[02/24/09 - 12:48 PM]
ABC Marks Its Most Competitive Finish During an "Oscar" Week in 4 Years in Viewers and Adults 18-49
ABC spins the numbers for the week of February 16-22.

[via press release from ABC]

Primetime Ratings Report For the week of February 16, 2009 (Based on National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)

ABC Marks its Most Competitive Finish During an "Oscar" Week in 4 Years In Viewers and Adults 18-49, and Strongest in 8 Years Among Adults 18-34

ABC Generates its Most-Watched Week in 5 Months and Matches Its Highest Rated Week with Adults 18-49 Since November 2007

ABC Airs 6 of the Week's Top 10 TV Programs in Adults 18-49, its Highest Number of Shows in the Weekly Top 10 in More Than 3 Years

ABC's "The Bachelor" Hits Season Highs, Drawing the Franchise's Largest Non-Finale Audience Since 2003 and Best Adults 18-49 Rating Since 2004

Penultimate Episode of "True Beauty" Hits Best-Since-Premiere Numbers in Viewers and Adults 18-49, Winning at 10pm for the 2nd Time in its Last 3 Monday Telecasts

Qualifying as Wednesday's No. 1 Scripted TV Show for the 5th Straight Week in Adults 18-49, "Lost" Defeats Fox's "Idol"-Fueled "Lie to Me" by a Best-Yet 27%

Hitting Season Highs in Viewers and Key Demos, "Lost" Marks the Series' Top Adult 18-49 Rating Since Last April and Best in Nearly 1 Year in Adults 18-34

Week to Week, "Life on Mars" Grows by 20% in Viewers and 25% in Adults 18-49

For the 3rd Week in a Row, ABC is No. 1 on Thursday Night in Adults 18-49

"Ugly Betty" Draws its Biggest Audience Since Early December and "Grey's Anatomy" Generates its Most-Watched Telecast in 3 Months

"Private Practice" Wins Thursday's 10pm Hour in Viewers and Adults 18-49 for the 3rd Straight Week, 63% Ahead of its Nearest Competitor in the Key Sales Demo

For the 2nd Straight Week, "Supernanny" Beats Original Dramas Friday at 9pm In Adults 18-49, Including "Flashpoint," "Dollhouse" and "Friday Night Lights"

For the 3rd Time in 4 Telecasts, "20/20" Ranks No. 1 in its Hour in Adults 18-49

With its Broadcast of the "81st Annual Academy Awards" ABC Beats its Combined Network Competition on Sunday by 5 Million Viewers and by 26% in Adults 18-49

"Oscars" Jump Year to Year by 4.2 Million Viewers and by 13% in Adults 18-49, Generating Across-the-Board Gains and Surging by 22% Among Men 18-34

WEEK No. 22:

ABC marked its most-competitive finish during an "Oscar" week in 4 years in both Total Viewers (11.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.8/10) � since the w/o 2/21/05 -- by pacing within 700,000 viewers and 12% in Adults 18-49 of an "Idol"-led Fox during the w/o 2/16/09. Placing No. 1 in Adults 18-34 (3.5/10-tie), ABC delivered its most-competitive performance during an "Oscar" week in that demo in 8 years � since w/o 3/19/01. The Net also finished No. 1 for the week across the key Women demographics: W18-34 (4.4/12), W18-49 (4.8/12) and W25-54 (5.3/12-tie).

� ABC's numbers were up over "Oscar" week last year by 12% in Total Viewers and by 18% in Adults 18-49 (w/o 2/18/08 = 9.9 million and 3.2/8). ABC has been up or even with the year-ago frame in Adults 18-49 on 6 of 7 weeks since the beginning of 2009.

� The Network drew its biggest audience in 5 months and matched its highest-rated week among Adults 18-49 since November 2007 � since w/o 9/22/08 and 11/26/07, respectively.

Rankings: ABC aired 6 of the week's Top 10 TV programs in Adults 18-49, representing the Net's highest-number of shows in the weekly Top 10 in over 3 years (since w/o 1/2/06, with its coverage of the college football "Bowl" games). In addition, for the 3rd straight week ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" finished as TV's No. 1 scripted show in the key young adult sales demo: "Academy Awards" � No. 1, "Oscar Red Carpet 2009" � No. 4, "Grey's Anatomy" � No. 5 (No. 1 scripted), "Lost" � No. 6 (No. 2 scripted), with "Private Practice" and "The Bachelor" tied at No. 9. The week's No. 1 TV show overall, ABC's "Academy Awards" telecast topped the No. 2 show of the week (Fox's "American Idol-Tuesday") by 10.9 million viewers to qualify as TV's most-watched entertainment telecast in 2 years � since 2/25/07. ABC News claimed the week's Top 2 newsmagazines in Adults 18-49, with "20/20" and "Primetime: What Would You Do?" "20/20" was also the week's No. 1 newsmagazine in Adults 25-54.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 30% currently, from 23% at the same point in 2008. 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.


ABC registered its strongest numbers to date with its Monday lineup of "The Bachelor" and "True Beauty" in Total Viewers (10.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.0/10). ABC won the night among Adults 18-34 (3.7/10), as well as leading Monday across each of the key Women demographics: Women 18-34 (5.4/13), Women 18-49 (5.9/14) and Women 25-54 (6.1/13). ABC has ranked No. 1 on the night among Women 18-34 for 7 weeks in a row, while taking top spot among Women 18-49 for the 6th time in the last 7 weeks.

"The Bachelor" (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Winning its 2-hour time slot in Adults 18-49 for the first time this season, ABC's "The Bachelor" registered season highs in both viewers (12.5 million) and young adults (4.4/10), building on the prior week's telecast for the 6th consecutive week. In fact "The Bachelor" has built on the prior week's performance for every telecast since its season premiere (1/5/09). In addition, "The Bachelor" attracted its largest non-finale audience in over 5 years and strongest Adults 18-49 rating in nearly 5 years � since 11/5/03 and 5/12/04, respectively.

� "The Bachelor" qualified as Monday's No. 1 TV program across all key Women demos: Women 18-34 (6.1/15), Women 18-49 (6.6/15) and Women 25-54 (6.9/14). In fact, "The Bachelor" stood as Monday's top program among Women 18-34 in all 7 of its telecasts this season.

� Growing from its first hour to its second hour in Total Viewers by 1.6 million (11.7 million to 13.3 million) and by 23% in Adults 18-49 (4.0/10 to 4.9/11), "The Bachelor" won the 9 o'clock hour in both viewers and young adults.

"True Beauty" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

The season's penultimate episode of "True Beauty" posted best-since-premiere numbers in Total Viewers (7.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.1/8). "True Beauty" won Monday's 10pm hour in Adults 18-49 for the 2nd time in its last 3 telecasts, while leading the time slot among Women 18-34 (3.9/10) on all 6 of its airings.


With its top numbers on the night in 4 weeks (since 1/21/09), ABC finished No. 2 to an "Idol"-boosted Fox on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49 (3.0/8) and Adults 18-34 (2.7/8).

� ABC's Wednesday night results were up sharply year to year, jumping by 2.1 million viewers (7.5 million vs. 5.4 million) and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.0/5) over the year-ago night (2/20/08). In fact it was ABC's 3rd straight week to register year-to-year young adult growth on the night, finishing up or even with the year-ago Wednesday for 5 weeks in a row.

"Lost" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

In the 8 o'clock hour, ABC's repeat of the prior week's "Lost" episode defeated NBC's original installment of "Knight Rider" in both Total Viewers (5.4 million vs. 5.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.9/5 vs. 1.5/4), holding an impressive 27% advantage over the NBC drama in the key young adult sales demo. The replay "Lost" finished second in the hour only to "Idol" in Adults 18-49.

"Lost" (9:00-10:02 p.m.)

Self-starter "Lost" shot up from its lead-in by 6.0 million viewers and by 174% in young adults to dominate the 9 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49, beating Fox's "Idol"-fueled "Lie to Me" by a best-yet 27% (5.2/13 vs. 4.1/10). "Lost" outdrew "Lie to Me" in Total Viewers for the first time (11.4 million vs. 11.1 million). Additionally, "Lost" asserted itself as Wednesday's No. 1 scripted TV show for the 5th straight week in the key young adult sales demo. The fifth-year ABC drama also won its time slot in the other key Adult demos, leading its nearest competitors by 32% in Adults 18-34 (4.9/13 vs. 3.7/10 � Fox's "Lie to Me") and by 17% in Adults 25-54 (5.5/12 vs. 4.7/11 � CBS' "Criminal Minds"). In fact, "Lost" registered as Wednesday's No. 1 scripted TV program across all key Adult, Men and Women demographics.

� Achieving season highs in Total Viewers, key Adults and Men, "Lost" marked the series' highest Adult 18-49 rating since last April (since 4/24/08) and its top numbers in nearly 1 year with Adults 18-34 (tie), Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 (tie) � since 4/24/08 and 2/28/08, respectively.

"Life on Mars" (10:02-11:00 p.m.)

In the 10 o'clock hour, ABC's "Life on Mars" topped originals of CBS' "C.S.I.: NY" and NBC's "Law & Order" by 8% among Men 18-34 (1.3/4 vs. 1.2/4 � NBC and CBS tied).

� Week to week, "Life on Mars" grew by nearly 1 million viewers (5.5 million vs. 4.6 million) and by 25% in Adults 18-49 (2.0/5 vs. 1.6/4).


For the 3rd straight week, ABC qualified as the No. 1 network on Thursday evening with young adults, outdelivering the second-place networks by 8% in Adults 18-49 (4.2/11 vs. 3.9/10 - CBS) and by 64% in Adults 18-34 (4.1/12 vs. 2.5/7 - Fox). The Net has been No. 1 on the evening on 4 of the last 5 weeks in Adults 18-49 and 5 of the last 6 weeks in Adults 18-34.

� ABC improved its Thursday numbers over the year-ago night (2/21/08) by 2.7 million viewers (11.5 million vs. 8.8 million) and by 27% in Adults 18-49 (4.2/11 vs. 3.3/8).

"Ugly Betty" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Ugly Betty" outdrew its NBC comedy competition in the 8 o'clock hour by 1.6 million viewers (7.6 million vs. 6.0 million � originals of "My Name is Earl"/"Kath & Kim"). "Betty" won the hour among its core audience of Women 18-34 (3.4/10). In fact it was the 14th time in its 15 original telecasts this season for "Betty" to register as the No. 1 series in the time period with young women.

� Growing its overall audience of the 2nd week in a row, "Ugly Betty" had its most-watched broadcast since early December � since 12/4/08.

"Grey's Anatomy" (9:00-10:02 p.m.)

Thursday's No. 1 TV program among young adults, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" defeated CBS' "C.S.I." by a best-of-season 34% in Adults 18-49 (5.9/15 vs. 4.4/11) and by a best-ever 152% in Adults 18-34 (5.8/16 vs. 2.3/6). It was "Grey's" 10th time in its last 11 original airings to rank as Thursday's No. 1 entertainment telecast with Adults 18-49, and the 10th time in as many airings among Adults 18-34.

� "Grey's Anatomy" generated its biggest audience (15.6 million) in 3 months � since 11/20/08.

"Private Practice" (10:02-11:00 p.m.)

Ranking No. 1 in the 10 o'clock hour for the 3rd consecutive week in both Total Viewers (11.2 million - tie) and Adults 18-49 (4.4/12), "Private Practice" soared to the top of the slot in the key young adult sales demo, beating its nearest competition by 63% (2.7/7 - NBC's "ER"). In fact "Private Practice" marked its 4th time in its past 5 telecasts to win the hour in Adults 18-49 and has registered as the No. 1 entertainment telecast with Adults 18-34 on all 7 of its airings in the slot.

� Versus the Net's performance in the hour on the same night last year (2/21/08) with an original "Eli Stone," "Private Practice" improved the time period for ABC by 4.0 million viewers (11.2 million vs. 7.2 million) and by 76% in Adults 18-49 (4.4/12 vs. 2.5/7).


"Wife Swap" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

A rebroadcast "Wife Swap" beat its unscripted competition in the hour, NBC's back-to-back episodes of "Howie Do It," in Adults 18-49 (1.3/4 vs. 1.1/4).

"Supernanny" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Building on its lead-in, ABC's "Supernanny" beat out all-original drama competition in the 9 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49 (1.8/5) for the second week in a row, leading Fox's "Dollhouse" (1.7/5), CBS' "Flashpoint" (1.6/5) and NBC's "Friday Night Lights" (1.3/4).

"20/20" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

For the 3rd time in its last 4 telecasts, ABC News' "20/20" ranked No. 1 in the 10 o'clock hour in both Adults 18-49 (2.0/6) and Adults 25-54 (2.5/7).

� For the 8th consecutive week, "20/20" outperformed its newsmagazine competition in the hour, NBC's "Dateline," in both Total Viewers (7.2 million vs. 5.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.0/6 vs. 1.6/5).


With coverage of the "81st Annual Academy Awards," ABC towered over its combined network competition on Sunday evening. During primetime, ABC outdrew the other networks combined by 5.0 million viewers (28.9 million vs. 23.9 million � CBS, NBC, Fox and CW) and by 26% in Adults 18-49 (9.3/23 vs. 7.4/18).

"Barbara Walters Special" (7:00 - 8:00 p.m.)

ABC's telecast of "Barbara Walters Special" drew an average audience of 11.6 million viewers and delivered a 3.1/9 among Adults 18-49, qualifying as the most-watched TV show in its time period.

"Oscar's Red Carpet 2009" (8:00 - 8:30 p.m.)

With "Oscar's Red Carpet 2009" pre-show, ABC pulled in 24.4 million viewers and a 7.2/19 among Adults 18-49 from 8:00-8:30 p.m. Versus last year, the "Oscars Red Carpet" pre-show increased by 2.9 million viewers and by 13% in Adults 18-49 (2008 = 21.5 million viewers & 6.4 rating in Adults 18-49). The special ranked a definitive No. 1 in its time slot with Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.

The "81st Annual Academy Awards" (8:30-11:25 p.m.)

ABC's broadcast of the "81st Annual Academy Awards" attracted an average audience of 36.3 million Total Viewers and posted a 12.1/29 among Adults 18-49. The "81st Annual Academy Awards" registered as TV's most-watched entertainment telecast of the 2008-09 TV Season, surpassing the No. 2 telecast by 5.9 million viewers ("American Idol-Tuesday" season premiere on 1/13/09 = 30.4 million). In fact the "Oscars" registered as television's most-watched entertainment telecast in 2 years and highest-rated among Adults 18-49 in 1 year � since 2/25/07 and 2/12/08, respectively.

� Year to year, the "Oscars" gained 4.3 million viewers (36.3 million vs. 32.0 million) and grew 13% in Adults 18-49 (12.1/29 vs. 10.7/26). The awards show was up across the board demographically (all key Adults/Men/Women), registering its biggest increase over last year among hard-to-reach Men 18-34, jumping by 22% (8.9/25 vs. 7.3/20). Among TV's youngest viewers, the telecast surged by 25% year-to-year in Teens 12-17 (6.5/20 vs. 5.2/18) and by 33% in Kids 2-11 (3.2/13 vs. 2.4/10), pulling in its best Teen number in 3 years (since 2006).

� ABC's "81st Annual Academy Awards" (36.3 million) towered above other awards shows this season, topping the 2008 "Emmy Awards" by 24.0 million viewers (12.3 million), the 2009 "Golden Globe Awards" by 21.4 million viewers (14.9 million) and the 2009 "Grammy Awards" by 17.3 million viewers (19.0 million).

� ABC's "81st Annual Academy Awards" reached 67.56 million unique television viewers across the U.S. � unduplicated Viewers 2+ watching 6-minutes or more during its telecast.


With more interactive features and video content than ever before, Oscar.com saw major year-to-year increases on "Oscar" Sunday, with unique visitors and page views up 57% and 87%, respectively. Users spent an average of 11.63 minutes on the site per visit, a 15% increase compared to last year.

Source: Nielsen Media Research (National Live+Same Day Program Ratings), week of 2/16/09, unless stated otherwise.

  [february 2009]  

· 20/20 (ABC)
· ER (NBC)

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