New TV Season Brings New Hits and Duds | Arts & Culture

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New TV Season Brings New Hits and Duds

DOA. Every season brings a couple of clunkers. Last week brought four: Fox's Lone Star (4.1 million viewers) was the weakest of the bunch — and became the season's first casualty Tuesday, to be replaced by Lie to Me starting next week. But ABC's The Whole Truth and My Generation and NBC's Outlaw, in Friday's time-slot debut, are all on life support.

• A worthy remake? Like many before, CBS' Hawaii Five-0 started strong Monday as last week's top-rated new series (14.2 million viewers). UnlikeBionic Woman, Knight Rider and Melrose Place, it didn't collapse as curiosity faded; this week's second episode held up well (12.7 million).

Guests no guarantee. They're tempting awards bait, but stunt casting is no surefire ratings bet. Jennifer Aniston couldn't help Friends co-star Courteney Cox launch Season 2 of ABC's Cougar Town: Ratings were down 26% vs. last fall's premiere, even as lead-in Modern Family gained. And pop sensation Justin Bieber was no help to CBS' CSI, down 8%.

Sophomoressoar. Second-season premieres of Fox's Glee and ABC's Modern Family spiked to series highs among young adults, eclipsing aging hits such as House and Grey's Anatomy.

Moves pay off. CBS' big gamble — switching The Big Bang Theoryto Thursdays and Survivor to Wednesdays — worked; both won their slots and topped last fall's premieres.

A night-by-night recap:

Monday. Besides Five-0, new comedy Mike & Molly (12.2 million) was solid, and NBC's heavily promoted The Event (10.9 million) was decent, though companion Chase (7.3 million) was modest. Better: ABC'sDancing With the Stars (21.3 million), up 20%.

Tuesday. Fox's Glee (12.5 million) came roaring back as the week's top series among young adults, while sitcom companions Raising Hope (7.3 million) and Running Wilde (5.6 million) had quieter starts. Cop drama Detroit 1-8-7 was ABC's biggest newcomer with an OK 9.3 million.

Wednesday. NBC's Undercovers underperformed with 8.7 million, while CBS' The Defenders (12.2 million) was solid. Modern Family returned at a series-high 12.7 million, The Middle (8.8 million) was steady, and new comedy Better With You (7.9 million) kept most of that lead-in. But The Whole Truth (4.8 million) flopped.

Thursday.Big Bang (14 million) and strong lead-out $#*! My Dad Says (12.6 million) didn't dent NBC's competing comedies, and NBC's Outsourced capably held on to much of The Office's crowd. The biggest losers? The Apprentice (3.8 million) and new ABC drama My Generation (5.2 million).

Friday. A mixed bag: CBS' older audience came out for Tom Selleck's Blue Bloods, which hammered Jimmy Smits' Outlaw. Relocated CSI: NY won its slot, and CW's Smallville had its best Friday yet. But Medium fell sharply, and Fox's Good Guys faltered.

Sunday. CBS' Undercover Boss (11.5 million) returned at a series low, though Amazing Race (11.5 million) was up and ABC's Desperate Housewives(13.1 million) fell slightly. On cable, Showtime's Dexter (1.8 million) had its best start; HBO's Boardwalk Empire (3.3 million) dropped 31% in Week 2, and Eastbound and Down (1.7 million) returned up sharply behind Bored to Death (1.1 million); TLC's Sister Wives (2.3 million) opened strong.

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