[09/29/09 - 10:12 AM]
ABC Wins Premiere Week in Adults 18-49
ABC spins the numbers for the week of September 21-27.

[via press release from ABC]

Primetime Ratings Report For the week of September 21, 2009 (Based on National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)

ABC Wins Premiere Week in Adults 18-49, its 5th Consecutive Year At No. 1 and the Longest Winning Streak for Any Network in 10 Years

The Network Turns in its Strongest Non-Oscar Week in 1 Year

ABC Claims TV's Top 3 New Non-Spinoff Series in Adults 18-49 With "Cougar Town," "Modern Family" and "FlashForward"

Opposite Stiff Season Premiere Competition Across the Networks, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Emerges as Monday's Most-Watched TV Show

Improving Monday's 10 O'clock Hour for ABC, "Castle" Beats Out NBC's "Jay Leno" by Wide Margins in Viewers and Young Adults

Tuesday from 8-10pm, "DWTS" Beats NBC's "Loser" and Fox's "Kitchen"

Debut of "the forgotten" Beats NBC's "Leno" Tuesday at 10pm, Marking ABC's Best Numbers with a Scripted Series Telecast in the Hour in Nearly 1-1/2 Years

"Cougar Town" Debut Finishes as Wednesday's No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49

Delivering Strong Time Slot Improvement Year to Year, "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" Demonstrate Impressive Compatibility for ABC on Wednesday

Wednesday's "Eastwick" Debut Defeats "Leno" by Wide Margins, Bringing Substantial Increases to the Time Period for ABC in Viewers and Young Adults

ABC Wins the Opening Thursday of the Season in Viewers and Key Adults For the 2nd Straight Year and Marks its Best Results on the Night in 1 Year

Marking a 20-Month-High for ABC in its Time Slot, "FlashForward" Opens as The First Regular Series Telecast to Beat "Survivor" Since "Friends" in 2004

Standing as the No. 1 TV Show on Thursday and Towering Over its 2-Hour Time Slot, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" Turns in its Strongest Results in 1 Year

ABC Friday Night Repeats Beat Fox and NBC Premieres in Adults 18-49, While ABC News' "20/20" Finishes as the Evening's No. 1 TV Show

For the 2nd Straight Week, ABC Wins with "Saturday Night Football"

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Posts its Best Results in 6 Months and "Housewives" Opens as Sunday's Most-Watched Entertainment Program

WEEK No. 1:

ABC won the opening week of the 2009-10 TV Season (w/o 9/21/09) among Adults 18-49 (3.3/9), outpacing second-place CBS by 3% (3.2/9), third-place Fox by 6% (3.1/9) and fourth-place NBC by 22% (2.7/8). In fact ABC marked its 5th consecutive year to finish No. 1 during premiere week, representing the longest winning streak for any network in 10 years � since an NBC streak from 1995 through 1999.

� ABC marked its strongest non-Oscar week in 1 year in Total Viewers (11.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.3/9) � since the week of 9/22/08.

Rankings: ABC placed 6 of the Top 20 TV shows during premiere week in Adults 18-49, including the No. 1 scripted program with "Grey's Anatomy" (tied w/"House") and the Top 3 new non-spinoff series with "Cougar Town," "Modern Family" and "FlashForward": "Grey's Anatomy" � No. 2, "Desperate Housewives" � No. 7, "Cougar Town" � No. 10, "Modern Family" � No. 15, "Dancing with the Stars" � No. 16 and "FlashForward" � No. 18. In fact it was the 5th consecutive year for ABC to claim the No. 1 scripted TV show during premiere week in the key young adult sales demo. The Net aired 4 of the Top 10 most-watched television shows for the week: "Dancing with the Stars" � No. 3, "Grey's Anatomy" � No. 6, "Dancing w/the Stars � 9/22" � No. 9 and "Dancing w/Stars Result SP-9/23" � No. 10. "Grey's" also finished out premiere week as the No. 1 TV show among Adults 25-54 and across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54). In addition, the openers of ABC's "Cougar Town" and "Modern Family" registered as TV's highest-rated non-spinoff comedy debuts in nearly 2 years in the key young adult sales demo � since 10/15/07.

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 33% currently, from 27% at the same point in 2007. 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" (8:00-10:01 p.m.)

Up against season premiere programming on each of the networks (CBS = 8:00-10:00 p.m. comedies/NBC = 2-hour "Heroes"/Fox = 2-hour "House"), ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" opened its 9th season as Monday's most-watched TV show (17.8 million). "DWTS" won its time period in Total Viewers, and among Adults 18-49 "Dancing" (4.1/10) outpaced CBS' 8:00-10:00 p.m. comedy block (4.0/10) and overshadowed NBC's 2-hour "Heroes" opener by 46% (2.8/7).

� In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, "Dancing with the Stars" generated ABC's best numbers in the time period since early May � since 5/11/09.

"Castle" (10:01-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite CBS' "CSI: Miami" premiere in the 10 o'clock hour, the season opener of ABC's "Castle" beat out NBC's "Jay Leno" by 3.5 million viewers (9.3 million vs. 5.8 million) and by 28% in Adults 18-49 (2.3/6 vs. 1.8/5).

� "Castle" improved its time period for ABC, bettering the Network's averages last Fall with original scripted programming in the hour by 12% in Total Viewers and by 10% in Adults 18-49 (4th Quarter '08 "Boston Legal" = 8.3 million and 2.1/5).


"Dancing with the Stars" (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Facing stiff competition during its telecast from 8:00-10:00 p.m. (CBS = "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles"/NBC = 2-hour "Biggest Loser"/Fox = 2-hour "Hell's Kitchen"), the second night of ABC's 3-night "Dancing with the Stars" premiere event took second place to CBS with its "NCIS" block in Total Viewers (15.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.5/9). In fact in its 2-hour slot, ABC's "DWTS" outdrew its combined unscripted competition on NBC and Fox, surpassing "Biggest Loser" by 7.9 million viewers (7.5 million) and "Hell's Kitchen" by 8.5 million viewers (6.9 million). From 9:00-10:00 p.m., "DWTS" moved up to the No. 1 position in its second hour among key Women (W18-49/W25-54), topping CBS' "NCIS: Los Angeles."

� "Dancing" generated ABC's biggest overall audience with regular programming in the 2-hour time period in nearly 2 years and its highest Adult 18-49 number in 10 months � since 11/27/07 and 11/25/08, respectively.

"the forgotten" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC's series debut of "the forgotten" earned second place in the 10:00 p.m. hour among Total Viewers (9.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.6/7), finishing 2.6 million viewers ahead of NBC's "Jay Leno" (6.9 million and 2.5/7).

� "the forgotten" improved the hour year to year for ABC by double digits in Total Viewers (+13%) and Adults 18-49 (+18%) over its year-ago opener in the time slot with "Eli Stone" (8.4 million and 2.2/6 on 10/14/08).

� In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, "the forgotten" produced the Network's highest numbers in the hour with a regular scripted series telecast in almost 1-1/2 years � since 4/22/08.


ABC finished in a virtual tie with CBS for No. 1 on the opening Wednesday of the '09-10 TV Season in Adults 18-49, pacing within one-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share (3.5/10 vs. 3.6/10). In fact the openers of ABC's "Cougar Town" and "Modern Family" registered as TV's highest-rated non-spinoff comedy debuts in nearly 2 years in the key young adult sales demo � since 10/15/07.

� Versus ABC's Wednesday night roll-out last year (on 10/1/08), the Net was up by 4.7 million viewers (11.9 million vs. 7.2 million) and by 35% in Adults 18-49 (3.5/10 vs. 2.6/7). ABC generated its most-watched Wednesday night in 10 months � since 11/12/08.

"Dancing with the Stars Results" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

On the third evening of its 3-night premiere event, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" dominated the 8 o'clock hour in Total Viewers (15.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.3/10), topping second-place Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" by 32% in the key sales demo (2.5/8). In a double-elimination, Macy Gray and Ashley Hamilton were the first two celebrity dancers to be eliminated from the contest this season.

"Modern Family" (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Surging 27% from its Adult 18-49 lead-in at 9:00 p.m. and becoming the first-ever comedy to build on "DWTS," the series premiere of "Modern Family" ranked No. 1 in its half-hour among Adults 18-49 (4.2/11-tie).

� "Modern Family" greatly improved the half-hour year to year for ABC, pacing ahead of the "Private Practice" (3.2/8) opener last season by 31% in Adults 18-49.

� "Modern Family" drew ABC's biggest overall audience (12.6 million) in the half-hour with regular programming in 2 years � since 9/26/07.

"Cougar Town" (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

Exhibiting impressive compatibility for ABC in the time slot, ABC's "Cougar Town" grew from its "Modern Family" lead-in by 5% among Adults 18-49 (4.4/11) to finish as Wednesday's No. 1 TV show (tied w/"Criminal Minds"). In fact "Cougar Town" also built on "Modern Family" in Adults 18-34 and Adults 25-54.

� Like its lead-in, "Cougar Town" substantially grew its time period year to year, topping the second half-hour of the year-ago "Private Practice" opener (3.4/8) by 29% in Adults 18-49.

"Eastwick" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite CBS' season opener of time-period veteran "CSI: NY," ABC's series debut of "Eastwick" earned second place in the 10 o'clock hour, beating out NBC's "Jay Leno" by over 2 million viewers (8.5 million vs. 6.4 million) and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.0/5).

� "Eastwick" finished well ahead of the "Dirty Sexy Money" premiere in the hour last season, boosting the time period for ABC year to year by 1.5 million viewers and by 25% in Adults 18-49 ("DSM" = 7.0 million and 2.4/7 on 10/1/08).

� Excluding only the "Lost" premiere and finale last season, "Eastwick" produced ABC's highest viewer and young adult numbers in the time period with regular programming in almost 2 years � since 10/17/07 and 10/24/07, respectively.


ABC took first place on the opening Thursday of the season in viewers and all key Adults (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54), beating second-place CBS by 1.2 million viewers (15.5 million vs. 14.3 million) and by 53% in Adults 18-49 (5.8/16 vs. 3.8/10). In fact ABC won all 6 half-hours of the evening in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. It was ABC's 2nd straight year to lead the season-opening Thursday in viewers and all key adult demographics.

� In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC's registered its strongest Thursday in 1-year � since 9/25/08.

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

ABC's series debut of "FlashForward" won the 8 o'clock hour in viewers (12.5 million) and young adults (4.0/12), upsetting CBS' time-period veteran "Survivor: Samoa" by 8% in Adults 18-49 (3.7/11). The new ABC drama gained viewers (12.1 million to 12.8 million) and young adult audience (3.8/12 to 4.3/12) throughout the course of its premiere telecast.

� "FlashForward" became the first regular series telecast on any network to defeat "Survivor" in Adults 18-49 since April 2004 � since NBC last did it with "Friends" on 4/29/04.

� In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, "FlashForward" registered as the biggest scripted series premiere on any network in the 8 o'clock hour since January 2008 � since Fox's debut of "Sarah Connor Chronicles" on Sunday 1/13/08, which had the enormous advantage of airing after an ultra-high-rated NFL playoff game on that night (Cowboys-NY Giants).

� In viewers and young adults, the "FlashForward" opener produced ABC's best performance in the time period with regular programming in 20 months � since 1/31/08.

"Grey's Anatomy" (9:00-11:00 p.m.)

Thursday's No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (17.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (6.7/17) on its sixth-season premiere, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" overshadowed its 2-hour time period. From 9:00-11:00 p.m., "Grey's Anatomy" topped CBS' "CSI"/"The Mentalist" combo (15.5 million and 3.8/10) by 1.5 million viewers and by 76% in Adults 18-49.

� In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, "Grey's Anatomy" turned in its strongest performance since its year-ago season premiere last September (9/25/08). Please note: On the same night last year, the "Grey's" season premiere had the added advantage of not airing against original drama programming on CBS.

Please note: Based on last season ('08-09), "Grey's Anatomy" was the most recorded and played back program on all of TV, as the show gained +2.5 million viewers and grew by +1.2 rating points in Adults 18-49 (+21%) from its first reported Live + Same Day number to its Live + 7 Day number. With current DVR penetration 33% this season, up from about 27% at the same point a year ago, "Grey's" will see substantial increases in viewership throughout the season from the initially reported next-day overnight ratings to the final numbers including all DVR playback.


Although 2/3 of its schedule was in repeats, ABC took second place on Friday night among Adults 18-49 to CBS with its season premieres. In fact ABC (1.7/6) upset NBC's season opening Friday by 21% (1.4/5) and Fox's Friday premieres by 70% (1.0/4). ABC's 20/20 stood as Friday's No. 1 TV show in Adults 18-49 (2.3/7-tie).

� ABC equaled its highest-rated Friday night in 6 months � since 3/27/09.

"FlashForward"/"Modern Family"/"Cougar Town" (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Generating additional sampling for the new series, quick-turnaround replays of ABC's "FlashForward," "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" from 8:00-10:00 p.m. (1.4/5) defeated Fox's season premiere lineup ("Brothers" and "Dollhouse") by 40% (1.0/4), while equaling NBC's 2-hour block of season debuts ("Law & Order" and "Dateline") among Adults 18-49.

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

Friday's highest-rated television show, ABC News' "20/20" dominated the 10 o'clock hour with Adults 18-49 (2.3/7), beating CBS' season premiere of "Numbers" by 28% (1.8/6) and NBC's "Jay Leno" by 44% (1.6/5). The newsmagazine also finished No. 1 from 10:00-11:00 p.m. in the key Adults 25-54 news demo (2.6/8).

� "20/20" earned its highest Adult 18-49 rating (2.3/7) since February, while posting its biggest audience (7.3 million) and highest Adult 25-54 (2.6/8) numbers since March � since 2/13/09 and 3/27/09, respectively.


With coverage of "Saturday Night Football," featuring Iowa at Penn State, ABC won Saturday evening for the 2nd straight week in Total Viewers (6.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.3/8). The Network outdelivered its nearest competitors during prime by 1.1 million viewers (CBS = 5.2 million) and by 53% in Adults 18-49 (Fox = 1.5/5).


"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

Building sharply on its lead-in (+3.2 million viewers and +48% in Adults 18-49) at 8:00 p.m. against stiff competition during its regular time period premiere, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" generated its best results in more than 6 months with Total Viewers (10.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.1/8-tie) � since 3/1/09 and 3/22/09, respectively.

"Desperate Housewives" (9:00-10:01 p.m.)

Opposite heavy competition on the night from sports-boosted CBS (NFL overrun) and NBC (Sunday Night Football) and Fox with the highly-anticipated "The Cleveland Show" debut, ABC's sixth-season premiere of "Desperate Housewives" stood as Sunday's most-watched entertainment program (13.6 million). Among Adults 18-49, the ABC show (4.7/11) beat out its non-sports competition on Fox ("Family Guy"/"American Dad" = 4.5/10) and CBS ("Amazing Race" = 3.4/8) in the 9 o'clock hour. "Housewives" dominated its slot with all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), registering as Sunday's No. 1 television show on all 3 counts.

� "Desperate Housewives" was up from where it finished out last season during the 2009 May Sweep in both viewers and young adults (13.5 million and 4.5/11).

"Brothers & Sisters" (10:01-11:00 p.m.)

ABC's fourth-season premiere of "Brothers & Sisters" defeated its drama competition in the 10 o'clock hour, drawing a larger overall audience than "Cold Case" (9.4 million vs. 9.2 million) and leading the CBS program by 43% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.1/6). "Brothers & Sisters" finished No. 1 in the hour across in Women demos (W18-49/W25-54).

� Like its lead-in, "Brothers & Sisters" picked up where it left off in May 2009, gaining Total Viewers and holding even with Adults 18-49 (9.1 million and 3.0/8).

Source: Nielsen Media Research (National Live+Same Day Program Ratings), week of 9/21/09, unless stated otherwise.

  [september 2009]  

· 20/20 (ABC)

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