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Posted at 2:59 PM ET, 02/10/2011

Matthew Perry's 'Mr. Sunshine' debut snags 10.5 million viewers

By Lisa de Moraes

Courteney Cox still has the lead in the "Friends" Alum Show-Down after Matthew Perry's "Mr. Sunshine" opened with 10.5 million watching on ABC Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.

That's not quite a million people shy of the 11.3 million people who'd tuned in to the unveiling of Cox's "Cougar Town" in the same half hour, in September of '09.

Both "Sunshine" and "Cougar" enjoyed a "Modern Family" lead-in when they were launched. Only "Modern Family" on Wednesday logged its biggest audience ever - 13.2 million viewers.

ABC noted that, among all viewers, and with the18-49 year old viewers who are the network's bread and butter, "Mr. Sunshine" is its highest rated mid-season scripted show launch in nearly four years. "Cougar Town" of course, was not a mid-season launch.

Perry stars in "Mr. Sunshine" as the self-involved manager of a San Diego sports arena, who begins to re-evaluate his life on his 40th birthday. Allison Janney plays the arena owner, and the object of Perry's affection is played by Andrea Anders who, coincidentally, played "Friends" alum Matt LeBlanc's love interest in that dog of a "Friends" spin-off, "Joey," about Joey Tribbiani moving to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. LeBlanc has been hard at work recently, redeeming himself with self-parody in Showtime's "Episodes."

Meanwhile, hope you caught the last episode of Paula Abdul's CBS dance competition series, "Live to Dance" because, based on the finale numbers, it may really be the last episode. Only 4.7 million people bothered to watch the first season finale in which that precocious moppets ballroom dance couple known as D'Angelo and Amanda, won the half a million dollar prize.

By Lisa de Moraes  | February 10, 2011; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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