A show that ran into difficulties earlier in the year appears to have landed on its feet and is way ahead of the rest of the fall lineup in ratings gains in the key demo.
The show is CBS’s “Two and a Half Men,” which has seen a surge of nearly 40% so far this fall in viewers 18-49 — by far the biggest improvement of any broadcast series, TheWrap reports. The surge validates CBS’s decision to keep the show on the air after producer Warner Bros. TV fired lead actor Charlie Sheen, the story reports.
"When we were sitting around in May talking about what we would be happy with, we all agreed: If we were anywhere close to where we were a year ago, we’d be thrilled," said Kelly Kahl, CBS’s senior executive vice president of prime time.
Sheen had predicted the show would average a 2.0 rating among 18- to 49-year-olds after Ashton Kutcher was hired to replace him, the article notes. But the show is averaging a 6.4 rating in the demo, better than the 4.6 rating it earned with Sheen in the lead role a year ago, the piece adds.
The surge for “Men” is part of a strong fall for CBS comedies, which dominate the list of ratings gainers. The network’s “How I Met Your Mother” is second on the list with year-to-year improvement of 25.7% in adults 18-49 (4.4 average rating, up from 3.5 a year ago).
Among other CBS comedies, “Mike & Molly” is up 13.5% (4.2 average, up from 3.7); “Rules of Engagement” is up 12.9% (3.5, up from 3.1); and “The Big Bang Theory” is up 11.4% (4.9, up from 4.4).
ABC also has reason to celebrate the season-to-date numbers, with two sitcoms showing solid gains: “Modern Family” is the third-biggest gainer overall, up 16.7% in 18-49 (5.6 average rating, up from 4.8 last year), followed by “The Middle” at 15.4% (3.0, up from 2.6).
Over at Fox, “Bones” cracked the list of top year-to-year gainers, up 11.5% in viewers 18-49 with a 2.9 average rating, up from a 2.6 a year ago.