Opposite a sports-propelled CBS with its enormous overtime NFL Wild Card playoff overrun (Pittsburgh Steelers-Denver Broncos) that went into the 8 o’clock hour, ABC earned a solid second place in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, beating NBC (+14%/+77% – including the high-profile debut of The Firm) and Fox by strong margins (+80%/+21%).
In viewers and young adults, ABC marked its strongest Sunday with regular programming in 8 weeks – since 11/13/11.
During the 7 o’clock hour against the NFL overrun on CBS, ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos stood as the #1 non-sports program, surging from its first half-hour to its second half-hour by nearly 1.0 million viewers and by 25% among Adults 18-49.
Despite facing the tail-end of the NFL playoff game, ABC freshman drama Once Upon a Time catapulted over its lead-in at 8pm (+4.5 million viewers/+164% in AD18-49) and gained audience through its broadcast to finish a dominant #1 against its non-sports-driven competition on NBC and Fox. Sunday’s #1 entertainment show in Adults 18-49, ABC’s Once Upon a Time beat out the second hour of NBC’s 2-hour Dateline by 147% and Fox’s first-run animated comedies (The Simpsons/The Cleveland Show) by 68% from 8-9pm.
TV’s #1 new drama this season with young adults, Once Upon a Time continued to produce impressive year-over-year time-period improvement for ABC, improving over original programming on the year-ago night by 11% in Total Viewers and by 37% in Adults 18-49.
Returning to original for the first time 4 weeks (since 12/11/11), Once Upon a Time was up by double digits over its last first-run broadcast in Total Viewers (+16%) and Adults 18-49 (+28%), marking its best results since November on both counts – since 11/27/11 and 11/13/11, respectively. In addition, the Disney-owned drama hit a series high with Teens 12-17, shooting up by 53% over its last original telecast.
Ranking #1 against its non-sports-fueled competition at 9pm, ABC’s Desperate Housewives towered over the opening hour of NBC’s The Firm by 2.0 million viewers and by 100% in Adults 18-49.
On its fist airing since the beginning of December (since 12/4/11), Housewives was up by 7% in viewers and by 11% in Adults 18-49, equaling its highest rating in the key young adult sales demo since October – since 10/30/11.