ABC scores during late night sweeps


During the 2012 July Sweep, ABC grew its overall audience in late-night over the year-ago sweep by 6% to deliver its most-watched July ever. In fact, ABC was the only major broadcaster to see year-to-year growth in late-night in Total Viewers, as CBS (-16%) and NBC (-12%) were down by double-digit margins. Together, Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel Live form ABC’s winning late-night strategy of airing news and entertainment programming. ABC stood as the most-watched network in late-night for the 2nd sweep in a row, outdrawing CBS by a best-ever 24% and NBC by 4%. ABC was also the #1 network in late-night for the 2nd consecutive sweep in Adults 18-49, beating CBS by a best-yet 27% and NBC by 4%.

ABC News’ Nightline ranked #1 in late-night for the 2012 July Sweep in all key demos, taking the top spot for the 2nd sweep in a row. Notably, July 2012 stands as the first-time ever for Nightline to rank #1 in Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 during a July sweep, beating both NBC’s The Tonight Show and CBS’ The Late Show. In addition, July 2012 represented the 4th consecutive sweep period and 7th of the last 8 for Nightline to take the top spot in the key adult news demo. Nightline outperformed NBC’s The Tonight Show in July 2012 by +46,000 Adults 25-54 and by +50,000 Adults 18-49, beating the NBC program for the first time during a July sweep in 19 years – since July 1993. Nightline defeated CBS’ The Late Show during the month by its largest sweeps margin in more than 13 years in Total Viewers (+1.155 million), in more than 12 years in Adults 25-54 (+373,000) and in more than 13 years in Adults 18-49 (+324,000) – since May 1999, May 2000 and February 1999, respectively. Further, Nightline outdelivered The Late Show by its largest July sweep margins ever in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.  

During the July sweep, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live surged year to year by 14% in Total Viewers to deliver its most-watched July sweep ever. Notably, JKL grew its overall audience year over year in all 4 sweeps of the 2011-12 season. JKL was also up over the year-ago sweep by 3% in Adults 18-49 to score its best July in 4 years – since 2008. In addition, ABC’s JKL stood as the only broadcast talk show in late-night to achieve yearly growth in either Total Viewers or Adults 18-49. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (M-F 12am) ranked as the #3 talk show in late-night in Total Viewers during the 2012 July sweep, behind only NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (M-F 11:35pm) and CBS’ The Late Show with David Letterman (M-F 11:35pm). ABC’s JKL drew a larger overall audience than NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (M-F 12:35am) for the 2nd sweep in a row (+1%), leading the NBC program in Total Viewers in 3 of the 4 sweep periods of the season (July 2012, May 2012 and November 2011). ABC’s JKL outperformed CBS’ The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (M-F 12:35am) by its largest margins ever during a sweep period in both Total Viewers (+44%) and Adults 18-49 (+41%), beating the CBS late-night program for the 6th straight sweep in Viewers and the 4th consecutive sweep among young adults. In addition, JKL outdelivered Ferguson in 19 of the 20 days of the sweep in both Nielsen measures.