Is The Curse of Seinfeld back?
The return of Jerry Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref barely avoided finishing last in the three-way race in the last hour of Sunday's prime time, garnering 4.57 million viewers. A rerun of CSI: Miami won the 10/9c time slot with 5.21 million while a Body of Proof repeat pulled in 4.03 million to finish third.
Marriage Ref, despite boasting big-name guests Julianne Moore and Ricky Gervais, scored just a 1.6 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds — a 20 percent drop from last year, when the show was ubiquitously promoted during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
It appeared that Julia Louis-Dreyfus had broken the curse with The New Adventures of Old Christine after she, Michael Richards and Jason Alexander failed with their own attempts at sitcoms. But now it appears the exorcism hasn't lasted.
The Marriage Ref's lead-in, a repeat of America's Got Talent, took the 9 o'clock hour with 6.05 million viewers vs. the array of reruns of Undercover Boss (4.76 million), Castle (4.23 million) and the tandem of Family Guy (3.71 million) and American Dad! (3.15 million).
At 8/7c, a Hawaii Five-0 repeat lured 4.92 million viewers, vs. repeats of America's Got Talent (4.67 million), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (3.91 million) and The Simpsons (2.81 million) and The Cleveland Show (2.80 million).
On basic cable, the BET Awards '11, marked by an awkward gaffe involving Chris Brown and Rihanna, averaged 7.7 million viewers — an increase of nearly 4 percent from 2010's 7.4 million. The only viewership that was bigger in the history of the awards show? The 10.7 million who watched the 2009 ceremony that included a highly anticipated tribute to Michael Jackson shortly after he died.
Also on Sunday night, TNT's Falling Skies fell to 4.2 million viewers a week after becoming basic cable's most-watched series debut of the year with more than 5.9 million viewers. Its lead-in, Leverage, attracted 3.42 million viewers for its Season 4 debut, beating last season's opener by 10 percent.