'Happy Endings' Premieres Soft on ABC’s New Comedy Block

Happy Endings Still Cuthbert 2011
Mitch Haddad/ABC

HAPPY ENDINGS - "Like Father, Like Gun" - Brad's uptight dad (guest star Damon Wayans) is in town for some serious health tests.  When he gets an all-clear, he cuts loose with a new lease on life, something Brad has a hard time adjusting to. Meanwhile Penny meets a gorgeous Italian guy (Alex Valente); the problem is, he doesn't speak English, and Penny, who once  studied in Italy, finds she can only speak the language when she's drunk, on "Happy Endings," WEDNESDAY, MAY 4 (10:00-10:30 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

A 90-minute American Idol performance show powered Fox to a rating win on Wednesday night. Idol averaged a 7.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 22.3 million viewers overall. So far Idol is down only 3 percent in the demo year-over-year while the ten-year-old show is up 9 percent in total viewers.

New Fox comedy Breaking In (2.8, 8.4 million) plummeted 20 percent compared to last week’s premiere episode for a distant second in the 9:30 p.m. timeslot behind CBS’ Criminal Minds (3.4, 13.2 million). But Breaking In edged out new ABC comedy Happy Endings, which averaged a 2.7 rating in the demo with 7.2 million viewers for its premeire episode (read THR's review). That was down 7 percent compared to the April 2010 bow of quickly canceled Alyssa Milano comedy Romantically Challenged.

Wednesday night marked the debut of ABC’s all-comedy Wednesday. And a second episode of Happy Endings at 10 p.m. averaged a 2.3 rating with 5.7 million viewers. Paired with a Modern Family rerun at 10:30 p.m., ABC’s sitcoms were second in the 10 p.m. hour behind a new episode of CBS’ Suspect Behavior (2.5, 9.9 million), which was up 19 percent week-to-week. A rerun of Law & Order: SVU averaged a 1.5 rating with 4.8 million viewers at 10 p.m.

For the night Fox averaged a 6.0 rating with 18.8 million viewers followed by CBS (3.0, 11.3 million), ABC (2.3, 6.3 million), Univision (1.3, 3.2 million) and NBC (1.2, 4 million).

Email: Marisa.Guthrie@thr.com
Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie