ABC Wednesday night: The new Must-See TV?

Must See TV was the tagline for NBC’s incredibly successful Thursday night lineup from 1982-2006. Must See TV was where some of the NBC’s most popular comedies ever resided (The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Friends, Will & Grace).

Even though NBC has had a four (and as of late, a six) comedy line-up on Thursday nights, the ratings and popularity of these current shows (Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, and Whitney) are far from the successful Thursday nights on NBC just 10 years ago. NBC eventually got the hint that their Thursday night line-up wasn’t as powerful anymore and removed the tagline from the line-up once shows like CSI and Grey’s Anatomy started to beat the lagging comedies in the ratings.

Yesterday I posted a blog on why Wednesday’s are my favorite night of the week. ABC’s Wednesday night line-up is one of the reasons for this. ABC’s current Wednesday line-up of The Middle, Suburgatory, Modern Family, Happy Endings and Revenge has proven to be one of this most solid line-ups on TV this season. This was proven last night when ABC finished in a strong first place last night with substantial week-to-week and year-to-year gains. The Middle delivered a season high of 10.19 million viewers, and a A18-49 demo rating of 3.1 – up 6% from last week and 10% compared to this week last year. Suburgatory also hit a season high of 9.84 million viewers, and a A18-49 rating of 3.4, building onto The Middle‘s audience.

The impressive story was in the 9p.m. hour with Happy Endings. The critically acclaimed but ratings challenged comedy received its best ratings ever, 8.34 million viewers and an impressive A18-49 rating of 3.5, the second highest rating of the night behind Modern Family. This wouldn’t be such news if Modern Family was new, but Happy Endings managed to get this ratings from a Modern Family repeat, which didn’t do to bad itself (11.36 million viewers, A18-49: 4.4) – The best ratings for a repeat episode of ANY SERIES in years.

Can’t forget to mention Revenge, which continues to trump its timeslot competitor CSI in the A18-49 demo (2.8 vs. 2.0).

ABC could have the new Must See TV lineup because of its solid line-up of quality shows that entertain, as well as kills its competition in the ratings. When was the last time NBC was able to claim that?

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