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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Off To Solid Start, ‘Blue Bloods’ Rebounds Big

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s new Matthew Perry comedy series Mr. Sunshine had a promising debut last night, drawing a 3.7/10 in adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers at 9:30 PM. It was helped by a hot Valentine’s Day episode of Modern Family (5.0/13, 13.11 million, up 9% in the demo from its last original on Jan. 19). In the battle of the former Friends stars, the premiere of Mr. Sunshine couldn’t quite match the series premiere of Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town in the same slot (4.3/11, 11.4 million on Sep. 23, 2009 with a 4.3/12, 12.7 million Modern Family lead-in). Still, Mr. Sunshine marked ABC’s best series debut this season in 18-49, retained solid 74% of its Modern Family demo lead-in and posted the best numbers in the slot in total viewers and 18-49 since the series premiere and second episode of Cougar Town, respectively. Modern Family‘s numbers are even more impressive given its weak lead-in last night, freshman comedy Better with You (2.0/5), which was down 9% in the demo from its last original on Jan. 19 to hit a series low. At 8 PM, The Middle (2.6/7) was even with its last original. Ditto for midseason drama Off the Map (1.9/5), which finished last in the 10 PM hour.

NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (2.6/7, 8.1 million) once again won the 10 PM slot in the demo, but it was down 10% from last week. Meanwhile, CBS’ Blue Bloods (2.3/6, 12.5 million) … Read More »

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ABC Slots ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Behind ‘Modern Family’ And ‘Happy Endings’ At 10 PM

Nellie Andreeva

This trend of comedies at 10 PM seems to be catching on quickly at the broadcast networks. Right after NBC announced that it will expand its 8-10 PM Thursday comedy block to 11 PM in midseason, ABC is doing the same with its Wednesday 8-10 PM comedy block. Beginning April 13, the network will air midseason comedy Happy Endings at 10 PM, followed by Modern Family reruns branded as “fan favorites” at 10:30 PM.

ABC will start warming up the Wednesday 10 PM slot with comedies this month by pulling canceled legal drama The Whole Truth earlier than previously planned and replacing it with Modern Family and Cougar Town repeats. Before that, from February 9 through April 6, ABC’s other midseason comedy, Mr. Sunshine, will take over the network’s plum post-Modern Family slot at 9:30 PM to give the Matthew Perry-starring comedy the best possible launching pad. One Friends alum, Courteney Cox, will make room for another, Perry, as Cougar Town, which airs in the 9:30 PM time period, will go on hiatus, returning on April 13. With the time off, Cougar Town now has 20 of its 22 episodes scheduled, with the remaining 2 expected to get a berth too, either replacing a Cougar Town rerun or in a different spot on the schedule. As previously announced, anchoring the Wednesday lineup at 10 PM from Feb. 9 through April 6 will be the new medical drama Off the Map. With … Read More »

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TCA: Matthew Perry Talks ‘Mr. Sunshine’

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

At ABC’s TCA panel on his new show Mr. Sunshine, which he stars in, executive produces, and co-writes, Matthew Perry was in fine form. He was sardonic about everything, even his own well-publicized problems with Vicodin addiction in the mid-1990s that made him something less than a Mr. SunshinePerry made clear that his character, Ben Donovan, who’s the manager of a second-tier sports arena in San Diego and in Perry’s words a “selfish jerk, was not-so-loosely based on himself.  “The reason that my character has only thought about himself is I knew somebody for whom that was the case for a long time.. I’m much nicer now.” Perry, now 40, was asked whether anything specific changed him for the better. “I would say if you want to find out the answer to that, just pick up any newspaper from 1996 or look at any magazine cover.” Perry cracked.  “They say, hey, write what you know. I knew if I wrote something, I would like that to be a component of it.” Read More »

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