Melissa McCarthy is having a nice film career, so how come her CBS sitcom, "Mike & Molly," isn't turning into a major TV hit?
"Mike & Molly" returned for its fourth season last week with less-than-robust ratings: 9.2 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. It was the worst premiere showing for the series and a 16% tumble in the key adults ages 18 to 49 demographic compared with last year, according to Nielsen.
And this week, the CBS sitcom slipped a bit more, to 8.6 million.
In today's world, those are decent if not thrilling numbers. The season premiere still rated in the top 15 shows for the week in 18 to 49.
But one might expect more given how McCarthy's film career has taken off. In 2011 she broke out with a character part in the hit "Bridesmaids." Since then she's starred opposite Jason Bateman in "Identity Thief" and Sandra Bullock in "The Heat."
What's more, "Mike & Molly" comes from the comedy toyshop of writer-producer Chuck Lorre, who turned "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory" into gold for CBS and Warner Bros.
As it turns out, "Mike & Molly" is weighed down by the overall comedy problems afflicting CBS. The network, which used to confine comedy to Monday nights, has tried to expand with a Thursday lineup as well. With the exception of "Big Bang," this ambitious push hasn't delivered big returns. "Mike & Molly" is stuck on Mondays, where it's hit hard by NBC's singing contest "The Voice."
Then too film stardom doesn't always translate to big viewership. Look at Steve Carell on NBC's "The Office": Acclaimed show and role, but the numbers were never earth-shaking.
Whatever the reasons for "Mike & Molly's" underwhelming numbers, though, they haven't hurt CBS much. The network still won last week in total viewers and tied in adults ages 18 to 49.
What do you think of "Mike & Molly" and McCarthy?