You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC picks up ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Cougar’

New comedies given full-season orders

After years of struggling with sitcoms, it looks as though ABC has some hot laffers on its hands.

Alphabet on Thursday gave back-nine orders to ratings hits “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” and, in what can be considered a vote of confidence for a solid newbie, to Patricia Heaton starrer “The Middle” as well.

Twentieth’s “Modern Family” came into the fall schedule as a critical fave and auds appear to agree. Premiere episode garnered 12.6 million viewers plus a 4.2 rating/11 share in the 18-49 demo. Show has been averaging 10.5 million and 3.8/10 over three episodes.

Courteney Cox’s “Cougar Town,” which like “Modern Family” has aired three times, came out strong too. More than 11.2 million viewers tuned in to the Sept. 23 premiere, which earned a 4.4 rating/11 share in 18-49. Through three airings, ABC Studios’ “Cougar” is averaging a 3.8/10 in the demo and solid 9.5 million viewers overall.

ABC is showing faith in Warner Bros.’ “The Middle.” Sitcom, which garnered mostly favorable reviews, is averaging a 2.4/7 in 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers overall in the 8:30 p.m. slot, building in its two airings by half a ratings point over “Hank,” the new Kelsey Grammer starrer.

All three shows picked up by ABC on Thursday are part of the net’s all-new Wednesday comedy block. ABC is repeating “Modern Family” and “The Middle” 9-10 p.m. today for additional exposure.

Net has often had a difficult time gaining traction with its sitcoms, but the early success of “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” is allowing execs to breathe easy.

As a block, the picked-up comedies “The Middle, “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” are outperforming the net’s average in the timeslot last year with “Pushing Daisies” and “Private Practice.”

On Wednesday “Modern Family” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 8.82m) and “Cougar Family” (3.2/8, 7.84m) declined for a second straight week but still put up solid numbers. They tied Fox’s “Glee” for second in 18-49, closely behind CBS vet “Criminal Minds” (3.6/9, 14.05m), the top show of the night in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

“Hank” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.45m) slid 24% from its preem and fell behind competing CBS comedy “Old Christine” (1.9/6, 6.86m). “The Middle” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.79m) held up a bit better for ABC at 8:30 p.m., dropping 19% from its debut and finishing a tick behind the Eye’s “Gary Unmarried” (2.2/6, 6.84m).

(Rick Kissell contributed to this report.)

More TV


    How Spencer Averick Built Suspense Through Editing Ava DuVernay's 'When They See Us'

    For most of the “When They See Us” shoot, director Ava DuVernay worked with two or three cameras, but when it came to shooting the tense courtroom seen where Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise are put on trial, DuVernay shot with four cameras. Editor Spencer Averick says, “We needed [...]

  • Eliot Goldberg

    AMC Networks Unscripted Head Eliot Goldberg Steps Down

    Eliot Goldberg, AMC Networks’ executive vice president of nonfiction and alternative programming for AMC, Sundance TV and BBC America, is departing the company after six years. Marco Bresaz, senior vice president of nonfiction and alternative programming, will lead the nonfiction programming group going forward. Kelly Nash, who was recently promoted to vice president of nonfiction [...]


    Lilly Singh Mocks Disney Plus 'Outdated Cultural Depictions' Warnings for Racist Movies

    Lilly Singh lampooned Disney Plus’ disclaimer that certain older movies include “outdated cultural depictions” on her NBC show. The YouTube and late-night TV comedian took issue with Disney’s euphemistic phrasing — pointing out that the warning is really about the “racist” tropes in decades-old movies that were made for kids. Disney Plus includes “a bunch [...]

  • Gloria Calderón Kellett Signs Overall Deal

    Gloria Calderón Kellett Signs Overall Deal With Amazon

    Gloria Calderón Kellett has inked a multi-year overall deal at Amazon. “I have been so blown away by the original series coming out of Amazon,” said Calderón Kellett. “Their commitment to supporting creators, specifically women, has been next level. It’s clear they are committed to supporting outstanding, quality television. When I met the diverse Amazon [...]

  • 'Big Brother' Spain in Storm Over

    'Big Brother' Spain Caught Up in Storm Over Video of Alleged Sexual Assault

    Disturbing footage has emerged of a “Big Brother” Spain contestant being confronted by producers with video of herself allegedly being sexually assaulted by another housemate on the reality show – and then being told not to talk about it with her fellow contestants. Carlota Prado was brought into the “Big Brother” house’s “diary room,” where [...]

  • Dollface TV Show

    'Dollface' Production Crew Balances Grounded Elements With the Bizarre

    Hulu’s new comedy “Dollface” stars Kat Dennings as Jules, a woman jumping back into friendships after breaking up with her boyfriend. Production designer Susie Mancini and prop master Sarah Snyder were tasked with balancing the grounded elements of the show with the satirical and fantastical moments that also exist within the series’ world.  Woom, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content