Reba McEntire sitcom gets strong ratings start

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ABC rolled out its new comedy block Friday night, but it was the Sharks that made the biggest splash.

Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing (7.8 million, 1.9 adult demo rating) returned to its new time period, obviously down quite a bit from its Tuesday series debut last year, but still pulling a solid number for this slot. That led into Reba McEntire’s new comedy Malibu Country (8.9 million, 2.2), which notably improved upon its lead-in. Sure critics disliked this sitcom, whose studio audience laugh-track sounded like it was cranked to 11, but with these numbers ABC won’t care (EW’s Ken Tucker was more generous than most). Malibu‘s demo is bigger than the premieres of Fox’s Ben and Kate and NBC’s Animal Practice, but on a tougher night. Among total viewers, Malibu delivered more viewers than any regular-time-period freshman comedy debut this fall, except NBC’s Go On.

ABC’s comedies managed to beat the premiere of CBS’ Undercover Boss (7.9 million, 1.5) in the demo and the second week of Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares (2.9 million, 1.0) in the 8 p.m. hour. Boss was down 38 percent from last season’s Friday debut.

The ABC comedies pushed Shark Tank (7.3 million, 2.3) to 9 p.m., the reality show finally getting a decent lead-in rather than having to jump-start this night. This is another series high for Tank, up a whopping 28 percent from last week, and was Friday’s top-rated program in the demo. Having Seth MacFarlane as a guest star probably helped too.

Fox also had Fringe (2.6 million, 1.0), up a tenth. CBS had a steady CSI: NY (10 million, 1.5) and a rather low Blue Bloods (10.9 million, 1.3).


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