NBC Wins Nightly TV Ratings With New Sitcom

by | September 15, 2011 at 2:05 PM | TV News

By Tim Molloy

NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – NBC’s new “Up All Night,” starring Will Arnett and Christina Applegate as harried new parents, scored big for the network Wednesday, earning the top rating in the crucial 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary numbers. Ratings fell off significantly, however, for NBC’s other debut, “Free Agents.”

“Up All Night,” which also stars Maya Rudolph as Applegate’s boss, outscored its lead-in, the series finale of “America’s Got Talent.” NBC scheduled its two new comedies, the first shows it debuted this season, after “Talent” to try to piggyback on the finale’s tune-in. But it couldn’t have expected “Night” to do better than the finale.

“Talent,” at 8 p.m., scored a 3.5/10 in the demographic, making it the second most-watched show of the night. “Night,” at 10 p.m., scored a 3.7/10, up 54 percent over the 2.4 NBC got in the same half-hour on the same night last year for a preview of the now canceled “Outlaw.”

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“Free Agents” at 10:30 p.m. had a 2.1, the same as the “Outlaw” rating in the half hour.

The two new comedies will regularly air on Wednesday nights from 8-9 p.m.

NBC now gets to hope “Night” can maintain its ratings, and ponder what drove tune-in: Rudolph’s starring role in the summer hit “Bridesmaids”? Arnett and Applegate’s long sitcom resumes? Or the show’s funny premise?

It will also have to examine the drop-off for “Agents,” a much harder sell than “Night” because of its potentially depressing subject matter: It follows a relationship between a man recovering from divorce (Hank Azaria) and a woman whose fiance has recently died (Kathryn Hahn).

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