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Ratings: ABC's 'Modern Family,' 'Cougar Town' open solid

September 24, 2009 | 10:09 am


ABC can exhale now as two of its new Wednesday night comedies -- "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" -- got off to solid starts in both viewers and key demographics.

"Modern Family," the critically acclaimed sitcom that follows three families in mock documentary fashion, drew 12.7 million viewers and won its 9 p.m. time period with adults 18 to 49, according to preliminary ratings information from Nielsen. "Cougar Town," which stars Courteney Cox as a divorced women on the make, attracted 11.6 million viewers and also won with adults younger than 50. Both shows were no doubt helped by their "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in of 14.9 million viewers. Next week, they won't have that benefit as ABC will be premiering "Hank," it's much reworked Kelsey Grammer sitcom at 8 p.m. and the Patricia Heaton family comedy "The Middle" at 8:30 p.m.

It was another strong night from CBS, which won in viewers and tied ABC in adults 18 to 49. The return of "CSI: New York" did particularly well, averaging almost 15 million viewers. ABC's female-skewing light drama "Eastwick" averaged 9.3 million viewers and finished second behind "CSI: New York" in adults 18 to 49.

At NBC, the medical drama "Mercy" didn't get much from viewers. The show averaged 8.2 million viewers and was fourth in adults 18 to 49. Though that is nothing to crow about, it did do better in its time period than what the network had averaged last season. The Jay Leno see-saw went down last night even with Jay and Vince Vaughn talking a little dirty and exercising with Jack Lalanne.

Fox's "Glee" didn't lose too many members last night. The offbeat drama averaged 6.6 million viewers and kept 94% of its 18 to 49 audience from last week against much tougher competition. Fox won the night in adults 18 to 34 and finished behind ABC and CBS in adults 18 to 49.

At the CW, "The Beautiful Life" keeps getting uglier, averaging just more than 1 million viewers and barely registering with adults 18 to 34.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell in ABC's "Modern Family." Credit: ABC