After the first week of the fall TV season, THR reports that “comedy has reclaimed the broadcast throne.” Following the lead of Modern Family (ABC) and Glee (Fox), new comedies are performing well against their more serious counterparts. Five of the top seven season premiers are comedies: following Glee and Modern Family are The Office (NBC), The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men (both CBS). Grey’s Anatomy was the sole drama in the top seven, and Dancing With the Stars was the reality star.
Among CBS’s openers, Hawaii Five-O came on strong but short of expectations, Mike & Molly was their number two rated comedy and $#*! My Dad Says went swimingly. NBC’s anticipated mystery The Event opened well and hopes to build a following (see Lost), but their Chase, Undercovers and Outlaw with Jimmy Smits all arrived with lackluster numbers. ABC’s newcomers Detroit 1-8-7, The Whole Truth and My Generation all disappointed, and Hellcats and Nikita have yet to solidify themselves. For dramas, it seems, there are only so many winners – and it’s tough to to find a following without some laughs, and before story lines can reach the delightful complexities of Lost or the character development of Mad Men. While the networks all have something to be pleased about, the five broadcast channels are collectively down with an average of 9% thanks to DVR.