Laffers light it up

ABC's 'Wife,' 'Jim' solid, fighting off NBC

ABC’s Wednesday comedies are on a roll, as “My Wife and Kids” hit a series high in key demos and newcomer “According to Jim” again impressed.

According to Nielsen, “Wife” (12.49 million, 5.2/15 in 18-49) and “Jim” (11.86m, 5.3/14) both won their half-hours. It’s the best demo score to date in the 8 o’clock half-hour for “Wife,” which topped NBC’s “Ed” by a healthy 33% (5.2 vs. 3.9).

“According to Jim” has now built on its “Wife” lead-in with each of its first three outings. It continues to skew more male than “Wife,” making it a nice bridge between “Wife” and “Drew Carey,” which itself hit season highs Wednesday (11.37m, 5.6/14).

And at 9:30, the Carey-hosted “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (9.70m, 5.0/12) also did season-best numbers.

From 8 to 10, ABC’s comedies placed a solid second to NBC’s dramas in adults 18-49 (5.3 vs. 5.8) and moved on top for the block in 18-34 (4.9 vs. 4.6) for the first time this season.

NBC won the night in 18-49 (6.2/16) and total viewers (16.9m), although it was down from last week, when two of its series launched their seasons. “Ed” (4.3/12 in 18-49) was off by just 7%, but “West Wing” (7.4/18) faded by 16%, and a special “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (6.8/18) fell 19% behind the original “L&O.”

Despite the dips, NBC still ran well ahead of last year’s same-night scores.

Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series (Braves-Diamondbacks) drew 10.31 million viewers and a 3.4/9 in 18-49 on Fox — that’s up 11% in viewers but down 6% in the demo vs. a year ago.

CBS’ “Amazing Race” (8.37m, 3.6/9 in 18-49) held steady, leading into a repeat of the first hour of “Survivor: Africa” (7.59m, 3.5/9), which improved the net’s standing at 10.

UPN’s “Enterprise” (8.16m, 4.0/11 in 18-49) continued to do well, winning its hour in male demos, while the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek” and “Felicity” improved on their week-earlier season preems. “Dawson’s” was up 19% in 18-49 and edged “Enterprise” in 18-34 (3.8 vs. 3.7).

Both Wednesday newsmags — CBS’ “60 Minutes II” (10.43m, 2.7/7 in 18-49) and ABC’s “20/20” (10.21m, 4.2/11) — hit new lows, perhaps a sign that the programs’ continued sole focus on terrorism is wearing on viewers.

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