ABC’s ‘Modern Family’ emerges as Wednesday’s #1 in 18-49


Now that college football is just about over the return to regular season programming is starting and the TV ratings and viewers are back.

Up 13% Over the Year-ago Night Opposite Increased Competition, ABC’s 2-Hour 8-10pm Comedy Block Ranks No. 1 in Adults 18-49

ABC’s “The Middle” Hits a Series High Among Adults 18-49

Retuning to Original for the 1st Time in 4 Weeks, “Modern Family” Stands  As Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49 with Best-Since-Debut Results 

“Cougar Town” Generates its Strongest Numbers Since Mid-October

In its 10pm Premiere, “Ugly Betty” Marks Season Highs and Produces ABC’s Best Numbers with Regular Programming in the Hour in 10 Weeks

Wednesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
Opposite stiff competition from CBS’ special lineup (“I Get That a Lot”/”People’s Choice Awards”), ABC took second place on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49, while ranking No. 1 with its 2-hour comedy block from 8:00-10:00 p.m. (3.1/8-tie).  On its first original airing in 4 weeks, ABC’s “Modern Family” emerged as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV show in the key young adult sales demo.

Despite the heightened year-to-year competition from the “People’s Choice Awards,” ABC was up over the year-ago night against the awards show by 13% (2.6/7 vs. 2.3/6 on 1/7/09).

“The Middle” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
On its first original telecasts in a month, opposite CBS’ 1-hour special “I Get That a Lot,” back-to-back episodes of ABC freshman comedy “The Middle” finished as the Top 2 regular programs in the hour among Adults 18-49, beating NBC’s original Mercy by 41% on average in the key young adult sales demo (2.4/7 vs. 1.7/5). 

In its regular 8:30 p.m. slot, “The Middle” tallied series-high numbers with Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54, Men 18-49 and all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).  The comedy also generated its biggest overall audience (8.2 million) since its series debut telecast – since 9/30/09.

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
The No. 1 TV show of the night in Adults 18-49, ABC’s Modern Family won the 9:00 p.m. half-hour by 28% over its nearest competition (4.1/11 vs. 3.2/8 – CBS’ “People’s  Choice Awards”). 

In Total Viewers (10.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.1/11), “Modern Family” achieved best-since-debut results.   The show hit series-high ratings with key Men (M18-49/M25-54).    

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
At 9:30 p.m., ABC’s “Cougar Town” finished in a near tie for first place among Adults 18-49 (3.3/8), while winning its half-hour across each of the Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).  In fact “Cougar Town” finished as the No. 2 TV show of the night in all key Men, behind only “Modern Family.”

Surging from its last original telecast in early December by 18% in Adults 18-49 (3.3/8 vs. 2.8/7 on 12/9/09), ABC’s “Cougar Town” tallied its highest viewer (7.9 million) and young adult numbers in nearly 2 months – since 10/14/09.    

“Ugly Betty” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
On its premiere in the time period, ABC’s “Ugly Betty” hit season-highs in Total Viewers (5.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.6/5).  “Betty” also marked ABC’s strongest performance in the hour with regular programming in 10 weeks – since 10/28/09.

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 34% currently, from 29% 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: data and information provided by ABC. – Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 1/6/10.)