Matthew Perry Sitcom Outscores Courteney Cox’s ‘Cougar Town’

Matthew Perry and Allison Janney in 'Mr. Sunshine' (Photo: ABC)

Matthew Perry and Allison Janney in 'Mr. Sunshine' (Photo: ABC)

Is this any way to treat one of your best “Friends”?

Matthew Perry swooped in with his new ABC sitcom and scored ratings that were far higher than the numbers for the other sitcom that aired previously in the same time slot –- “Cougar Town,” starring his “Friends” co-star Courteney Cox.

The premiere of Perry’s new show, “Mr. Sunshine,” Wednesday night at 9:30/8:30c on ABC drew 10.565 million viewers, according to the Nielsen overnights. The number represents a whopping 38 percent increase over the audience numbers for “Cougar Town” a week earlier (6.51 million).

Aaron Sorkin Inspired Perry to Become “Mr. Sunshine”

ABC has long experienced a steep drop off with “Cougar Town” on Wednesdays following the 9 p.m./8c airing of the much higher-rated “Modern Family,” which attracted 13.099 million viewers Wednesday night. ABC has to be pleased that “Mr. Sunshine” is already retaining a lot more of the “Modern Family” audience than “Cougar Town” ever did. Even more important for ABC: “Mr. Sunshine” improved on “Cougar Town’s” performance among 18-49s by a full percentage point.

In “Mr. Sunshine,” Perry plays the harried manager of a big-city indoor sports arena. While the show gave ABC’s Wednesday night average a boost, it wasn’t enough to lift the network past third place for the evening. First place went to Fox, thanks mainly to the 8-9 p.m. (7-8c) airing of “American Idol,” which averaged 23.671 million viewers for the hour.

CBS came in second, aided by another strong showing for the Tom Selleck cop drama “Blue Bloods” at 10/9c (12.451 million) and “Criminal Minds” at 9/8c (14.317 million). As for the 8-9 p.m. hour, CBS is probably relieved that Wednesday represented the finale of Paula Abdul’sLive to Dance,” which drew just 4.87 million viewers.

Look for the time slot to make a huge leap in the ratings next Wednesday for CBS when “Survivor: Redemption Island” takes up residence there. As for “Live to Dance,” don’t hold your breath waiting for this show to return for a second season.

Watch the Pilot Episode of Matthew Perry’s “Mr. Sunshine” on

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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