New Fall TV Wrap-up: Audiences Tune in for Broadway's McDonald, Chenoweth and More

News   New Fall TV Wrap-up: Audiences Tune in for Broadway's McDonald, Chenoweth and More
With the Oct. 18 debut of Hugh Jackman's "Viva Laughlin," all the new fall shows have now made their premieres. A number of series featuring Broadway stars — including "Private Practice" and "The Big Bang Theory" — have already been picked up by the networks.
Ellen Greene and Swoosie Kurtz
Ellen Greene and Swoosie Kurtz Photo by ABC/Scott Garfield

According to fast national ratings from Nielsen Media Research, the new Jackman-produced show drew an audience of 8.83 million viewers. The musical drama series featured the Tony Award winner of The Boy From Oz in a guest role opposite Melanie Griffith (Chicago).

Both "Private Practice" and "The Big Bang Theory" have been picked up for full seasons by ABC and CBS, respectively. The series will now tack on nine additional episodes each for a full-season total of 22 shows apiece.

The former, a spinoff from "Grey's Anatomy," features stage stars Audra McDonald (Ragtime), Taye Diggs (Rent) and Tim Daly (The Caine Mutiny Court Martial). "Private Practice" premiered Sept. 26 to 14.41 million viewers and has maintained high numbers since (12.45 in week two, 12.42 and 11.81, subsequently).

Recent Little Dog Laughed star Johnny Galecki appears in "The Big Bang Theory," which provided CBS with a premiere audience of 9.57 million. As a lead-out to the network's comedy "How I Met Your Mother" — featuring fellow stage veterans Josh Radnor (The Graduate), Neil Patrick Harris (Assassins) and current The Drowsy Chaperone star Bob Saget as narrator — the new show has kept steady (at 8.58, 8.35 and 8.15 million) in recent weeks.

Other big ratings-grabbers have included ABC's "Samantha Who?" and "Pushing Daisies." With its Oct. 15 premiere, "Samantha Who?" ranked as the biggest new comedy debut of the season with a total of 14.92 million viewers. The series stars Broadway's most recent Charity Hope Valentine, Christina Applegate (of 2005's Sweet Charity) with fellow stage and screen veteran Jean Smart (The Man Who Came to Dinner). Critical darling "Pushing Daisies" has drawn equal praise with audiences: The quirky new comedy debuted with 13.03 million tuning in. Tony Award winners Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked) and Swoosie Kurtz (Frozen) are featured in the cast with stage vets Lee Pace (Small Tragedy), Anna Friel (Closer) and Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors) with narrator Jim Dale (The Threepenny Opera). (Succeeding weeks have played to 10.26 and 9.75 million viewers.)

Ratings for other shows featuring stage folk follow: (in millions of viewers by week)

  • "Back to You" (FOX) - Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Ty Burrell and Josh Gad
    9.44/ 7.54/ 6.58/ 6.62/ 6.91
  • "Cane" (CBS) - Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo and Rita Moreno
    11.12/ 9.19/ 9.11/ 8.5
  • "Dirty Sexy Money" (ABC) - Craig Wright (writer), Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh and Glenn Fitzgerald
    10.44/ 9.61/ 8.64/ 8.83
  • "Life" (NBC) - Damian Lewis, Adam Arkin and Robin Weigert
    10.15/ 8.68/ 8.10/ 7.64
  • "Cavemen" (ABC) - Julie White
    8.98/ 6.96/ 6.92 (All numbers are culled from fast national and final national ratings as provided by Nielsen Media Research.)

  • Rebecca Mader, Taye Diggs, Audra McDonald and Kate Walsh in "Private Practice."
    Rebecca Mader, Taye Diggs, Audra McDonald and Kate Walsh in "Private Practice." Photo by ABC
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