A little fun fact: NO ORDINARY FAMILY is not the only ABC show with Michael Chiklis that premiered on September 28. Back in 1991, after a kerfuffle between CBS and producer Stephen Cannell, THE COMMISH premiered on ABC and gave Chiklis the chance to show his humor in the early 1990s, by portraying an aging and overweight police commissioner, solving crime and chasing criminals in a small New York upstate – you know, what all TV police commissioners should do, when they are getting old and fat. The show was originally set for CBS, but thanks to some early casting differences and opinions between CBS and Cannell, the latter quickly shopped the show to ABC, where it became a solid Nielsen performer.
Granted, the show was never a success, but I don’t believe ABC was expecting a hit on Saturday nights at 10:00pm. During the first half of the season though, THE COMMISH regularly landed in the midfield of the weekly Nielsen charts, albeit it won the fight against CBS in that hour, giving Cannell somewhat of a satisfaction. Things changed in 1992 though and suddenly the numbers were rising. Not by much, but by enough to have ABC think about ordering a second season very quickly. Show usually don’t tend to perform better in the second half of the first season, except you’re HOUSE, M.D. (thanks to AMERICAN IDOL) or GLEE (thanks to AMERICAN IDOL). THE COMMISH outperformed for ABC though and deserved a run that would see the show survive for another three and a fourth of a season.