Suddenly Susan is actually the top-rated new series of the season, and NBC Entertainment head Warren Littlefield was quick to stand behind the show, saying that 3rd Rock from the Sun and other hits have been put on ice and successfully revived. But the show has been slipping about 25 percent off the Seinfeld viewership. That top-rated comedy pulls a 21.7 rating (every rating point equals 970,000 homes) and a 33 percent share of the TV sets in use, compared to Susan's 18.7 and 29.
In turning to Leoni, the network is replacing one lanky beauty prone to do physical shtick with another. Leoni was previously in a short-lived Fox sitcom, Flying Blind, and this year's comedy feature Flirting with Disaster. And, like Susan, The Naked Truth takes place in a magazine office. The show first ran on ABC and will be somewhat altered for its NBC run, most importantly by the addition of Cheers vet George Wendt as Leoni's boss and by moving Leoni's character from her job on a scandal rag to a more mainstream publication.
Changes over at ABC, too. Townies, starring Molly Ringwald, loses its place at 8:30 Wednesday night as of next week to Coach, the nine-season-old show which the network pulled in late October. Townies hit a 8.7 rating and 14 share this week.