.0) tied its all-time high in viewers. Human Target‘s Season 2 finale (8.3 mil/2.4) dipped 10 percent from its week-ago high.

10/9c | Blue Bloods copped its largest audience since its debut (12.45 million, up 11 percent) and surged 44 percent to hit a series high in the demos (2.3). SVU (8.1 mil/2.7) slipped 9 percent, while Off The Map saw a slight uptick in viewership, drawing 5.56 mil.

What were you watching this Wednesday? And if you checked out Mr. Sunshine, will you be back for seconds next week?

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