Amid a flurry of social media chatter Wednesday night, the new ABC comedy “Black-ish” had a strong series debut, averaging an impressive 10.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media data.
The show, which centers on a middle-class black family facing cultural challenges as they move up the economic ladder, was the No. 2 show of the night, according to ABC. It retained most of the 10.9 viewers of the season premiere of “Modern Family,” marking what ABC called the “best ever” total viewer retention for a regular comedy debut in its timeslot. In addition, ABC said it was the highest-rated series debut on any network in the key 18-49 demographic since March with ABC’s “Resurrection.”
“Black-ish” stars Anthony Anderson as an advertising executive who fears his new promotion as vice president of the “Urban Division” is a token appointment. The show earned numerous positive reviews from critics and currently enjoys an 84 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although the premiere was by no means universally praised. Many critics expressed cautious optimism the show would grow into its potential.
Twitter was far more decisive, with multiple “Black-ish”-related topics making their way up the trending sidebar, including Dead Prez, a hip hop duo whose music is featured in the show.
â€” Denene Millner (@MyBrownBaby) September 25, 2014
According to the Los Angeles Times, which cited data from the social-TV platform Canvs, “Black-ish” inspired more than 72,047 tweets on Wednesday, 27,941 of which were “reaction” tweets -- meaning people were tweeting in direct reference to the broadcast itself. Of the reaction tweets, 20 percent described the show as “good” and another 21 percent used the word “funny.” Eleven percent apparently “didn’t like” it.