ABC's 'The Middle' finished a solid #2 Wednesday


Shifting into the lead-off position for ABC’s Wednesday night comedy block, the sophomore season premiere of The Middle greatly improved the 8pm half hour year to year among Adults 18-49 (+24% – 2.6/8 vs. 2.1/7), over the Net’s comedy premiere in the time period last year with Hank.  Despite its earlier time period, The Middle grew its overall audience its year-ago series debut  The Middle finished a solid #2 in the slot to CBS’ Survivor: Nicaragua, beating Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen premiere by 8% and NBC’s Undercovers debut by 30%.

The Middle marked a series high with Total Viewers (8.8 million) and posted its top Adult 18-49 number since February – since 2/10/10.

Exhibiting impressive 96% lead-in retention at 8:30pm, the series debut of Better with You beat its freshman competition in the half-hour by 19% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 2.1/6), leading the second half of NBC’s Undercovers debut. 

Better with You equaled ABC’s highest Adult 18-49 rating in the half-hour since February – since 2/10/10.

Wednesday’s definitive #1 TV show and the highest-rated comedy of the new season, ABC’s Modern Family opened its sophomore season by doubling its lead-in and posting a dominant victory at 9pm, beating its nearest competition (CBS’ Criminal Minds) by 28% in Adults 18-49 (5.0/14 vs. 3.9/10). 

Modern Family was up from its year-ago series debut by 19% with young adults, which had the advantage of airing directly out of Dancing with the Stars.  In fact Modern Family achieved series highs across the board – Total Viewers and all key Adult demos. In addition, the comedy delivered the Net’s top Adult 18-49 rating in the slot with regular programming in over 1-1/2 years – since 2/18/09 with an episode of Lost.

At 9:30pm, the 2nd season opener of Cougar Town finished second in its time period among Adults 18-49 (3.3/9), beating the NBC’s Law & Order: SVU premiere and the final half hour of Fox’s 2-hour Hell’s Kitchen premiere.  The ABC comedy finished #1 in its time slot in Adults 18-34.

Cougar Town drew the series’ third-largest-audience-ever and scored its highest Adult 18-49 rating since January – since 1/20/10.

Up against stiff competition from the final hour of NBC’s 2-hour L&O: SVU premiere and CBS’ highly-promoted debut of The Defenders, ABC’s debut of The Whole Truth delivered ABC’s highest Adult 18-49 rating (1.5/4) in the hour with regular scripted programming since April – since 4/28/10.

(source; ABC)