‘Mod­ern Fam­ily’ rides Emmy crest

CBS’ ‘The De­fend­ers’ and ‘Sur­vivor’ fare well. ‘Un­der­cov­ers’ falls short on NBC.

Los Angeles Times - - The Fall TV Season - Joe Flint joe.flint@latimes.com

ABC’s “Mod­ern Fam­ily” may not have to worry about a sopho­more slump.

The sin­gle-cam­era sit­com, which last month took home the Emmy for best com­edy, got off to a strong start Wed­nes­day night, hit­ting highs in view­ers and key de­mo­graph­ics. Alas, the solid per­for­mance of “Mod­ern Fam­ily” wasn’t enough to help the shows that fol­low it; the sec­ond-year com­edy “Cougar Town” pre­miered to dis­ap­point­ing num­bers as even a spe­cial ap­pear­ance by Jen­nifer Anis­ton wasn’t enough to juice the rat­ings.

At 10 p.m., “The Whole Truth,” a new le­gal drama star­ring Maura Tier­ney and Rob Mor­row as a pros­e­cu­tor and de­fense at­tor­ney, was thrown out of court. Ac­cord­ing to Nielsen, 12.6 mil­lion peo­ple tuned in for “Mod­ern Fam­ily.” Un­for­tu­nately, only 8.3 mil­lion stuck around for “Cougar Town” and just 4.9 mil­lion made it all the way through “The Whole Truth.”

ABC could breathe a lit­tle sigh of re­lief that its other new Wed­nes­day show, the 8:30 p.m. ro­man­tic com­edy “Bet­ter With You,” re­tained much of its lead-in from “The Mid­dle,” a fam­ily sit­com that is ABC’s 8 p.m. show. About 8 mil­lion watched “Bet­ter With You,” a 9% drop in view­ers, which in tele­vi­sion-land is not con­sid­ered a dis­as­ter.

NBC’s new spy show “Un­der­cov­ers” from J.J. Abrams (“Lost”) did not break out in its 8 p.m. de­but. Launch­ing shows at 8 p.m., the first hour of prime time, is daunt­ing. Al­though “Un­der­cov­ers” fin­ished third with view­ers (8.6 mil­lion), NBC can find en­cour­age­ment in that the num­ber of adults 18-49 went up slightly in the show’s sec­ond half-hour and that the au­di­ence was big­ger than “Mercy,” a since-can­celed hos­pi­tal drama, got in that same time slot in its pre­miere a year ago.

CBS was the big win­ner for the night, tak­ing first place in both view­ers and adults 18-49. Its only new show for the night, the 10 p.m. drama “The De­fend­ers,” star­ring Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Con­nell as shady Las Ve­gas lawyers, was the high­est-rated new show for the night, with 12.1 mil­lion view­ers. But its ap­peal was to older view­ers; the show did not do as well in the 18-49 de­mo­graphic as “CSI: New York,” in that time slot last year. With Jay Leno now back in late night and out of prime time, the 10 p.m. hour has be­come more com­pet­i­tive, which ABC learned the hard way with “The Whole Truth.”

Of the re­turn­ing shows, CBS’ “Sur­vivor” was tops, av­er­ag­ing 12.5 mil­lion view­ers.

Chris Has­ton

SPIES: “Un­der­cov­ers” stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kod­joe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.