Thursday, October 6, 2011
ABC got an impressive premiere out of new sitcom Suburgatory, which got a 3.3 demo and almost ten million viewers on the second Wednesday of the 2011-12 season. It built by 22% on its The Middle (2.7) lead-in and actually rated higher than 9:30 offering Happy Endings (3.1) even though Happy Endings had a huge Modern Family lead-in. Compare that to the starts of the last two Middle companions in the 8:00 hour, Better with You (2.5 on 9/22/10) and Hank (2.1 on 9/30/09) and it looks even better. In fact, it even premiered a lot stronger than The Middle itself (2.6 on 9/30/09). Its 3.28 TRUE was the fourth-strongest of any new show this season.
In week two, the results were again quite promising as Suburgatory dropped only 6% to a 3.1 demo. Its Middle lead-in did inch up a tick, but Suburgatory still built noticeably (something Better with You never did).
So far, so good for Suburgatory, as there are really no red flags in the show's first couple performances and the buzz seems pretty strong. I'm definitely picking this one to get a back nine and a season two with what we've got right now. One thing to look out for is just how big of an epic fail NBC has been in this half-hour; Free Agents was more than a point weaker than Up All Night (which Middle had to deal with). However, with Whitney repeats on the immediate horizon, things won't be getting tougher in the short term, so the show should be able to settle in nicely before American Idol and whatever improvement on NBC arrive in early 2012. It looks like Suburgatory puts ABC 75% of the way to a rock-solid two-hour block of comedy.
"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line all of these numbers up to do an objective analysis in what I call "the system."