Week 22: ABC touts freshman drama Once Upon a Time

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Overall: During the week of 2/13/12, ABC delivered 3 of the Top 15 TV shows in Adults 18-49, including the top-rated freshman drama with Once Upon a Time: Modern Family – #5, Grey’s Anatomy – #12 and  Once Upon a Time – #15. Based on projected DVR playback (+2.4 rating point gain), ABC’s Modern Family will once again finish as the week’s #1 scripted program in the final Live + 7 Day Adult 18-49 ratings.  ABC’s 20/20 qualified as the week’s #1 newsmagazine among key Adults (AD18-49/AD25-54).  In fact in Adults 18-49, ABC claimed the highest-rated newsmagazine for the 5th time in 6 weeks. ABC was the only net up over the same week last year in Total Viewers, while retaining 100% of its year-ago Adult 18-49 number. Growing its viewer count for the 2nd week running, ABC generated its biggest audience in 5 weeks – since w/o 1/9/12.


Monday: Opposite NBC’s The Voice and CBS’ original Monday schedule, ABC’s combination of The Bachelor and Castle defeated Fox’s original drama lineup (House/Alcatraz) during primetime in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.   The Net once again held the #2 position on the night with Women 18-34 and was the 2nd-highest-rated broadcaster with Teens 12-17.  Facing The Voice and CBS’ first-run comedy block, ABC’s The Bachelor grew its audience from its first hour to second hour, beating out Fox’s dramas in head-to-head competition from 8-10 pm by an even wider margin this week of 1.4 million viewers and by 19% in Adults 18-49.  The ABC unscripted series earned second in its time slot with its core audience of Women 18-34, beating CBS’ comedy block by 15%.  During the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s Castle built on its lead-in to draw 10% more viewers than NBC’s Voice-fueled Smash.  Castle also finished as the #2 drama in the hour with Women 18-34.  ABC’s Castle grew its overall audience week to week and was also up over the same week last year.

Tuesday: With its 8-9pm comedies (Last Man Standing/Cougar Town), The River and Body of Proof, ABC was up over the same Tuesday last year (also an all-original schedule on 2/15/11) by 12% in Total Viewers and by 7% in Adults 18-49.  Please note:  On Valentine’s Day, overall Adult 18-49 TV usage levels were down a significant -7.7% from the prior Tuesday (36.3% vs. 39.1%).  At 8pm against CBS’ top-rated NCIS, ABC’s Last Man Standing outdrew Fox’s Glee by 12% and NBC’s The Biggest Loser by 29% in Total Viewers. ABC self-starter Last Man Standing at 8pm continued to finish as Tuesday’s most-watched comedy overall, outdrawing Fox’s Glee-led New Girl at 9pm by 1.1 million viewers.  Delivering greatly improved lead-in retention out of Last Man Standing at 8:30pm (82% vs. 69% on average this season), ABC’s season premiere of Cougar Town posted impressive year-over-year growth in the half-hour, surging by 20% in Adults 18-49 over original programming on the same night last year. In addition to earning improved lead-in retention at 8:30pm with Adults 18-49 (82%) and Adults 18-34 (92%), Cougar Town built on its lead-in by 15% with Women 18-34. During the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s The River increased from its lead-in among Total Viewers (+4%), while holding nearly its entire Adult 18-49 lead (94%).  On its first original telecast in 4 weeks, ABC’s Body of Proof built sharply on its lead-in at 10pm (+26%) to outdraw NBC’s Parenthood during the hour by 1.8 million viewers.  The ABC sophomore series improved its hour year to year by 1.1 million viewers, topping original drama programming on the same night last year.

Wednesday: Opposite Fox with a 2-hour American Idol comprising its entire Wednesday lineup, ABC finished in a virtual tie for second with CBS (with the Survivor premiere) in Adults 18-49, pacing within 1-tenth of a rating point.  ABC beat out fifth-place NBC on the night by 115%.  In addition, the Net ran #2 to Fox on the evening with Adults 18-34, Men 18-34 and Women 18-34. Wednesday’s dominant #1 scripted show in Adults 18-49, ABC’s Modern Family also tied Idol to stand as the night’s top-rated TV show with Men 18-34 for the 2nd week in a row.  As CBS, NBC and Fox lost ground year to year, ABC shot up over the year-ago Wednesday by 1.2 million viewers and by 22% in Adults 18-49. Growing year to year at 8pm against the Survivor: One World opener and Idol, ABC’s The Middle outdelivered its NBC comedy competition (Whitney) by 3.5 million viewers and by 41% in Adults 18-49. In addition, the ABC comedy outran Survivor by wide margins in Adults 18-34 (+21%), Men 18-34 (+27%) and Women 18-34 (+11%). The Middle was up over the same night last year in both viewers and young adults.  Like its lead-in, ABC’s Suburgatory towered over its comedy competition in the 8:30pm half-hour, once again topping NBC’s Are You There, Chelsea? by enormous margins in viewers (+103%) and young adults (+71%).  Impressively, the ABC freshman comedy defeated the second half of the Survivor opener by double digits across the 18-34 demographics: AD18-34 (+13%), M18-34 (+25%) and W18-34 (+11%).  Suburgatory substantially improved its time period for ABC over the year-ago Wednesday against Idol and Survivor by 17% in Total Viewers and by 33% in Adults 18-49.  Scoring its 2nd-highest-ever number against an Idol telecast, ABC’s Modern Family nearly doubled its lead-in at 9pm to beat its nearest scripted competition in the slot by 52% in Adults 18-49 (CBS’ Criminal Minds).  Building over the same night last year in viewers (+6%) and young adults (+9%), ABC’s Modern Family marked the series’ 2nd-strongest performance to date opposite American Idol on both Nielsen measures. During the 9:30pm half-hour, ABC’s Happy Endings ranked #2 to Idol in Adults 18-34, Women 18-34 and key Men 18-34. Finishing a strong #2 during the 10pm hour, ABC freshman drama Revenge dominated NBC’s veteran L&O: SVU in viewers (+31%) and young adults (+41%). In addition, the Disney-owned drama once again placed #1 in the hour with Adults 18-34 and key Women (W18-34/W18-49).  ABC’s Revenge produced huge year-over-year improvement in Wednesday’s 10 o’clock hour, jumping by 79% in Total Viewers and by 60% in Adults 18-49 over first-run drama programming on the year-ago evening (Off the Map).

Thursday: From 8-9pm opposite CBS’ comedies (The Big Bang Theory/Rob) and Fox’s American Idol, ABC’s Winter Wipeout continued to outdraw NBC’s comedies in the hour, beating the 30 Rock/Parks and Recreation combo by 1.6 million viewers.  The ABC unscripted series gained viewers (+4%) and young adults (+7%) from its first half-hour to its second half-hour. More than doubling its lead-in (+113%) against the second half of Fox’s 2-hour Idol, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy stood as the #1 scripted show in the 9 o’clock hour among Adults 18-49, outdelivering CBS’ Person of Interest by 14% and NBC’s comedies (The Office/Up All Night) by 68%. ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy qualified as Thursday’s #1 drama in the key young adult sales demographic for its 14th straight original telecast this season. During the 10 o’clock hour in a crossover episode with Grey’s Anatomy, ABC’s Private Practice delivered best-of-season lead-in retention (81%) to finish in a virtual tie with CBS’ The Mentalist among Adults 18-49 (pacing within 1-tenth of a rating point and even in audience share).  In fact, Private Practice posted its strongest lead-in retention coming out of an original Grey’s since November 2010 – since 11/4/10.  Leading its CBS drama competition among younger viewers, Private Practice defeated The Mentalist by 46% in Adults 18-34.  Surging week to week in Total Viewers (+9%) and Adults 18-49 (+18%), ABC’s Private Practice marked 6-week highs on both Nielsen measures – since 1/5/12. In addition, the ABC drama grew over its year-ago telecast (on 2/17/11) in viewers (+6%) and young adults (+13%)

Friday: ABC won Friday among Adults 18-49, posting a season high and finishing #1 on the evening for the 5th time in 6 weeks. In fact, ABC marked its most-watched Friday in more than 2 years and hit its highest Adult 18-49 number on the night since December 2010 – since 1/1/10 and 12/31/10, respectively. From 8-9pm, ABC’s Shark Tank earned second place against its network rivals in Adults 18-49, beating out Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares by 15%. In addition, the ABC unscripted series once again stood as Friday’s #1 show on the major nets with Teens 12-17. Posting big year-over-year gains for ABC in the hour, Shark Tank was up by 2.0 million viewers and by 50% in Adults 18-49 over an original Supernanny on the same night last year. From 9-11pm, ABC’s 20/20 dominated its 2-hour time period in Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54, leading CBS’ original dramas (A Gifted Man/Blue Bloods) by 33% and 22%, respectively. During its final hour from 10-11pm, ABC’s 20/20 outdrew NBC’s Dateline by 4.2 million viewers and more than doubled its newsmagazine competition in Adults 25-54 (+113%) and Adults 18-49 (+109%). ABC’s 20/20, “One Moment in Time: The Life of Whitney Houston,” took an in-depth look at the voice of the century, from her record-setting achievements and musical legacy, to her rocky personal life and battle with addiction, as well as the latest developments about the superstar’s final days. Jumping sharply week to week in Total Viewers (+52%), Adults 25-54 (+47%) and Adults 18-49 (+43%), ABC’s 20/20 drew its biggest audience on the night in over 2 years and scored 17-week highs in both key Adult measures – since 2/5/10 and 10/21/11, respectively.

Sunday: ABC finished #2 on Sunday in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, while ranking #1 with key Women (W18-34/W18-49). ABC claimed the night’s #1 broadcast show in Adults 18-49 with Once Upon a Time. ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos was #1 during the 7 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49, beating out runner-up CBS with its PGA Golf Tournament overrun leading into 60 Minutes by 11%. Scoring season highs for the 2nd week running, America’s Funniest Home Videos generated its most-watched telecast in exactly 1 year and equaled its highest Adult 18-49 number in over 1 year – since 2/20/11 and 1/30/11, respectively. Surging over its lead-in (+55%) at 8pm against season-premiere competition (CBS’ Amazing Race) and the 500th episode of Fox’s The Simpsons, ABC’s Once Upon a Time stood as Sunday’s top-rated broadcast show and dominated its hour among Adults 18-49.  During the 8 o’clock hour, ABC’s Once Upon a Time beat out CBS with the Amazing Race opener by 24%, Fox’s animated comedies by 35% (The Simpsons/Napoleon Dynamite) and NBC’s The Voice replay by 55%. Continuing to deliver impressive year-over-year improvement for ABC in the hour, Once Upon a Time was up by 29% over the year-ago night among Adults 18-49. Once Upon a Time grew week to week by 1.1 million viewers and by 3% in Adults 18-49. Building week to week by double digits in viewers (+19%) and young adults (+22%), ABC’s Desperate Housewives registered as the 2nd-most-watched show overall during the 9 o’clock hour, outdrawing NBC’s season premiere of Celebrity Apprentice by 7%. The ABC drama ranked as the #1 broadcast program in its time slot with key Women (W18-49/W25-54). Shooting up by 46% over the prior week in Total Viewers and jumping 71% in Adults 18-49, ABC’s season finale of Pan Am drew the series’ largest audience since mid-January – since 1/15/12.

(Source: ABC)


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