"Scrubs" makes itself comfortable at new ABC home

Thu Jan 8, 2009 12:49am EST
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The second half of the broadcast season got under way this week marked by the premieres of several new and returning shows, including the ABC debut of "Scrubs."

The veteran hospital comedy, which switched networks and time periods for its eighth season, had a solid opening in its new Tuesday home. The one-hour premiere averaged 6.7 million viewers, down just 3.6 percent from its previous season premiere on NBC in October 2007.

On the other hand, it lost 14 percent of its lead-in from the premiere of the border security documentary series "Homeland Security USA" (7.8 million).

Also on Tuesday, NBC's "The Biggest Loser" (11.8 million) enjoyed its biggest opening yet. Its 9 p.m. CBS rival, "The Mentalist" (19.6 million), also set another viewership record.

On Monday, ABC's reality block of "The Bachelor" (8.7 million) and new series "True Beauty" (7.6 million) had strong premieres. "The Bachelor" was off about 100,000 viewers from its previous season premiere last March.

The first night of NBC's "Superstars of Dance" (9.5 million) in its regular 8-10 p.m. time period fell from its Sunday premiere (10.6 million).

On cable Monday night, the second-season premiere of "Secret Life of the American Teenager" (4.4 million) was ABC Family's most-watched series premiere ever -- up 57% from its debut in July against considerably steeper competition.

For last week's ratings, NBC (9.4 million) was the No. 1 network thanks to two NFL playoff games on Saturday, with Fox (8.7 million) close behind powered by college football. CBS (8.4 million) and ABC (6.5 million) rounded out the list.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Actors Donald Faison (L) and Zach Braff (C), two of the stars of the new to ABC comedy series "Scrubs", and executive producer Bill Lawrence take part in a panel discussion at the Disney ABC Television Group summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California July 16, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>