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

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.)

Suburgatory

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?


QUESTIONS:

– 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?

Comments (23)
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Uggh, tweets should not affect anything, ever. The internet just brings out the worst in people.
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Suburgatory is grating, shrill, and too often mean-spirited with no likeable characters. It's also somewhat family un-friendly. So it surprises me not at all that it sheds 10% of its viewership.



I'm curioius to see if the lost viewers between Modern Family and Happy Endings actually left partway through Modern Family, or if they really cannot share part of their demographics.



Anyway, I enjoyed Happy Endings, but I do agree that it was quite flat compared to most episodes. There was no gathering of the characters together, the plots were both very sitcommy, their resolutions were pat, and the characters didn't really get much to do that came from their personalities. Penny and Max are both in the episode only as advisors, and despite being terrible life coaches that angle never got played up.



Answers:

- No, not shocked by The Middle beating Suburgatory, it has an 8pm "family" audience.



- P Heats' tweets don't affect my enjoyment of The Middle, only her regular personality does that. She was at least right that it wasn't very Christian of her to jump on the hate-bandwagon.



- Not surprised by Modern Family's ratings either, they have the most buzz.



- I agreed with you that Happy Endings was a weak effort.

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"Bitch it is 5:30!!" LOL! Still funny.
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"Fighting over where you get to put your award ceremony trophies is a major 1-percent problem."



Don't you have a march to get to or something? Just once I'd love to read something about MF other than how annoying it is that the characters don't reflect the general populace(yeah, because TV has always been great about that). It's every week with this. Made worse by MF giving you legitimate things to complain about each week.
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Agree. Enough with the occupy whining please. Maybe complain that in MF the jokes are repeated and butchered and beaten to death. I swear to god if I hear another 'Cameron is sooo gay' joke.... It doesn't matter if they're rich, it just matters that they're unfunny.
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Have you read on how these Nielsen ratings work? its just plain silly, its outdated and simply doesn't make any sense to anyone with an internet connection, but unfortunately its the only system out there.
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Patricia Heatons tweets aren't that bad. Doesn't affect my enjoyment of The Middle at all.
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the only thing that is surprising (or maybe not-so-surprising, as you keep writing on and on about the VERY SAME arguments) would be your constant nag and bashing of Modern Family.. probably the 99% comprehends the whole show better than you..
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Definitely, the trophy thing is an American problem, since we give out awards for just about everything these days. The cutoff is certainly not at the 1% mark, but I suppose at some point on the economic scale the trophies change to ribbons because ribbons are cheaper and at some point after that they change to certificates.
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Happy Endings was quite hilarious last night. I loved Brad's "Bitch, its 5:30" line as well as Alex the bully, especially when she was a child. LOL!!! However, Modern Family FTW!! Game show Phil had me rolling!!
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Happy Endings has for me been one of the comedies of the year. Nicely fitted at #3 favorite comedy behind only Parks & Rec and Community.
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Happy Family for the win! even with a rerun. I know this show gets a constant beating in these boards but i still enjoy it. I really dont get this 1% bashing but everyone has their own opinion.
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Yeah, my favorite is Modern Endings.
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Arrrg! That was a dickish thing to write, wasn't it? The Canadian in me can't let this go, so I'm sorry.
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its all good, a bit of a freudian slip on my part! i do enjoy happy endings alot i just felt the need to stick up for modern family for all the shlacking it takes! The 99% percent in me couldn't let it go!! :P
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It wasn't the best Happy Endings episode, but it had a lot of enjoyable bits. I especially liked Derek's reappearance and his Slow-mo Homo with Max and when he whimpered "WHY?" after being kicked off the ball. Max, Jane, and Brad were also on fire!
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-Not surprised. "The Middle" is after all in its third season with a dedicated fanbase, and "Suburgatory" is still building its own.

-Not even a little. I don't know what she tweeted, and thus cannot even a little be inflicted.

-Nope, popular show, good show, lots of word of mouth, dedicated fan-base, and awards.

-It was okay, not the best, not the worst. I appreciated the Jane bit.
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You should click on the link. She's a lunatic. You'd have to be crazy to defend Rush Limbaugh's wild slander, but she actually took it a step further and took over for him. Obviously, her publicist must have got her in check, as she issued an apology after the fact.
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Like Community, a mediocre Happy Endings half hour is better than 99% of the rest out there. They can't hit it out of the park every episode, neither does community. But I laughed at Alex, I laughed at Jane's transition into slovenly Jane. Dave's story was kind of meh and seemed odd considering there was another Lat pull down machine right behind where Max was laying. Max at the gym was funny, the slo mo treadmill thing just made me laugh. And Damon Wayan's Jr hit his spot well and he always brings the funny. It wasn't the best, but it was damn good.
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Hilarious indeed..
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The new Happy Endings was pretty mediocre. That said, still hilarious.
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How is Elisha Cuthbert the best part of this show? Remember her on 24? awful. But she's f-ing hilarious. Her out-krumping her alternate reality imaginery counterpart is the highlight of the season for me.
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She's the weakest part to me. The rest of the cast is hilarious.
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