There was so much hype for the return of Murphy Brown -- interviews, magazine covers, think pieces. But when Season 11 premiered in 2018, 20 years after the original run ended, the result was underwhelming. That's not to say the show didn't get many viewers, but it got fewer than expected, and Murphy Brown went out with a whimper after 13 episodes.
The Vampire Diaries alum Nina Dobrev just premiered her new show Fam in the same timeslot. That sitcom didn't get the hype of Murphy Brown, but it got better ratings in the advertiser-loving 18-49 demo. So, in short, it's a bigger win for CBS.
The Fam series premiere aired Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and earned 7.34 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demo. According to TVLine, that was a marked improvement on timeslot predecessor Murphy Brown's average of 6.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating; Murphy Brown's finale only had 5.2 million and a 0.7 rating.
Granted, the Murphy Brown premiere had 7.5 million viewers, which is slightly more than Fam had for its debut. But the ratings still rule the roost, and Fam topped it in that area.
TV shows often see their biggest numbers with premieres and then a decline from there. We'll have to see if that's the case for Fam. In major success stories -- like Game of Thrones -- a show gains viewers over time. In other stories -- like The Walking Dead -- a show gains viewers then loses them again in a car crash playing out weekly before our eyes.
When it comes to Fam, Nina Dobrev admitted she wasn't looking to do more TV so soon after leaving The Vampire Diaries, but she fell in love with her character, Clem, and she liked the idea of pushing herself out of her comfort zone to perform in front of a live studio audience.
Interestingly enough, on the same night that Nina Dobrev was launching her new show, her Vampire Diaries character's BFF was playing an alien over on The Orville. Also, starting this coming Thursday, Dobrev's Fam will start competing against The Vampire Diaries and The Originals' joint spinoff, Legacies.
Legacies airs for an hour, starting at 9 p.m., but at 9:30 fans are going to have to make a choice between supporting Elena Gilbert Salvatore or the new kids at the Salvatore boarding school. (Or fans could skip both, but they shouldn't.)
Honestly, I watched the Fam premiere and thought it was pretty cute. But that's probably the last time I'm going to think about it. If I happen to have the comedy on again -- if my TV remote decides that's what's up -- I'll watch it. The cast is great. Nina Dobrev is always a joy. But I would rather watch Legacies for the mystery and drama. To each her own.
Fam airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS, right after The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, and Mom. Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW. Here's what else is airing in midseason 2019. Murphy Brown is apparently not returning for a second season, which may have always been the plan, but you know CBS would've tried to change that plan if the revival numbers had been higher.