Fox ‘Bunny’ hops to boffo bow

ABC, CBS midseason premieres suffer

Fox puppet laffer “Greg the Bunny” scored solid numbers its first night out, while ABC’s “Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central)” and CBS’ “AFP: American Fighter Pilots” are already headed to the endangered series list.

ABC drew mixed results last week for its other new laffer, “George Lopez,” which showed some promise by winning its timeslot — but did so with an anemic rating.

So went last week’s round of midseason premieres, as the nets looked for some last-minute juice before they head into May sweeps and the fall upfronts.

It’s obviously too soon to give a long-term prognosis to any of last week’s debuts, but “Greg the Bunny” opened strong, posting a 4.8 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 last Wednesday.

Bigger than ‘Mac’

“Greg” placed second at 9:30 that night, opposite time period winner “The West Wing” (6.3/16). But the show improved on its “Bernie Mac” lead-in (4.5/12) by 7%. “Bernie” has become Wednesday’s top-rated sitcom among young adults in recent weeks.

“Greg” performed particularly well with adults 18-34 (5.6/16), winning its timeslot in that demo and improving on “Bernie Mac” by 24%.

Over at ABC, Wednesday’s premiere of “George Lopez” was by no means a washout. Laffer won the half-hour with adults 18-49 (3.8/11, tied with the second half of NBC’s “Ed”) and was the night’s most watched premiere (10.4 million, vs. “Greg the Bunny’s” 10.1 million).

Still, “Lopez” was down 5% from its “My Wife and Kids” lead-in (4.0/12, winning the time period). And the show’s debut number isn’t a strong starting point given that most new series decline in subsequent weeks before stabilizing. “Lopez” can’t afford to drop much lower.

ABC’s other Wednesday night debut, the aptly titled “Wednesday 9:30,” wound up in fourth place among adults 18-49 (3.1/8) and total viewers (7.9 million).

Dropoff doldrums

Also on the night, Fox’s “That ’80s Show” fell to its lowest average yet for an original episode, 6 million viewers. And UPN suffered one of the worst dropoffs of the season: From “Enterprise” at 8 p.m. (5.5 million) to the basketball special “March to Madness” at 9 p.m. (1.1 million) — a loss of 80%.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t such a good Friday for the premiere of CBS’ dramatic reality skein “AFP: American Fighter Pilots.”

Show averaged a 1.4 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen’s fast national report — putting it last among the major webs. On the household side, “AFP” was third for the evening (ahead of comedy repeats on Fox), posting a 3.6/7.

NBC won Wednesday (5.8/16), Thursday (9.5/25) and Friday (4.0/13) in adults 18-49.

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