TV | Inside TV

'Off the Map' ratings not exactly off the map for ABC

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off-the-mapImage Credit: Mario Perez/ABCThe debut of Off the Map – ABC’s latest medical drama that is (or isn’t) Grey’s Anatomy in the jungle, depending on who you ask – had a lackluster start on Wednesday: It only came in second in its timeslot among adults 18-49 (a 2.2 rating/6 share) and attracted a mere 7.5 million, according to preliminary ratings. That’s not exactly riveting news for ABC’s heavily-promoted drama, which comes from the auspices of its most important showrunner, Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s, Private Practice).

To be fair, the President’s address from the Arizona Memorial Service disrupted all the network schedules, and ABC, in particular, was forced to air an abbreviated rerun of Modern Family before jumping into the Off the Map premiere. ABC put a happy face on Map’s debut by saying it brought 70 percent more total viewers and 83 percent more adults 18-49 to the hour – but the network had to be hoping for more from Rhimes’ show. Maybe that’s why ABC decided to reschedule the show tonight so folks will get another chance to watch.

ABC still won the night among 18-49 (2.9/8) and viewers (9 million), thanks to the huge fan base that continues to follow Modern Family. Barack Obama’s address messed up the comedy’s start time, but the combo of the President and Family earned a 3.6/10 and 10.2 million at 9, while an original of the sitcom and a partial rerun of it posted a 3.7/10 and 10.1 million at 9:30. An original of The Middle at 8 earned a 3.1/9 and 10.5 million.

NBC was second for the night in the demo (1.8/5) and viewers (6.3 million), with the Peacock’s coverage of the memorial – combined with a special repeat of Minute to Win It – earning a 1.6/5 and 5.4 million from 8-9 p.m. From 9-10 p.m., the Arizona coverage and the second half of a Minute to Win It earned a 1.4/4 and 5 million. Law & Order: SVU posted a 2.5/7 and 8.3 million.

CBS came in third in the demo (1.4/4) and viewers (6.1 million), after airing repeats of The Big Bang Theory and Rules of Engagement. The combination of Obama and Live To Dance earned a 1.3/4  and 6.1 million, while the combo of Live To Dance and The Defenders got a 1.5/4 and 6.1 million. Fox aired a repeat of Raising Hope, Fox News coverage of the memorial, and a repeat of Kitchen Nightmares. It tied the CW in fourth place in the demo (.5/2).

Originally posted January 13 2011 — 12:32 PM EST

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