ABC wonders ‘Why’

'Men' topples 'Reasons' on Monday

Whatever their reasons, viewers opted for Charlie, Alan and Jake over Emily in Monday’s primetime comedy clash.

Despite an aggressive promotional campaign and a lead-in that provided a good young-female aud, Heather Graham’s romantic laffer “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” was slow out of the gate for ABC.

CBS incumbent “Two and a Half Men” was more than up to the challenge, doubling up on “Emily” in key demos in their head-to-head showdown and hitting some season highs in the process. ABC was launching its revamped femme-focused lineup on the night following the conclusion of “Monday Night Football” and trying comedy in unchartered waters.

According to national estimates from Nielsen, preem of “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” settled for a fourth-place 2.8 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 6.2 million viewers overall, even though ABC was the timeslot leader in the preceding half-hour with “Wife Swap” (4.4/12 in 18-49, 11.01m for the entire hour).

“Emily’s” did hit its target young-female demo (second-place 3.3/8 in women 18-34), but if it’s going to focus on such a niche aud, it needs to dominate there to become a success by broader measures.

Because of the tough comedy competish the laffer faces, it wouldn’t be a shock if ABC mulls flipping time periods for “Emily” and “The Bachelor.” Latter’s new season, set in Paris, continued the franchise’s ratings downturn (2.7/7 in 18-49, 6.24m), placing well behind drama competish on CBS and NBC.

Coming out of “Emily” at 9:30, the second-season preem of “Jake in Progress” kept the net in fourth (2.5/6 in 18-49, 5.58m), but marked the best regular-slot delivery for the retooled show that aired for only a short time last season.

In addition to season highs for “Two and a Half Men,” each of the other CBS comedies drew their second-best 18-49 scores of the season. And at 10, “CSI: Miami” — recently upgraded to “megahit” status in CBS promos — was the night’s top-rated program (6.6/17 in 18-49, 20.15m).

At the WB, the 11th annual “Critics Choice Awards” averaged a 1.1/3 in 18-49 and 2.84 million viewers overall.

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