Comedy Resurgent as Fall TV Begins

Comedy is back, at least judging from the ratings from the first week of fall television. In addition to the Super Bowl–like 28 million viewers who tuned into CBS's Two and a Half Men, ABC's Modern Family opened with its highest ratings ever—even though it debuted against Simon Cowell’s The X Factor on Fox. “You can make an argument that Modern Family is like The Cosby Show from 1984,” one ad-buying company executive tells The New York Times. CBS’s Big Bang Theory also beat The X Factor, while The Office on NBC maintained its ratings despite Steve Carell’s departure. Meanwhile, Zooey Deschanel’s Fox show, The New Girl, drew 10 million viewers.