ABC's new Matthew Perry comedy "Mr. Sunshine" debuted to a 3.7 rating/10 share in the key adult 18-49 demo Tuesday, giving it the network's best mid-season premiere in three years.
However, the new series dropped 26 percent of its "Modern Family" lead-in in the key 18-49 demo.
Starring Perry as an acerbic (surprise!) sports-arena manager, "Sunshine" debuted in the 9:30 time slot and averaged 10.6 million viewers.
"Mr. Sunshine" culminated a circuitous route to network TV, having been pitched to — and rejected by — Showtime in early 2009 when the cable channel was under the creative leadership of Robert Greenblatt.
For the night, "Modern Family" was the top-rated show among mortals (i.e. shows that aren't "American Idol'), averaging a 5.0/13 in the key adult demo — a 9 percent week-to-week uptick.
Fox's "American Idol" felt a slight dip but nonetheless dominated the evening.
The revamped singing competition drew in 23.6 million viewers to pull in an 8.3 share.