Primetime Ratings Report For the week of May 19, 2008 (Based on National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)
ABC Finishes a Solid No. 2 to an "Idol"-Fueled Fox for the Week
In Adults 18-49, Beating No. 3 CBS by 24% and No. 4 NBC by 63%
The Net Airs 3 of the Top 5 Most-Watched TV Shows During the Week
And Claims 5 of the Top 20 Television Programs Among Adults 18-49
For the 7th Straight Week, ABC Airs the No. 1 Scripted Series in Adults 18-49,
As "Grey's Anatomy" Finale is TV's Highest Scripted Telecast in Nearly 4 Months
ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Dominates its Time Slot on its Monday Finale,
Finishing No. 1 in Viewers and Adults 18-49 on All 10 Telecasts This Season
Attracting its Biggest Audience in 6 Weeks, "DWTS" Stands as
Monday's Most-Watched TV Show on Each of its 10 Airings
On the Final Tuesday of the TV Season, ABC Turns in its Strongest
Performance on the Night in 6 Months with Viewers and Young Adults
In its Sixth-Season Finale, ABC's "DWTS" Overcomes an "Idol"-Driven Fox and
CBS' 2-Hour "NCIS" Season Ender to Win its Slot in Viewers and Adults 18-49
Hitting Season-Highs on the Evening, "DWTS" Season Closer Generates ABC's Top
Numbers in the Tuesday 9-11pm Slot Since November and 2nd Highest This Season
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
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
ABC Sports' Coverage of the 2008 NBA Conference Finals is No. 1 on Saturday in
Viewers and Young Adults, Up from Playoff Coverage on the Same Night Last Year
WEEK No. 35:
During the week containing the final nights of the TV Season and the first nights of the summer frame leading into Memorial Day weekend (w/o 5/19/08), ABC ranked No. 2 to an "Idol"-fueled Fox among Adults 18-49. In the key young adult sales demographic, ABC (2.6/8) defeated No. 3 CBS by 24% (2.1/6) and No. 4 NBC by 63% (1.6/5).
Rankings: ABC claimed 5 of the week's Top 20 TV programs in Adults 18-49, placing 3 in the Top 10 and airing TV's No. 1 scripted series with the "Grey's Anatomy" season finale: "Grey's Anatomy" � No. 3, " "Dancing w/Stars Results" � No. 5, "Dancing with the Stars" � No. 9, "The Bachelorette" � No. 17 and "Ugly Betty" � No. 18. As the Network aired the No. 1 scripted show for the 7th straight week in the key young adult sales demo, the "Grey's Anatomy" season closer represented TV's highest-rated scripted series broadcast in nearly 4 months � since an episode of "House" on 2/5/08, which had the advantage of following an installment of "American Idol." Trailing only Fox's Tuesday and Wednesday finales for "Idol," ABC aired 3 of the Top 5 most-watched television shows of the week: "Dancing w/Stars Results" � No. 3, "Dancing with the Stars" � No. 4 and "Grey's Anatomy" � No. 5.
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.
"Dancing with the Stars" (8:00-9:05 p.m.)
Ranking No. 1 in its time period for the 10th consecutive week (on each telecast this season), ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" posted a dominant victory in its Monday finale. In its 8 o'clock time slot, "DWTS" defeated second-place Fox's season finale of "Bones" by 8.9 million viewers (19.2 million vs. 10.3 million) and by 29% in Adults 18-49 (4.4/13 vs. 3.4/10)
� Attracting its biggest audience in 6 weeks (since 04/07/08), "Dancing with the Stars" qualified as Monday's most-watched television program for the 10th time in as many weeks. It outdrew the No. 2 show of the night, Fox's season finale of "House," by 2.8 million viewers ("House = 16.4 million from 9:00-10:00 p.m.).
"The Bachelorette" (9:05-11:00 p.m.)
Drawing an average audience of 8.1 million viewers and a 2.9/7 in Adults 18-49 in its premiere against season finale competition on the other nets, "The Bachelorette" took second place in its time period among its core audience of Women 18-34 (3.5/9).
� "The Bachelorette" built its audience across each of the key adult demographics from its first hour to its second hour: Adults 18-34 (2.1/6 to 2.6/7), Adults 18-49 (2.8/7 to 3.0/8) and Adults 25-54 (3.5/8 vs. 3.6/9).
Posting its top numbers on the night in 6 months (since 11/27/07), ABC earned second place to Fox on the final Tuesday of the season in Total Viewers (16.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.2/11).
"Dancing with the Stars Results" (9:00-11:00 p.m.)
In its sixth season finale, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" produced season-high numbers on the night and posted a convincing victory its 2-hour time period in both Total Viewers (20.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (5.4/14). The show topped all 4 half-hours in Viewers, and after overcoming an "Idol"-fueled "Hell's Kitchen" at 9:30 p.m. in Adults 18-49, ranked No. 1 in each of its final 3 half-hours in the key young adult sales demo. Also worth noting from 9:00-10:00 p.m., "DWTS" topped the second hour of CBS' 2-hour season finale of "NCIS" by 1.5 million viewers (19.4 million vs. 17.9 million). Surging from its lead-in and gaining audience throughout its telecast, the finale grew by 2.4 million viewers (18.8 million to 21.2 million) and by 23% in Adults 18-49 (4.8/12 to 5.9/16) Olympic champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi won the ABC dance competition this season, becoming just the second woman to win the mirror ball trophy in the show's history.
� Generating the top Tuesday numbers of its sixth season in viewers and young adults, the "Dancing with the Stars" finale attracted ABC's second-highest numbers in the time period this season, its best results since November � since 11/27/07.
� On all 9 of its telecasts on the night during its sixth season, "DWTS" qualified as Tuesday's second-most-watched TV show to "American Idol."
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 6.3 million viewers (15.0 million vs. 8.7 million) and by 60% in Adults 18-49 (5.6/16 vs. 3.5/10). 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 (5.2/16) and AD25-54 (6.5/17).
� 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 this coming 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 Women 25-54 (4.7/13).
� 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 (18.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (7.0/19). In fact ABC's "Grey's" overshadowed the second-highest rated shows of the evening by 7.8 million viewers and by 100% 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" = 3.5/10 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.
With ABC Sports' coverage of the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Finals game between the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons (Game 3), ABC won Saturday night in both Total Viewers (4.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.8/7), beating its nearest competition on the evening by 38% in the key young adult sales demographic (1.3/5 - Fox).
� ABC was up over the same night last year, when it also aired an NBA Conference Finals Game (San Antonio-Utah), by 12% in Total Viewers and by 20% in Adults 18-49 (4.3 million and 1.5/6 on 5/26/07).
� The NBA Playoff game stood as Saturday's No. 1 TV program in viewers, as well as across all key adult (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54) and men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).
With an all-repeat lineup ("AFV"/"Home Edition"/"Desperate Housewives"/"Brothers & Sisters"), ABC earned second place on Sunday in Adults 18-49 (1.1/4) to Fox's NASCAR race coverage, beating CBS by 10% (1.0/4) and NBC by 22% (0.9/4), even though both nets aired some original programming on the evening.