ABC drew its biggest Monday night since January 2001


ABC’s Premiere Monday Lineup of “DWTS” and “Castle” Dominates, Producing the Net’s Largest Monday Audience Since January 2001. ABC’s 10th Season Opener for “Dancing with the Stars” Marks its Most-Watched Premiere Ever and the Net’s Largest Audience in the Time Slot in Almost 10 Years.

“DWTS” Wins Each of its Half-Hours to Outpace its Closest Competition  In the Time Period by 12.7 Million Viewers and by 47% Among Adults 18-49.
Achieving Series Highs, “Castle” Wins the 10 O’clock Hour in Viewers and Young Adults, Defeating for the First Time Ever an Original of CBS’ Veteran “CSI: Miami”.

 Monday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
With the 10th season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” (most-watched ever) leading into “Castle” (series highs), ABC delivered a dominant Monday night victory, winning all 6 half-hours of primetime and beating its nearest competition on the evening (CBS) by 9.2 million viewers (20.2 million vs. 11.0 million) and by 38% in Adults 18-49 (5.4/15 vs. 3.9/11). 

The Network drew its biggest Monday night audience since January 2001 – since 1/1/01 with the Rose Bowl. 
“Dancing with the Stars” (8:00-10:00 p.m.)
Against nearly all original competition during its 10th season premiere (including CBS’ Monday comedy block/NBC’s “Chuck” and “Trauma”/Fox’s “24”), ABC’s broad appealing “Dancing with the Stars” drew an average audience of 23.9 million viewers and a 6.3/17 in Adults 18-49 to win its time period and finish as Monday’s No. 1 TV program on both Nielsen measures.  Growing steadily throughout its broadcast, “DWTS” won each of its half-hours in viewers and young adults, outdrawing second-place CBS in the 2-hour time period by 12.7 million viewers and by 47% in Adults 18-49 (CBS = 11.2 million and 4.3/11).  

“DWTS” was up nicely over its year-ago season opener (22.8 million and 6.1/15 on 3/9/09), while leaping over its most-recent season premiere in Fall ’09 by 6.1 million and 54% in Adults 18-49 (17.8 million and 4.1/10 on 9/21/09).  In fact it registered as “Dancing’s” most-watched season opener ever and second-highest ever in Adults 18-49.

The “DWTS” Season 10 premiere represents ABC’s most-watched regular entertainment telecast since November 2007 (11/27/07). And excluding only the 2001 Rose Bowl, “Dancing” produced ABC’s biggest audience in the time slot in nearly 10 years, while generating its highest Adult 18-49 number in more than 3 years –  since 5/1/00 and 3/19/07, respectively.

“Castle” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC’s “Castle” finished No. 1 in the 10 o’clock hour over original drama competition in Total Viewers (12.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.6/10), beating a first-run episode of CBS’ veteran “CSI: Miami” (10.7 million and 3.2/9) for the first time ever, and more than doubling the overall audience of NBC’s “Law & Order” (5.9 million and 1.8/5), as well as beating the NBC veteran by 100% in Adults 18-49. 

Surging over its performance on the year-ago night (9.1 million and 2.5/7 on 3/23/09) in Total Viewers (+42%) and Adults 18-49 (+44%), “Castle” achieved the series’ highest numbers ever.  

“Castle” delivered ABC’s biggest audience in the time period with a scripted series telecast since 2001 and its top Adult 18-49 number since 2006 – since 3/12/01 and 3/27/06, respectively.

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 36% currently, from 30% at the same point in 2009. 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” Season 10 Photography:  Click here for DWTS Photographic Images

(Source: information from ABC. –  Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 3/22/10.)