ABC scores high in Adults 18-49

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ABCOverall: During the week of 5/21/12, ABC finished a strong second in viewers and young adults.  Among Adults 18-49, ABC beat out NBC by 46% and CBS by 58%.  ABC aired 7 of the Top 15 TV programs for the week in Adults 18-49 (the most for any net), claiming the #1 scripted series with Modern Family and the Top 2 freshman series with Revenge and Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23 tying for the top-spot:  Modern Family – #3, DWTS Results Show – #6, Dancing with the Stars – #10, NBA Playoffs on ABC – #13, while The Bachelorette, Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23 and Revenge tied at #15.  The Net delivered 3 of the Top 5 most-watched shows overall for the week, including the top scripted program: DWTS Results Show – #2, Dancing with the Stars – #3 and Modern Family – #5 overall/#1 scripted. ABC grew over the same week last year in both viewers (+4%) and young adults (+6%).


Monday: ABC capped out the final Monday of the season in winning fashion, standing as the night’s most-watched TV network on each of the final 10 weeks of 2011-12, outdrawing Fox with the series finale of House by 3.2 million viewers, NBC with America’s Got Talent and the season premiere of American Ninja Warrior by 3.3 million viewers and CBS’ encores by 5.0 million viewers. The Net nearly tied NBC for first place on the night in Adults 18-49 (pacing within 1-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share), while beating Fox by 4%.  ABC once again ran #1 on Monday across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54). During the 8 o’clock hour, ABC’s 1-hour Monday finale of Dancing with the Stars stood as the evening’s most-watched television program and topped its slot for the 10th straight week, outdrawing NBC’s America’s Got Talent in head-to-head competition by 7.1 million viewers.  In addition, the broad-appealing ABC dance competition won its slot with Adults 25-54 (#1 show of the night) and Women 18-49 (#1 show of the night).  DWTS built week to week in Total Viewers (+6%) and Adults 18-49 (+12%) to earn its best results in 1 month – since 4/23/12.  In addition, the show hit a 6-week high with Teens 12-17 and an 8-week high with Kids 2-11 – since 4/9/12 and 3/26/12, respectively. From 9-11pm, ABC’s The Bachelorette ranked as the #1 series in its 2-hour time period with Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, attracting 1.3 million more viewers than NBC’s season opener of American Ninja Warrior in the slot.  In addition, the ABC unscripted show finished the #1 in its time slot among key Women (W18-34/W18-49).  In fact, The Bachelorette stood as Monday’s #1 TV show among its core audience of Women 18-34.  For the 2nd straight week, The Bachelorette built on its Dancing lead in with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34.  The Bachelorette was up over its 2nd episode last season in both viewers (+4%) and young adults (+9%).

Tuesday: With a DWTS encore and the Grand Finale 14th-season closer of Dancing with the Stars, ABC qualified as the most-watched network on the final Tuesday of the season and sweep, outdrawing Fox with its Tuesday finale of Idol into the season finale of Glee by 3.6 million viewers and more than doubling the audience of NBC with America’s Got Talent and a Dateline 20th Anniversary special (+8.3 million viewers or +128%).  Finishing a solid second to Fox, ABC defeated NBC on the night by 18% in Adults 18-49.  Vaulting week to week in Total Viewers (+90%) and Adults 18-49 (+53%), ABC marked its strongest Tuesday in 6 months – since 11/22/11.   In fact, it was the Net’s 2nd-most-watched Tuesday of the season. In its 14th-season finale from 9-11pm, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Results Show won its 2-hour time period in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 to produce season-high numbers on the evening.  The Dancing finale dominated all 4 of its half-hours with Total Viewers to stand as the most-watched TV program of the night, topping the Tuesday finale of American Idol by 3.0 million viewers (up sharply from an 855k viewer advantage on the year-ago night). Outdrawing Fox’s Tuesday Idol closer for the 2nd consecutive year, ABC’s DWTS Results Show is the only TV program to accomplish the feat.  Super Bowl Champion and the all-time leading receiver for the Green Bay Packers Donald Driver won the coveted Mirror Ball trophy.  Soaring from its first hour to its second hour to deliver a decisive victory from 10-11pm, ABC’s DWTS Results Show beat the combined deliveries for CBS and NBC in the hour by 28% in Total Viewers, by 14% in Adults 25-54 and by 3% in Adults 18-49.  ABC’s DWTS Results Show spiked week to week by 35% in viewers and by 50% in young adults to generate its biggest numbers this season. In viewers and young adults, the Dancing finale scored ABC’s strongest performance in the time period since November (since 11/22/11), representing its 2nd-best numbers in the slot this season.

Wednesday: Opposite Fox’s American Idol season closer on the final evening of the season, ABC’s Wednesday night finales earned a strong second place among Adults 18-49, beating CBS by 73% and NBC by 73%.  Building week to week against the Idol finale in viewers (+10%) and young adults (+13%), ABC hit 3-month highs on Wednesday night on both counts – since 2/29/12.  Jumping over the year-ago night in viewers (+17%) and young adults (+13%), ABC marked its strongest season-ending Wednesday since 2007.  And on average for the 2011-12 season, ABC’s Wednesday delivery grew by 15% in viewers and by 23% in young adults over last season, scoring its best results on the evening in 5 years – since the 2006-07 television season.  At 8pm, ABC’s season finale of The Middle finished a solid #2 among its rivals to Idol in viewers and young adults, beating the season finale of NBC’s Off their Rockers by 20% and 33%, respectively. Gaining over the prior week in Adults 18-49 (+5%), The Middle equaled a 6-week high – since 4/11/12.  In addition, the ABC comedy matched a 12-week high with Adults 18-34 – since 2/29/12.  Improving for its second straight year (+4%), ABC’s The Middle marked its top-rated season yet in Adults 18-49. At 8:30pm among Adults 18-49, a repeat Modern Family beat out CBS’ encore Two and a Half Men by 75% and NBC’s encore Off their Rockers by 40%. TV’s #1 scripted series for the 2nd straight season in Adults 18-49, ABC’s season closer of Modern Family vaulted over its lead-in to stand as Wednesday’s top scripted program in both viewers and young adults.   The ABC comedy qualified as Wednesday’s highest rated scripted show on each original telecast this season with young adults.  Modern Family was up week to week in both viewers (+7%) and young adults (+5%).  Posting its best-ever season, on average, ABC’s Modern Family surged over last season by double-digit percentages in Total Viewers (+10%) and Adults 18-49 (+17%).  During the 9:30pm half-hour against the conclusion of Idol, the freshman season finale of ABC’s Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23 ranked as the #1 scripted series in its slot among the major nets with Adults 18-49. Shooting up over the prior week with viewers (+19%) and young adults (+26%), Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23 hit its highest Adult 18-49 number in 5 weeks – since 4/18/12.  The show also marked best-since premiere numbers with Adults 18-34 and key Men (M18-34/M18-49), despite facing NBA Playoff coverage on ESPN.  The new ABC comedy improved its slot year to year in Total Viewers (+8%) and Adults 18-49 (+20%), pacing ahead of the year-ago season finale for Cougar Town.  ABC’s freshman season finale of Revenge finished as the #1 series in the 10 o’clock hour, beating out the season ender of NBC’s veteran Law & Order: SVU in the slot by strong margins with Total Viewers (+11%), Adults 18-49 (+20%) and Adults 25-54 (+20%).  Jumping by double digits across the board week to week, Revenge drew its biggest audience in 20 weeks and equaled 15-week highs with Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 – since 1/4/12 and 2/8/12, respectively.  The Disney-owned drama produced substantial year-to-year gains in the hour, outdelivering season-finale programming on the same night last year in Viewers (+80%), Adults 25-54 (+43%) and Adults 18-49 (+33%).  On average, Revenge capped out its first season as ABC’s most-watched series in the hour in 5 years – since Lost during the 2006-07 season.

Thursday: ABC finished as the #2 broadcaster on Thursday evening in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.  Head to head from 8-10pm, ABC’s series debut of Duets outdrew Fox’s season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance, leading by 8% in Total Viewers. In addition, the new ABC unscripted show was the #2 series in the 2-hour time period with young adults (AD18-34/AD18-49), while finishing second among the broadcasters with Teens 12-17. The ABC singing competition gained 6% among young adults from its first to its second hour.  Duets greatly improved its time period for ABC over the year-ago night in Total Viewers (+55%) and Adults 18-49 (+55%), representing the Net’s biggest audience in the slot on the first post-season Thursday in 4 years and its top young adult number in 3 years – since 2008 and 2009, respectively.  In the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s season premiere of Rookie Blue was the #2 series in Total Viewers and ranked #1 with Women 25-54. Topping its year-ago premiere at the end of June (+5%), Rookie Blue opened its 3rd season with its most-watched telecast since August 2010 – since 8/19/10.  In addition, among Adults 18-49, the show topped last season’s finale by 17% and outdelivered its last 9 telecasts – best since 7/14/11.

Friday: With repeat telecasts of Shark Tank and Primetime: What Would You Do? leading into an original 20/20, ABC ranked #1 versus its network rivals on Friday night in Adults 18-49. 20/20 and What Would You Do? ranked as Friday’s Top 2 TV shows on the major nets in the key young adult sales demo. Jumping over the year-ago night by 29% in Total Viewers and by 50% among young adults, ABC delivered its strongest first post-season Friday in 5 years and 4 years – since 2007 and 2008, respectively. ABC’s 20/20 was the #1 program of the night on the major nets among Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54. Building week to week by double-digits in Total Viewers (+14%), Adults 18-49 (+25%) and Adults 25-54 (+27%), 20/20 attracted its biggest audience in 3 weeks, while matching a 6-week in Adults 18-49 and a 4-week high in Adults 25-54 – since 4/13/12 and 4/27/12, respectively. 20/20 also surged over its year-ago telecast by 43% in viewers, 67% in Adults 18-49 and 58% in Adults 25-54.

Saturday: With coverage of the 2012 NBA Conference Semi-Finals (Philadelphia at Boston), ABC dominated Saturday, outpacing Fox with Baseball coverage by 150% in Total Viewers and 333% in Adults 18-49. In fact, ABC beat the other major networks combined (CBS, NBC, and Fox) by 73% in Adults 18-49. In addition, ABC qualified as the #1 network on the evening in Adults 18-34, Adults 25-54 and across all key Men demographics (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). Airing from 7:59-10:46pm, the NBA Playoffs on ABC stood as the definitive #1 TV show on Saturday among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. The Net posted its strongest Saturday in 5 months among both Viewers and young adults – since 12/31/11.

(source: ABC)


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.