ABC Thursday: ‘FlashForward’ 3rd-place ‘Grey's Anatomy’ 2nd-place


ABC Turns in its Strongest Thursday in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 in 5 Weeks. “Grey’s Anatomy” Dominates the 9 O’clock Hour Among Adults 18-49, Posting its Highest Young Adult Rating in Nearly 2 Months. ABC’s “Private Practice” Delivers its Top Adults 18-49 Rating Since Early February.

Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC took second place on the opening night of the May Sweep among Total Viewers (7.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.8/8), while dominating Thursday with Women 18-34 (3.6/11).  In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC marked its 2nd straight week of gains on the night with its strongest Thursday in 5 weeks – since 3/25/10.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
On its first original telecast since the beginning of April, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” jumped 153% over its lead-in to win the 9:00 p.m. hour by strong margins among Adults 18-49.  During the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s “Grey’s” (3.8/11) defeated second-place NBC by 15% (3.3/9 – “The Office”/”30 Rock”), third-place CBS by 27% (3.0/8 – “CSI”) and fourth-place Fox by 90% (2.0/6 – “Fringe”).  “Grey’s” marked its 18th time in 19 original broadcasts this season to qualify as Thursday’s No. 1 scripted series with Adults 18-49.  “Grey’s” posted its highest Adult 18-49 rating in nearly 2 months – since 3/11/10. 

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC’s “Private Practice” ran a strong second to CBS’ “The Mentalist” in 10 o’clock hour among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (tied for No. 1 in audience share), beating out NBC’s “Marriage Ref” by a best-ever 3.4 million viewers (7.8 million vs. 4.4 million) and by 50% (3.0/9 vs. 2.0/6), respectively.  The ABC sophomore drama dominated the hour over its CBS drama competition with Adults 18-34, beating “The Mentalist” by 56% (2.8/8 vs. 1.8/6).   In fact it was the 19th consecutive original telecast this season for “Private Practice” to register as the No. 1 scripted show in its slot among Adults 18-34, as well as key Women (W18-34/W18-49).  “Private Practice” delivered its top Adult 18-49 rating since early February – since 2/11/10. 

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 31% 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.

(Source: ABC -The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 4/29/10.)