ABC pulls ‘Townies’

ABC is planning to pull the new Carsey-Werner comedy “Townies” from its Wednesday 8:30 slot, and replace it with the Universal Television veteran “Coach.”

An ABC spokeswoman said “Townies,” starring Molly Ringwald, will be shelved and will return to the schedule later this season. ABC recently ordered five additional episodes of the sitcom, which on Wednesday night rated an 8.7/14, up 8% from its season average of 8.1/13, but still down four share points from its new “Grace Under Fire” lead-in. In adults 18-49, it rated a 5.3 this week.

Carsey-Werner did not return phone calls seeking comment. “Coach” had its ninth season debut in the Saturdays at 9 p.m. slot, and it was taken off the schedule and shelved in late October after averaging a 5.8/11 on a night with traditionally low levels of TV-viewing households.

Aside from ‘Townies,” ABC had good results with its new schedule Wednesday night, winning the night with a 10.8/18 average. From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., when changes were made, ABC was up 4% from its household average and 3% in adults 18-49.

Notably, CBS averaged a second-place 8.2/14 with Christmas specials and a movie Wednesday, while Fox averaged a third-place 8.2/13 with the “Billboard Music Awards.” NBC placed last with its regular sked at 7.2/12.

“Grace Under Fire,” in its new 8 p.m. slot, rated a first-place 10.5/18 in households, down from its 9 p.m. season average of 11.5/18, but an 18% increase over the timeslot average this season. In adults 18-49, “Grace” rated a first-place 6.2.

“The Drew Carey Show” rated an 11.9/19 at 9 p.m., which was down slightly from its 12.3/19 season average at 9:30, but a 4% improvement over the “Grace Under Fire” average in the timeslot. In adults 18-49 it rated an 8.7.

At 9:30 p.m., “Ellen” had its highest rating this season, an 11.2/19, which was just one share point below its lead-in. ‘Ellen” was up four share points from its season average of 8.9/15, but its rating was 9% lower than the timeslot average this season. In adults 18-49, “Ellen” rated an 8.1.

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