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Is ‘Are We There Yet?’ There Yet?

TBS’ Latest comedy test—Are We There Yet?, starring Everybody Hates Chris’ Terry Crews—already fits right in to TBS’ Wednesday night lineup of original comedies. The show premiered on June 2, at 9 p.m., with 3.2 million viewers total and 1.6 million adults age 18 to 49 tuning in, according to TBS. At 9:30 p.m., another original episode improved on that performance, jumping to more than 3.3 million viewers and 1.7 million adults 18-49. Are We There Yet?’s second episode was the top-rated sitcom on ad-supported cable so far this year.

“We’ve built a Wednesday-night lineup that delivers a young, diverse audience,” said Michael Wright, executive VP and head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies, in a statement. “Are We There Yet? is a promising addition to a strong schedule that already features the hits Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns.

Debmar-Mercury originated a new model for developing, launching and selling sitcoms with House of Payne, which premiered in a 10-station test in summer 2006. After that test, TBS ordered 100 episodes. The show officially premiered on TBS on June 6, 2007, to 5.5 million viewers and 2.9 million adults 18-49, breaking basic-cable ratings records. The show is now in its third year on TBS, with a total of 172 episodes ordered, and in its second year of broadcast syndication.

A second show from Perry—Meet the Browns, based on the movie of the same title—launched its test on Jan. 7, 2009, delivering 3.7 million viewers and 2.3 million adults 18-49. Meet the Browns enters broadcast syndication this fall.

Are We There Yet?, the only one of the three without the benefit of the Perry brand, opened with the lowest ratings. But the show’s June premiere put it at a bit of a disadvantage when compared to Meet the Browns because levels of households using television are lower in the summer than they are in January.

Are We There Yet? lost an average of 17% of its audience in its second week, with 2.6 million and 2.8 million viewers tuning in at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., respectively. Among adults 18-49, Are We There Yet? attracted 1.5 million and 1.6 million viewers at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Those second-week ratings drop-offs are on par with both House of Payne’s and Meet the Browns’ performances. In fact, among adults 18-49, Are We There Yet? lost less audience than either of those shows: Are We There Yet? fell 10% among the key advertising demo in week two, while House of Payne declined nearly 40% and Meet the Browns dropped by nearly 25%.

House of Payne
is averaging nearly two million viewers at 8 p.m. and nearly 2.5 million at 8:30 in its third season. Meet the Browns, in season two, is averaging 2.84 million at 10 p.m. and 2.56 million viewers at 10:30 p.m., respectively.

TBS chose not to comment on whether it would pick up Are We There Yet?, saying it was still too early in the show’s run. The show’s 10-episode test runs through June 30. Should TBS pick up the show, Debmar-Mercury will take it into broadcast syndication for a fall 2012 premiere.

This fall, Debmar-Mercury will test Big Lake on Comedy Central. That show comes from Gary Sanchez Productions and the producing team of Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy; it stars Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz. That show will also enter broadcast syndication in fall 2012 if it goes to series.

Are We There Yet?
comes from the producing team of Cube Vision and Revolution Studios, with Cube Vision’s Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez and Revolution’s Joe Roth and Vince Totino serving as executive producers. Emmywinning producer Ali LeRoi, who produced Everybody Hates Chris and is Chris Rock’s producing partner, is the showrunner.

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