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Sluggish Debuts for Bad Teacher, Black Box

As season winds down, 2 new shows stumble

Ari Graynor stars in the CBS comedy Bad Teacher

With just a month to go before the 2013-14 broadcast TV season slinks off into the murk of history, the networks on Thursday night launched a pair of last-gasp series. As one may well expect from a couple of shows that were reserved for a late-April premiere, the results were unspectacular.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, CBS’ refresh of the 2011 theatrical Bad Teacher generated a fair amount of sampling, delivering 7.80 million viewers and a 2.1 in the adults 18-49 demo.

Bad Teacher retained 84 percent of its Two and a Half Men lead-in (2.5). At any network but CBS, north of a 2.0 for a spring comedy debut would be cause for subdued celebration. Unfortunately, Teacher now stands as CBS’ second lowest-rated in-season sitcom premiere, trailing only the fall flop We Are Men, which drew a 2.0 on Monday, Sept. 30.

Teacher now stands as the season’s 13th highest-rated comedy premiere. Thus far, the networks have launched 20 new sitcoms; the only remaining comedies on the launch pad are the NBC summer strip Undateable (May 29) and Fox’s Us & Them, which is unlikely to ever see the light of day.

As Teacher was signing off, ABC began unveiling its new physician-heal-thyself drama, Black Box. Leading out of Grey’s Anatomy, the pilot drew 6.87 million viewers and a 1.5 in the dollar demo, and while that marked a 15 percent improvement versus last spring’s debut of Motive (1.3), it was down 52 percent when compared to time slot predecessor Scandal’s season average (3.1).

Black Box frittered away 35 percent of its Grey’s lead-in, although it did give CBS’ Elementary a run for its money in the 10 p.m. slot. The Sherlock Holmes drama eked out a 1.6 in the 18-49 demo. (The second hour of a Saturday Night Live “Digital Shorts” special drew a 1.0 rating.)

Black Box now stands as the season’s 12th highest-rated new drama of the extant 20, tying ABC’s Betrayal and the time-slot premiere of NBC’s Believe. In a rocky development season, Black Box is tied as ABC’s fourth-biggest drama launch of the 2013-14 campaign, topping a roster of no-hopers that includes Lucky 7 (1.3), Mind Games (1.1), Killer Women (0.9) and The Assets (0.7).

As far as new dramas are concerned, all that remains on the broadcast slate is Fox’s 24: Live Another Day (Monday, May 5). The network’s Gang Related will bow out-of-season (Thursday, May 22), while NBC’s pirate thriller, Crossbones, sets sail on Friday, May 30. (Malkovich? Malkovich.)

The networks have seven new drama series poised to bow in the summer, as well as three fresh-off-the-shelf comedies. Returning summer shows include the CBS smash hit Under the Dome and ABC’s Mistresses and Rookie Blue.

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