Modern Family finished its fourth consecutive best-comedy Emmy victory lap just in time to begin celebrating its successful launch in off-network syndication. In broadcast, the series nailed the second-biggest comedy syndication launch in the past five years. It trailed only Warner Bros TV’s CBS multi-cam comedy The Big Bang Theory’s 2011 launch in households, with a 1.5 HH rating. In 18-49 the 20th Century Fox series’ 0.8 rating ties BBT’s off-net unveiling. And, in 25-54, Modern Family (1.0 rating) edges out BBT’s syndie launch (0.9). In New York, the mockumentary hit increased the Fox O&O’s household ratings 54% at 7 PM and 20% at 7:30. In Los Angeles, with Modern Family, the Fox O&O jumped 75% and 32% in the same time periods.
The ensemble comedy, which airs initially on ABC, also made inroads in its USA Network debut Tuesday night. Over its three hours on USA, the Pritchett family saga young-ed up the NBCU cable net’s primetime by about 13 years, to a median age of 32.2, compared with 45 with Law & Order: SVU on the comparable night last year. Modern Family shed some of SVU’s older viewers – accounting for the USA’s overall drop from 1.58 million viewers in prime same night last year, to just under a million on Tuesday. But the 18-34 crowd jumped by 27%.
USA network execs, who’ve not launched a comedy rerun package since Major Dad back in the early ’90s, had said they hoped to broaden the network’s profile with Modern Family. The comedy enjoyed its biggest audience on USA at 8 PM, with an average of 1.07 million watching, followed by its 10:30 play, with 1.02 million tuned in. USA will air nine hours of Modern Family a week: 8-11 PM Tuesdays, 8-9 PM Wednesday and Thursday, 8-10 PM Friday, and 9-11 PM Sundays.