ABC's Wednesday Comedies: Crunching Numbers During a Repeat Week

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Last night, Happy Endings was once again the only new half-hour in ABC's Wednesday comedy block. And yet the block consistently outdrew NBC's first-run schedule, earning twice the amount of viewers in some periods. So instead of personally rating the reruns, let's check out the ratings and see what we can decipher about how strong each show's position on the block is!

The Middle

Reportedly, The Middle's ratings have dropped in the last two weeks since Patricia Heaton went cah-razy on Twitter and her account had to be suspended until the Sandra Fluke slut-shaming blew over. But last night the tune-in for The Middle checked in at 4.91 million viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49—numbers easily crushed by Survivor and American Idol. But a repeat of The Middle was seen by more people than the new episode of NBC's Whitney it was up against (4.91 million viewers vs. 4.22 million viewers, though Whitney out-rated The Middle with a 1.6). So if a rerun outran a new episode in the same genre, that's pretty impressive, right? Especially considering last night's rerun began with a drive home from a funeral. (Although this show is always at its best when it goes darker, in my opinion.)


Even more impressive for The Middle: Compare its 4.91 million viewers and 1.2 rating to Suburgatory's 4.43 million viewers and 1.3 rating. The Middle's rerun did slightly better in overall viewers than Suburgatory's rerun last night. Where did those half-a-million people go? Are you telling me there are people who change the channel when Suburgatory comes on? It has to be because the rerun was all about that unbearable Scott Strauss, right? No one wants to sit through an episode of Suburgatory that is heavy on the Tessa with no Dallas and no Dalia. Perhaps The Middle's viewers account for the surge of ratings in Fox's second hour of American Idol last night (the show went from 15.52 million viewers at 8pm to 17.59 million viewers at 9pm, when Suburgs comes on.)

Modern Family

So Modern Family showed the biggest jump in ratings for the block, and was ABC's highest-rated comedy of the night despite Happy Endings being new and Modern Family being a rerun: 5.64 million viewers and a 2.0 rating for Modern Family. That's over a million people jumping onto the ABC comedy train for a rerun at Modern Family's 9 o'clock station. And not even that good of a rerun, if you ask me. Debates over trophies? Fighting over where you get to put your award ceremony trophies is a major 1-percent problem. Clearly though, whatever our opinions are of this season vs. last season, Modern Family has a strong viewership that is ready to back it up, new episode or not.

Happy Endings S02E19: "You Snooze You Bruise"

Last night's new episode, "You Snooze You Bruise" was the least-watched of the block! Only 4.12 million viewers stayed around for our Chicago clique's latest, NEW adventure, but Happy Endings' youthful exuberance showed in its 1.8 rating, meaning a large chunk of that seemingly low 4.12 million were of the age coveted by advertisers. Even though it was the least amount of eyeballs of the block, it was still twice the amount of people who tuned into NBC's second episode of new series Bent. "You Snooze You Bruise" focused on a bully at Dave and Max's gym, played by SNL actor Bobby Moynihan. The episode had its share of cheeky '80s references (Max's gym clothes were an homage to The Goonies) and character reveals (Tiny Alex used to be a bully?). And yet the two threads that got the most time felt a little flat. Jane stopped being a manic OCD woman for the episode, hanging out in disgusting drop-crotch pants, and Dave challenged the gym bully to a fight, getting literally beaten to the punch by Max's flamboyant gay friend. It was charming and fun, but lacked the hard laughs of the Valentine's day or Speakeasy truck episodes. (Kind of miss Beans, Colin Hank's sidekick played by comedian Matt McConkey.) Even Damon Wayan Jr's callback of "its 5:30, Bitch!" seemed like a throwback to the show's happier days. The happier days of like, three weeks ago. Am I being influenced too much by the ratings here, guys, or was Happy Endings phoning it in?


– Are you shocked by The Middle's rerun beating Suburgatory's rerun in total viewers?!

– Do P-Heats' tweets have any effect on your enjoyment of The Middle?

– Are you at all surprised that Modern Family's rerun was the highest-rated show on the block this week?

– What did you think of the new Happy Endings?

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