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Ratings: Bump for ‘Betty,’ No Thanks to ‘Cougar Town’

The ABC soap gets its best numbers of the season. But MoJoe is worried about the creative direction of ”Cougar Town“

ABC’s "Ugly Betty" buh-bye got a pretty nice finale bump Wednesday.

The final episode of the soap — which burned bright in its first season but quickly fizzled — averaged a 1.8 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary national Nielsen data. That’s up 29 percent from last week’s episode and the show’s highest rated episode of the season.

"Betty" boosters who don’t want me to harsh their mellow might want to turn away now.

I’ll give you a minute.

OK, so the bad news is that, despite a nice amount of hype surrounding the finale, "Betty" managed to only tie a "Law & Order: SVU" repeat for second place in the demo, and actually finished third in viewers. CBS’s "CSI: NY" won the hour with a sad 2.6/8.

Fans of "Betty" are understandably still in the "anger" stage of grieving, upset with ABC for leaving their show after just four seasons. But it’s hard to blame the Alphabet, given how quickly the show lost viewers when it aired on Thursday (not to mention complaints that the show got off track creatively for a while).

Shifting to the show to Friday was a fatal blow, of course. But ABC did give "Betty" a nice send-off by putting it on Wednesdays, and it allowed producers to end their saga on their own terms. That doesn’t always happen in TV land.

Elsewhere in the ratings Wednesday, "American Idol" did its thing, but that thing wasn’t enough to lift lead-in "Human Target" (1.9/6), which fell 14 percent from last week and could only manage to tie a repeat of NBC’s "Minute to Win It" in the 8 p.m. hour.

We love the creative folks behind "HT," as well as the show’s concept. But Fox execs will have to think hard about giving this show a second chance, given its poor perfomance in one of the least competitive timeslots in primetime.

It’s time for the "Human" -heads to start buying up Subway sandwiches or something.

One last note: MoJoe favorite "Cougar Town" continues to tempt ABC to change its mind about a renewal. The show averaged just a 2.4/7 Wednesday, down 8 percent from its last first-run episode and more than 30 percent below its "Modern Family" (3.6/10) lead-in.

It’ll be a shocker — or a sign of weak comedy development — if "C-Town" gets to keep its plum spot behind "MoFa" next season. We’re also hoping the showrunners decide to return to the heart the series seemed to have found in the early winter episodes and tone down the "Scrubs"-like weirdness we’ve noticed more of in recent weeks.

"C-Town" really is a good show with one of the better ensemble half-hour casts on TV. But we didn’t sign up for Courteney Cox sucking up her son’s dried up tears off her shirt.