CBS Sitcoms Will Never Be Defeated

Last night was the second episode of Ashton Kutcher's run on Two and a Half Men, and while it was down from last week's boffo debut, it wasn't down that much.

A soul-busting 20 million people still tuned in last night to watch Ashton Kutcher softly mug to the camera while a whole three ring circus of sexual mania and panic played out in Jon Cryer's insides. That's a whole lotta people! Again, it's down abou 30% from last week and that number could potentially keep slipping as the curiosity factor wears off, but the fact that 20 million of the people who watched last week's crusty fart of an episode decided to come back for more is pretty dispiriting.

Meanwhile, CBS's other Monday night sitcoms — 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, How I Never Met Your Mother I've Just Been Lying to You All These Years — all performed ably, despite, well, egregious lacks in quality. Whitney Cummings' laboriously acerbic Girls was down from its big premiere last week but still snatched 11.6 million pairs of eyeballs. And, perhaps buoyed by star Melissa McCarthy's recent Emmy win (which, realistically, she won for a movie role), Mike & Molly debuted with a whopping 14 million viewers. And tired, beaten, exhaustingly snappy old warhorse Mother still held solid at 10.6 million.

So basically the takeaway here is that while these shows are essentially all uniformly bad, lots of Americans still want to watch them. More even that wanted to watch that show about big dinosaurs (and Declan from Degrassi) — Fox's Terra Nova jumped through the Stargate and landed on some 9 million people, considerably below expectations. Just goes to show you that you can't beat CBS, everyone. They will turn the stage lights on as bright as they go, they'll turn the volume on the consistently inelegant dick and tit and fart jokes up to eleven, and they will drive those shitheaps through America's living rooms.

And you'd be a fool to get in their way. [Deadline]