Nice start for ABC’s Tim Allen comedy

'Dancing' also up for net; CBS wins with 'NCIS' duo

Can “The Tool Man” fix ABC’s Tuesday lineup?

The premiere of Tim Allen’s family comedy “Last Man Standing” was Tuesday’s No. 2 program in young adults this week, working as a self-starter and instantly bringing some energy to one of the Alphabet’s weaker nights.

ABC and the standup comic are hoping lightning strikes twice, as “Last Man” premiered on the same network and night of the week that his megahit “Home Improvement” bowed 20 years ago. While no one expects the new show to be another top-10 mainstay, ABC, which has assembled a good comedy block on Wednesday, would love to have Allen anchor a new night of laughs.

Another rookie comedy, “Man Up,” will follow “Last Man Standing” beginning next week.

Looking at the Nielsens, “Last Man Standing” averaged a 3.6 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 13.19 million viewers overall for its hourlong premiere, earning a 3.4 demo score in its regular 8 o’clock timeslot and then building to a 3.8 at 8:30. Among young adults, it ran second for both its hour and the night, lagging only CBS’ “NCIS” (4.0/11, 18.98m), which was dinged only slightly. (Fox’s “New Girl” and “Glee” were sidelined by baseball.)

The 3.6 demo rating for the hour reps a 13% improvement over last year’s bow of “No Ordinary Family” (3.2) and is the best timeslot result with regular programming for the net in nearly two years. The only ABC series likely to do better in any hour on the sked this week is “Modern Family.”

It’s also the best start for a new 8 o’clock comedy on any network in five years (since CBS’ “Class”) among adults 18-49 and in seven years (since NBC’s “Joey”) among total viewers.

Makeup of the adults 18-49 audience was roughly 58% female, and the show fared best among women 25-54 (5.7/14).

Allen owned Tuesday night for ABC in the ’90s, holding down the 9 p.m. tentpole slot most years while other family comedies like “Who’s the Boss,” “Roseanne” and “Full House” kicked off the night.The net tried to revive family comedy on Tuesday a few years after “Home Improvement” signed off but its John Ritter-fronted comedy “8 Simple Rules,” which opened very well, didn’t have a chance when the actor passed away early in its first season.

In addition to last year’s “No Ordinary Family,” recent attempts in the Tuesday 8 o’clock hour for ABC have included the low-rated likes of comedy “Cavemen” and reality shows “Shark Tank” and “Opportunity Knocks.” Last week, a “Dancing With the Stars” special did a 1.7 rating in 18-49 for ABC.

Elsewhere Tuesday, CBS won behind “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” (3.3/8, 15.40m) and “Unforgettable” (2.3/6, 11.72m). ABC was second, with “Dancing With the Stars” hitting a season high for its results show (3.3/8, 16.89m), but 10 p.m. drama “Body of Proof” dipped (1.8/5, 9.00m).

Fox averaged a 2.5/7 in the demo and 8.4 million total viewers for its coverage of Game 3 of baseball’s American League Championship Series between Texas and Detroit.

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