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Ratings Update: ABC’s “black-ish” Retains “Modern Family” Audience

"black-ish" successfully retains its "Modern Family" lead-in; debuts impressively.

Update 2:  Both “Modern Family” and “black-ish” enjoyed positive viewership adjustments in the final ratings report.

“Modern,” which also enjoyed an uptick to a 3.9 in the adults 18-49 demographic, ended up settling for 11.38 million viewers.  “black-ish” drew a 3.3 with 11.04 million.

Earlier in the night, ABC offered “The Middle” (2.2, 7.59 million) and “The Goldbergs” (2.4, 7.31 million).  Returning drama “Nashville” closed the evening with a 1.5 and 5.80 million at 10PM.


Update: While the retention was not as perfect as it was in the overnights, it was very strong nonetheless.  “black-ish,” quite simply, did a tremendous job of holding onto the “Modern Family” lead-in.

Wednesday’s premiere drew a 3.3 adults 18-49 rating with 10.79 million viewers.  The season premiere of “Modern Family,” which led into the “black-ish” opener, drew a 3.7 with 10.93 million.

"black-ish" successfully retains its "Modern Family" lead-in; debuts impressively.
“black-ish” successfully retains its “Modern Family” lead-in; debuts impressively.

Earlier in the night, ABC offered “The Middle” (2.1 adults 18-49 rating, 7.39 million) and “The Goldbergs” (2.3 adults 18-49 rating, 6.97 million).  By building on its “The Middle” lead-in in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic, “The Goldbergs” justified ABC’s scheduling change.

“Nashville” filled the 10PM hour with a 1.5 rating and 5.67 million viewers.


The timeslot might come with lead-in support from ABC’s flagship comedy “Modern Family,” but the 9:30PM half hour on Wednesday offers no guarantee of success.

“Modern Family” viewers might stick around to sample the first episode or two of a new 9:30PM comedy, but they do not possess a long-term commitment to the entirety of ABC’s 9PM comedy hour. And as the season progresses, they prove very willing change the channel following the conclusion of the weekly “Modern Family” episode.

Over the long term, new 9:30PM comedy “black-ish” might still find itself victimized by that harsh reality. But its premiere performance offers a degree of optimism far greater than what was inspired by last year’s inaugural “Super Fun Night” rating.

Wednesday’s “black-ish” series premiere posted the same 7.6 overnight household rating delivered by lead-in “Modern Family.” While that 100% retention does not guarantee precisely even adults 18-49 and total viewership numbers, it does demonstrate the significant extent to which promotion for “Blackish” resonated with the “Modern Family” audience.

As a point of comparison, last year’s “Super Fun Night” delivered a 5.6 overnight rating out of a “Modern Family” episode that drew an 8.0.

— Earlier in the night, ABC launched the latest seasons of “The Middle” (5.4 overnight rating) and “The Goldbergs” (4.9 overnight rating). ABC closed its Wednesday with 10PM drama “Nashville” (3.9 overnight rating).

— Adults 18-49 and viewership data will be available by 12PM ET.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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