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‘MODERN FAMILY’ & ‘COUGAR TOWN’ DEBUT HUGE

By / 09.24.09

Someone at ABC uses Photoshop almost as well as I do.

ABC’s new sitcoms debuted with huge numbers last night, a surprising feat given that ABC is the historically unfunny network that gave us comedically tone-deaf gems like “According to Jim.”

The critically acclaimed “Modern Family” premiered to 12.7 million viewers and 4.3 preliminary adults 18-49 rating. Courteney Cox’s “Cougar Town” had 11.4 million viewers and also enjoyed a 4.3 rating. The shows improved 34% on their “Dancing With the Stars” (14.9 million, 3.2) lead in and won 9 p.m. against tough competition.

These comedy numbers would thrill CBS if a new show garnered such figures during its Monday night block. For ABC, they’re amazing. The shows tied as TV’s highest-rated half-hour comedy debut in two years (since ABC’s “Samantha Who,” which had a larger “Dancing” lead in). [THR]

It’ll be interesting to see how those numbers change as the season progresses. “Modern Family” is a pitch-perfect family sitcom that will challenge ‘Community” as teh fall’s best new comedy — it’s equally sharp and sweet, with excellent writing and acting (including four child actors who don’t suck — not easily accomplished). “Cougar Town,” on the other hand, comes off as a creepy one-note joke. And while that joke (older women wanna bang young dudes!) often played for laughs in the pilot, I don’t see how it can sustain itself over a full season. But then again, “Two and a Half Men” is the most popular sitcom in the nation, so what the hell do I know? Maybe I should just shut up and go wait in line for the Transformers 2 DVD.


TAGSABCCOUGAR TOWNCOURTENEY COXMODERN FAMILY

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