A male-skewing superhero show is probably not big help as a lead-in to female-skewing comedies, though female-oriented comedy competition sure is. That’s the logical explanation behind the double-digit declines for ABC’s newly picked up for a full season The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife despite their lead-in, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., airing an original this week (2.5) vs. a repeat (1.2) last Tuesday. The difference? Fox’s comedy block was back last night after getting pre-empted for The X Factor last week. Last week, The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife sealed their Back 9 pickups by holding steady (The Goldbergs) and growing 17% (Trophy Wife) despite a diminished lead-in. But last night, The Goldbergs (1.5) was down 12% to a new low, while Trophy Wife (1.2) was down 14%. S.H.I.E.L.D. was down a tenth to a new low coming back from hiatus, mirroring the impact a break had on another hot freshman drama, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. Fox’s comedies proved more resilient to pre-emptions, returning from one on par or up. Dads (1.4) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.6) were even with their last originals, while New Girl (2.0) was up 11% and The Mindy Project (1.5) up 15%.
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Jeff Garlin hijacked The Goldbergs Q&A session at Summer TV Press Tour 2013. Best known as one of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm regulars, Garlin plays the dad on this new ABC 80’s-set sitcom, based on the childhood of show creator Adam Goldberg — whose family apparently screamed its way through the decade he recorded every moment on a clunky video recorder. A couple of “why is 25 years back the sweet spot for narrated comedies, including The Wonder Years, Happy Days, etc?” questions into the session, one TV critic took issue with Garlin’s dad character screaming throughout the episode and asked if that could keep up up for 22 episodes. “When it becomes annoying I’ll stop – and I’ll be the first to notice” Garlin snapped. Then added sarcastically, “You look so disappointed in my answer.” Another critic said Garlin was old enough to have lived through the 1980s and what did he think of the show’s many verisimilitudinous touches. That also irked him plenty. “I did the show because the 80’s is deep in the background. If we use the 80’s for a big joke, the show is not going to last very long,” he forecasted — as have some TV critics, BTW.