ABC's newbie 'The Middle' hot and winner Wednesday


ABC’s Wednesday Comedy Block Posts Big Gains in its Second Season. ABC’s “The Middle” Outperforms NBC’s “Sing Off” by Wide Margins at 8pm.

ABC’s “Better with You” Beats its Freshman Competition at 8:30pm, Leading Fox’s “Human Target” by 1.5 Million Viewers and by 29% in Adults 18-49.

For its 10th Straight Original Telecast, ABC’s “Modern Family” is Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49 and Tops its Year-Ago Results.

ABC’s “Cougar Town” Defeats Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” at 9:30pm.
ABC’s Comedy Repeats Improve the 10pm hour by 33% in Adults 18-49.

Wednesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
With its 8:00-10:00 p.m. comedy block returning to originals after airing in repeats the prior week, ABC finished No. 2 on Wednesday night in Adults 18-49 (2.4/7-tie).   Also worth noting on the night, the Net ran replay comedies in the 10:00 p.m. hour with improved results. 

Season-to-date Update: ABC’s Wednesday 8:00-10:00 p.m. comedy block is up by strong margins over the same point last season in Total Viewers (+15%) and Adults 18-49 (+19%).  In fact during its second year, ABC’s 2-hour Wednesday comedy block already outdelivers CBS’ longtime-established 2-hour Monday comedy block across a number of key demos: Adults 18-34 (+3%), Women 18-34 (+15%), Teens 12-17 (+21%) and Kids 2-11 (+50%).  In addition, ABC’s Wednesday comedy block leads NBC’s 2-hour Thursday comedy block this season by +2.8 million viewers and by +9% in Adults 18-49.

“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
ABC’s “The Middle” ran a strong second to CBS’ “Survivor: Nicaragua” at 8:00 p.m., beating out third-place NBC’s slot premiere of “Sing Off” by 2.1 million viewers (8.8 million vs. 6.7 million) and by 14% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 2.2/6).   The ABC sophomore comedy also delivered the No. 2 position in the half-hour with Adults 25-54 and across all key Men demographics (M18-34/M18-49M25-54)

“Better with You” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)
ABC freshman “Better with You” topped its rookie competition at 8:30 p.m. by wide margins, outpacing Fox’s original “Human Target” by 1.5 million viewers (7.3 million vs. 5.8 million) and by 29% in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6 vs. 1.7/5).  Like its lead-in, “Better with You” also finished No. 2 in its half-hour with Adults 25-54. 
“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
Standing as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV show for its 10th straight original airing this season in Adults 18-49 (4.1/11), ABC’s “Modern Family” dominated the 9:00 p.m. half-hour, leading runner-up CBS’ “Criminal Minds” by 21% (3.4/9). 

In Total Viewers (11.0 million vs. 9.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.1/11 vs. 3.8/10), “Modern Family” outdelivered its year-ago performance for the 10th consecutive first-run airing this season. 
“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
In the 9:30 p.m. half-hour, ABC’s “Cougar Town” beat out the second half-hour of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” by 1.0 million viewers (6.5 million vs. 5.5 million) and by 8% in Adults 18-49 (2.6/7 vs. 2.4/6).

ABC Repeat Comedies: “Modern Family”/”Cougar Town” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
In the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s repeat comedies (“Modern Family”/”Cougar Town”) registered substantial time-period improvement for the Net over its performance with regular original programming this season (“The Whole Truth”), growing the slot by 33% in Adults 18-49 (1.6/5 vs. 1.2/4).

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 38% currently, from 33% 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 Ratings), 12/8/10)