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RATINGS: ABC Laughs Big, ‘People’s Choice’ Up

Comedy is king on Wednesday, as ABC’s sitcoms soar after monthlong hiatus. “People’s Choice Awards” does well, too

ABC’s Wednesday comedy block returned strongly last night, while CBS’ presentation of "The People’s Choice Awards" upticked to a two-year high.

After a four-week break from originals, the ABC yukfests came back with a bang, particularly "Modern Family" (4.1/11 among adults 18-49) — the night’s No. 1 show in the demo. That’s the best number for "MF" since its premiere.

That helped ABC’s "Cougar Town" (3.3/8), which finished 18 percent ahead of its last first-run telecast in December and scored its best demo rating since mid-October. Wednesday’s "CT" featured a loudly promoted guest turn by Lisa Kudrow.

In the 8 p.m. hour, back-to-back originals of "The Middle" did OK. The 8 p.m. episode earned a 2.2/6, while an episode in the show’s regular 8:30 slot upticked to a 2.7/7 — the series’ best since its debut.

CBS’ "I Get That a Lot" special, however, dominated the 8 p.m. hour with a 2.9/8. That’s 15 percent below what the concept averaged in its first at-bat last April, but it was earned against much tougher competition.

Meanwhile, "The People’s Choice Awards" earned a 3.4/8 for CBS from 9-11 p.m., up 8 percent from last year and the best performance since 2007.

And at 10 p.m., ABC’s "Ugly Betty" debuted in a new timeslot to a 1.6/5. That’s the best ABC has done in the slot since mid-October and a season high for "Betty," which had been buried on Fridays.