Matthew Perry's 'Sunshine' brightens ABC's ratings

Matthew-perryImage Credit: Image Credit: Michael Desmond/ABCThe return of Matthew Perry to broadcast TV gave ABC a real boost on Wednesday night, his new sitcom Mr. Sunshine easily outperforming Cougar Town’s history in the time period despite receiving mixed reviews from critics.

Sunshine delivered 10.6 million viewers and a 3.7 preliminary adults 18-49 rating, besting the season-to-date average of fellow Friends graduate Courteney Cox in the 9:30 p.m. slot by 32 percent and beating the Cougar premiere by 9 percent. It’s also ABC’s highest-rated new series debut this season (not the highest of bars to clear, unfortunately) and the network’s best numbers in this time period in 16 months.

Over on CBS, Paula Abdul’s Live to Dance (7.8 million, 0.9) had its season (and almost certainly, series) finale, ranking as the night’s lowest-rated show. Funny: The Parents Television Council awarded Dance its “Seal of Approval” yesterday.

Meanwhile Fox’s American Idol (23.7 million, 8.3) won the night while rising 11 percent this week, followed by the season finale of Human Target (8.3 million, 2.4), down 8 percent. I know fans are worried about whether Target will return. These are fine numbers for this show … if only Target did not require an Idol lead-in to hit them.

ABC was in second place for the night, running up to Sunshine with a steady The Middle (8.8 million, 2.6), Better With You (6.8 million, 2.0) hitting a series low, and Modern Family (13.1 million, 5.0) rising 9 percent. At 10 p.m., Off the Map (5.6 million, 1.9) didn’t improve despite enjoying a stronger opening act this week from Sunshine.

After Dance, CBS had Criminal Minds (14.3 million, 3.7) up 16 percent from its last original, then Blue Bloods (12.5 million, 2.3), up 44 percent thanks to having an original Minds lead-in this week and hitting a series high.

And finally, NBC’s two-hour Deal or No Deal Minute to Win It (6.1 million, 1.8) falling 25 percent from last week’s season-high performance, with Law & Order: SVU (8.1 million, 2.6) winning the 10 p.m. hour, yet sliding 10 percent.

Comments (97 total) Add your comment
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  • Susan

    I thought Mr. Sunshine was hilarious, personally.

    • Erin

      I did too!

    • Flip

      Just glad Cougar Town has already been renewed so we don’t have to worry!

    • LMNOP

      I thought it was pretty good, too, especially for a pilot. Good group of supporting characters–good chemistry. I don’t watch much TV anymore, but I’d like to watch this again next week.

    • LOL

      Mr. Sunshine was very good, especially for a pilot.

    • Kel

      “I don’t think you should open up your speech with, ‘Yay black kids!'”

      Hilarious – glad I tuned in.

  • whatevs

    I forgot to watch it, but Matthew Perry is looking good these days.

  • Rebekah

    I love Matthew Perry. Glad to see him with another success.

  • elevendcc

    saw the first episode and was really surprised. it was funny, smart, well written. waaay better than hopefully overrated modern family.

    • elevendcc

      edit: “hopelessly overrated”

      • bma

        edit: “NOT overrated”

      • DMR

        Modern Family overrated?! You wouldn’t know funny if it fell on you.

    • Lee

      edit: “YES overrated” And tell the writers to get rid of the boring confessionals. It’s not Survivor.

      • LMNOP

        Love it!

      • PM

        I don’t like the confessionals on current comedy shows either, such as Modern Family. Those sitcom producers need to keep it to a standard comedy and not inject anything from Mark Burnett’s reality shows such as Survivor in them.

    • wooster182

      I actually think Modern Family and Mr. Sunshine are the perfect comedic pair. Both are clever, fast paced, and funny. Much prefer them both to Cougar Town.

      • Flip

        Eww, Cougar Town would eat your mother alive.

      • Brett

        I miss my Cougar Town.

  • Brett

    I watched this (I’m 20), with my parents, who are both 50. None of us laughed. I didn’t find it funny at all. The only character I liked was his boss, but that’s not enough for me to tune in next week. I actually can’t believe that they replaced ‘Cougar Town’ for this. I don’t think Matthew Perry should headline a show, he should be a part of an ensemble.

    • Carla

      I have to agree. Just not funny. I also don’t like Cougar Town that much. Joey got the better show with Episodes on Showtime.

      • Julie

        Completely disagree with most of this. Loved Mr. Sunshine. Not a fan of Cougar Town and not a fan of Episodes. Though, I still do love all the Friends characters.

      • MELISSA

        Absolutely LOVE Episodes! And I really enjoyed Mr. Sunshine too! Will tune in again next week!

    • LostMom

      Glad I’m not the only one. I love Matthew Perry and I wanted to embrace this show, but I never actually laughed out loud like I do at 30 Rock, Modern Family, and yes, Cougar Town. Just “alright” for me – not something I’ll go out of my way to watch.

    • Ben W

      I agree. I watched the first 15 minutes and barely cracked a smile. I was laughing out loud during the pilots for both Modern Family and especially Cougar Town. And Cougar Town has only become funnier. With Mr. Sunshine, I wanted to give Matthew Perry the benefit of the doubt, but I started to hate all the characters midway through the show and turned it off lol.

    • qz2qwv

      Totally agree, NO FUNNY at all. Bring back Cougar Town…

    • Rock Golf

      If I were 20 and living with my 50-year-old parents, I probably wouldn’t find much to laugh at either.

      • Maxemanmax

        He’s 20 not 35! Jeez. Attack the show not the posters’ personal lives.

  • JP

    Definitely enjoyed Mr. Sunshine, though it’s hard not to see bits of Chandler Bing coming through. Not complaining though! Really wish as many people would tune in for Cougar Town which is equally well-written and hilarious.

  • Cate

    For a pilot, I thought it was promising. It kind of has the Better Off Ted silly vibe.

    • MELISSA

      Yeah! with the same blonde girl! what is her name??

      • Rock Golf

        Andrea Anders. RIP BOT.

  • Woody7

    I love Mr. Sunshine. I think they can make a few tweaks and it will be awesome. Very good cast.

  • K

    I liked it and would love to see more of Jorge Garcia!!!

    • LMNOP

      I second that!

    • Indystacey

      Bobert!

  • Brit

    I liked it. The true test of ratings is to see how it does next week. Lots of people may have been curious, now let’s see how many enjoyed it.

    • Mike B

      My thoughts exactly. I think people wanted to watch just because Matthew hasn’t been around for awhile. Wait for next weeks ratings plummet.

  • Jane

    It was okay. It wasn’t funny at all, but it was a nice little drama.

  • Monty

    I like the cast, I think they just need to figure out who the characters are. I will be watching. Too bad it couldn’t have taken the 730 slot, because despite the fact that I liked Mr. Sunshine (great theme song, btw) i missed the Cul de Sac Crew.

  • fireflyfan

    I enjoyed seeing matt again, and allison janney was awesome. I’m really hoping this will do well, as Perry has made multiple comments about how he is trying to imitate aaron sorkin’s writing. BRING BACK WEST WING!

  • Sharon Odom

    If they were smart with their programming, they would dump the not-so-hot ‘Better With You’ and have this line-up instead: The Middle, Mr. Sunshine, Modern Family and Cougar Town. Now that would be great.

    • Justin

      I love it!

    • PM

      If Sunshine does well in this late winter/early spring installment of shows, I wonder how ABC is going to juggle 5 comedies on Wednesday? They might have to move one show to Wed. to have a full 3 hour comedy block just like NBC’s Thursday comedy heavy lineup.

    • Susie

      I totally agree! Can’t believe Cougar Town is not coming back until April!At least I can get my Cougar fix online!! Love that show!!

  • JLC

    Much better than the commercials would lead you to believe. Nice sarcastic vibe. Not as good as Cougar Town, but if they need a replacement for Better With You (hint, hint), I think this will do fine.

    • LOL

      The people above complaining about the lack of laughs don’t seem to get the show. It’s not set up for the joke-laugh-pause-next joke style like so many other sitcoms. It’s a much more rapid-fire style.

      • JLC

        Glad someone else caught that, too. It doesn’t lend itself to easy dissection in a commercial. That probably means it’s doomed.

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