‘Disney’ bows OK for ABC

ABC’s premiere of “The Wonderful World of Disney” with “Toy Story” improved the 7-9 p.m. Sunday timeslot at the Alphabet web, but fell below expectations, while NBC’s Sunday sitcom premieres, including the series debut of Jenny McCarthy’s “Jenny,” placed last among the Big Four in households and adults 18-49, according to preliminary national Nielsens for the 8-9 p.m. hour.

Final national numbers won’t be available until today, but in fast nationals, CBS placed first for the full night in households (13.7 rating and 22 share) and fourth in adults 18-49 (5.5). Notably, the Eye web held even with its households rating and improved 8% in adults 18-49 from last week, despite intense premiere competition Sunday from ABC and NBC.

Fox won the night in the key adults 18-49 demo with a 6% drop to a 6.3 from its premieres Sept. 21, while placing fourth (8.3/13) and holding just about even from last week in households. NBC and ABC tied for second in households (9.4/15) and adults 18-49 (6.1). ABC was flat in households and up 3% from its Sunday premiere night last year, while NBC tumbled 15% in households and 16% in adults 18-49 from one year ago.

The debut of “The Wonderful World of Disney” averaged a 9.6/16 in households and a 6.4 in adults 18-49, up 23% in both categories from the 7-9 p.m. timeslot premiere average last season with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Lois & Clark.” ABC took top honors in adults 18-49, kids and teens from 7-9 p.m., although CBS’ “60 Minutes” and “Touched by an Angel” outperformed “Toy Story” in households.

Despite heavy promotion, which included money spent by Disney’s feature division, “Toy Story” didn’t come close to the numbers ABC achieved with the Disney movie “The Lion King” (15.2/23 households and 9.5 adults 18-49). The “Lion King” was also a much bigger box office success, and it aired during the higher-rated November sweeps period last year.

Even so, “Toy Story’s” performance is raising questions about how well “The Wonderful World of Disney” franchise will do with originals that don’t have such a built-in audience.

NBC has even bigger worries on Sunday nights, however. The season premiere of “Men Behaving Badly” at 8 p.m. placed fourth in households and key demos (7.9/12 HH and 5.3 adults 18-49). NBC plunged 44% in adults 18-49 from last year’s timeslot debut of an hourlong “3rd Rock From the Sun.”

Fox’s “The Simpsons” won in adults 18-49 at 8 p.m., while CBS’ “Touched by an Angel” won in households.

The 8:30 p.m. debut of NBC’s heavily promoted “Jenny,” starring MTV vixen Jenny McCarthy, increased its lead-in, but also placed fourth in households and adults 18-49 (8.7/13 HH and 5.7 adults 18-49). “Jenny” dropped a full 47% in adults 18-49 from last year’s second half of that hourlong “3rd Rock.”

Fox’s “King of the Hill” won the half-hour in adults 18-49, while CBS’ “Touched” won again in households. From 9-11 p.m., NBC’s movie “Cloned” won in adults 18-49, while CBS’ movie “Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story” took first place in households.

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