ABC’s ‘Grey's Anatomy’ #1 and a consistent Thursday


Building its Audience for the 4th Straight Week, ABC Posts its Most-Watched Thursday Since March and Equals its Top Adult 18-49 Number Since February.. ABC’s “Grey’s” Dominates the 9pm Hour Among Adults 18-49, Beating NBC’s Comedies by 27%, CBS’ “CSI” by 31% and Fox’s “Fringe” by 65%. Hitting a 3-Month-High in Viewers and Young Adults, the 3rd Season Finale Of ABC’s “Private Practice” Finishes No. 1 in the 10pm Hour in Adults 18-49.

Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC earned second place on Thursday in Total Viewers (8.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.8/8), while ranking No. 1 on the evening with Adults 18-34 (2.5/8) and key Women: W18-34 (3.6/11) and W18-49 (3.9/11-tie). 

Increasing its overall audience on the night for the 4th week in a row, ABC generated its most-watched Thursday since March and equaled its highest Adult 18-49 rating on the night since February – since 3/25/10 and 2/11/10, respectively.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Jumping ahead of its lead-in by 192% at 9:00 p.m., ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” finished a dominant No. 1 in its hour among Adults 18-49.  “Grey’s” (3.8/11) defeated NBC’s comedies by 27% (“The Office”/”30 Rock” = 3.0/8), CBS’ “CSI” by 31% (2.9/8) and Fox’s Fringe by 65% (2.3/6).  “Grey’s” marked its 20th time in 21 original telecasts this season to stand as Thursday’s highest-rated scripted show with Adults 18-49. 

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
The 3rd-season finale of ABC’s “Private Practice” finished No. 1 in its time period among Adults 18-49 (3.2/9).  In fact, “Private Practice” posted its best-ever non-crossover lead-in retention coming out of an original episode of “Grey’s” (84%).  The ABC drama towered over its 10 o’clock time-slot competitors among Adults 18-34 (2.9/9), beating CBS’ “The Mentalist” by 61% (1.8/6) and NBC’s “Marriage Ref” by 107% (1.4/5).   It was the show’s 21st consecutive original telecast this season (every telecast in the hour) to register as the No. 1 scripted program in the hour with Adults 18-34 and key Women (W18-34/W18-49). 

In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, Private Practice generated its strongest performance in more than 3 months – since 2/4/10. 

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), 5/13/10)