‘Birdland’ soars in bow, hits Wednesday heights

ABC got off to a solid start with the premiere of “Birdland” as the Brian Dennehy vehicle flew off with the web’s highest rating for regular programming at 10 p.m. Wednesday in more than four years.

‘Fire’ on fire

The Columbia Pictures TV drama posted a 13.5 rating/23 share in Nielsen to win its hour, doubtless abetted by the best rating yet for “Grace Under Fire” ( 19.4/29), which retained 84% of its “Home Improvement” lead-in.

The new drama’s performance marks a sharp improvement over previous time-period occupant “Moon Over Miami,” though that show also premiered with a 23 share, albeit in an earlier 9:30 airing.

ABC has five more episodes of “Birdland” and will then likely use the hour to try out “My So-Called Life,” the latest series from “thirtysomething” creators Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick.

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