ESPN's football big; Fox lineup thrown off by baseball

The girls have got it going on in primetime this fall, with CBS’ “2 Broke Girls” and Fox’s “New Girl” emerging as the strongest rookie performers through the first three weeks of the season.

With auds clearly looking for laughs — the top seven entertainment series among young adults last week were sitcoms — it’s these two laffers that stand out above the rest. “Broke” has been a strong bridge between “How I Met Your Mother” and “Two and a Half Men” on Monday for CBS, while “New Girl” has outperformed its “Glee” lead-in to become Fox’s Tuesday titan.

These two nets also have the best story to tell in the early going. CBS leads in all broad categories through three weeks, while Fox is a solid second and up by double-digit percentages vs. last year.

For the first full week of October, CBS took advantage of an NFL overrun (and a Sunday baseball rainout on Fox) to win across the board for a second straight week. In adults 18-49, the Eye’s 2.9 rating/8 share was followed by Fox (2.6/7), NBC (2.5/7), ABC (2.2/6), TBS (1.8/5) and Univision (1.7/5). CBS led by bigger margins in adults 25-54 (3.8/9 to 2.9/7 for NBC and Fox) and total viewers (11.3 million to 8.2 million for ABC).

CBS claimed six of the top 10 shows in 18-49. It also has 20 of the season’s top 30 broadcast series among total viewers — believed to be the most dominant showing in this category for any net on record — led by Monday anchor “Two and a Half Men,” which was TV’s No. 1 entertainment series for a third straight week, a good start to the Ashton Kutcher era (6.2/14, 17.71m).

Leading into “Men” on Monday is 8:30 p.m. comedy “2 Broke Girls” (4.5/11 in 18-49, 11.42m), the season’s highest-rated new show — last week retaining all of its lead-in from “Mother” (4.5/12, 10.39m).

Another Monday comedy, “Mike & Molly,” is solid in its second season (4.3/10, 13.20m), while “The Big Bang Theory” is dominating its Thursday slot (4.5/14, 13.92m). And Tuesday vet “NCIS” (4.2/12 in 18-49, 19.35m) is the season’s No. 1 drama.

Another plus for CBS is that in 18-49 and 25-54, it’s the top broadcaster in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour — a nice advantage for the late newscasts on its affiliates — on every weeknight.

Net still needs to improve the post-“Bang” slot on Thursday, where “How to Be a Gentleman” was removed last week after a poor second airing (2.5/7, 7.58m).

At Fox, “New Girl” held up very well in its third week (4.3/11, 8.65m), building on “Glee” (3.6/10, 8.42m) and becoming the first new half-hour comedy to top its first three nights in 18-49 since ABC’s “Step By Step” in 1991.

Also continuing to deliver is “X Factor” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 11.93m on Wednesday), and Monday drama “Terra Nova” matched its premiere score in week two (3.1/8, 8.73m).

ABC has seen new drama “Revenge” look pretty good on Wednesday (2.4/6, 7.68m), and new comedy “Suburgatory” had a nice bow last week (3.1/9, 9.11m). Not so hot is Thursday newbie “Charlie’s Angels” (1.2/4, 5.93m), while Sunday drama “Pan Am” descended (1.9/5, 6.38m) after looking good in its first two weeks.

“Modern Family” is rolling (5.7/15, 13.24m) — second among scripted shows in 18-49 — but lead-out “Happy Endings” (2.8/7, 6.70m) fumbled away half of that aud Wednesday.

NBC again had the week’s No. 1 show with “Sunday Night Football” (8.9/22, 22.05m), but its only other series in the top 25 was No. 18 “The Office” (3.2/8, 5.82m).

Among new shows, net has already canceled “The Playboy Club” (1.2/3, 3.47m) and “Free Agents” (1.0/3, 3.25m),. On the plus side, comedy “Up All Night” is doing pretty well leading off Wednesday (2.3/7, 5.60m), and “Whitney” is doing OK on Thursday (2.3/6, 4.89m).

Univision’s telenovela “Teresa” wrapped Monday with a big 7.74 million viewers, and the talkshow that followed it with a cast interview, “Don Francisco Presenta,” drew 5.29 million — the best in the show’s 10-year history. The net also was TV’s top net on Friday in adults 18-49 (1.6/5).

At CW, Monday’s “Hart of Dixie” (0.8/2, 1.65m) and Thursday’s “Secret Circle” (0.8/2, 1.96m) are holding up OK in competitive timeslots.

In cable, MTV’s “Jersey Shore” again won its hour in demos (3.7/10, 6.60m) and FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” is performing well (1.9/5, 3.51m). TBS moved up behind baseball playoff action, led by Thursday’s deciding fifth game in the Tigers-Yankees series (3.2/9, 9.72m) — the most-watched League Division Series game in cable history.

At Showtime, the bow of “Homeland” drew a combined 1.17 million viewers for its two airings Sunday, retaining most of its opening-night audience (1.32 million).

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