Quick Take for Thursday, May 22, 2008 (Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)
ABC Towers Over its Thursday Competition in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, Winning its 5th Straight Thursday in the Key Adult 18-49 Sales Demographic
ABC Draws its Biggest Thursday Audience in Over 1 Year and Garners
Its Highest Adult 18-49 Rating Since Season-Premiere Thursday in September
Far and Away the No. 1 TV Show of the Night, "Grey's Anatomy" Finale Stands as
TV's Highest Rated Scripted Series Telecast in Nearly 4 Months with Adults 18-49
Growing its Overall Audience for the 3rd Consecutive Week, ABC's "Ugly Betty" Sophomore Finale Generates its Top Viewer and Young Adult Numbers Since January
"Grey's Produces ABC's Top Viewer and Young Adult Numbers in the Time Period
In Over 1 Year, Representing the Series' Most-Watched Telecast Since November
Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
With season finales for "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's Anatomy," ABC towered over its Thursday night competition, which included summer season premieres on Fox ("So You Think You Can Dance" from 8:00-10:00 p.m.) and NBC ("Last Comic Standing" from 9:30-11:00 p.m.). During primetime, ABC beat out second-place Fox by 6.2 million viewers (14.8 million vs. 8.6 million) and by 62% in Adults 18-49 (5.5/16 vs. 3.4/10). On the heels of its Thursday night May Sweep victory, ABC won its 5th consecutive Thursday with Adults 18-49. The Net also dominated Thursday in the other two key adult demos: AD18-34 (5.1/16) and AD25-54 (6.3/17).
� ABC attracted its biggest Thursday audience in more than 1 year and its highest Adult 18-49 number on the evening since season premiere Thursday in September � since 5/17/07 and 9/27/07, respectively.
Editors Please Note: ABC's 2-hour season finale for "Lost" will air next Thursday (5/29/08) from 9:00-11:00 p.m.
"Ugly Betty" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
Opposite stiff competition in the 8 o'clock hour, including Fox's season premiere of "So You Think You Can Dance" and NBC's "Deal or No Deal," ABC's "Ugly Betty" took a solid second place in Total Viewers (8.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.8/9), while ranking No. 1 with Adults 25-54 (3.4/10-tie).
� Posting its top numbers since January (1/24/08) in viewers and young adults, "Betty" finished out its sophomore season growing its overall audience for 3 weeks straight and its Adult 18-49 audience for 2 consecutive weeks.
"Grey's Anatomy" (9:00-11:00 p.m.)
In its fourth-season finale, "Grey's Anatomy" shot to the top of its 2-hour time period and was far and away the No. 1 TV show on Thursday in Total Viewers (17.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (6.9/18). In fact ABC's "Grey's" overshadowed the second-highest rated shows of the evening by 7.5 million viewers and by 103% in Adults 18-49 � NBC's "Deal or No Deal = 10.3 million viewers and Fox's season premiere of "So You Think You Can Dance" = 3.4/10 in AD18-49. The ABC medical drama concluded its season, marking its 40th straight original telecast as Thursday's No. 1 TV show in Adults 18-49 � No. 1 on every single original airing since premiering on the evening in 2006.
� "Grey's Anatomy" season closer qualified as TV's highest-rated scripted series telecast in nearly 4 months among Adults 18-49 � since an episode of "House" on 2/5/08, which had the advantage of following an episode of "American Idol."
� In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, "Grey's" generated ABC's strongest performance in the time period in more than 1 year � since 5/3/07 and 5/17/07, respectively. In addition, it was the series' largest audience since November and its highest young adult number since January � since 11/15/07 and 1/10/08, respectively.
A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating trends based on the Live + Same Day data stream may be somewhat distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped from 16% at the same point in 2006-07, up to more than 24% currently. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.
Source: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings), 5/22/08.