ABC’s season opener of The Bachelor from 8-10pm drew an average audience of 9.0 million viewers and a 2.9/7 in Adults 18-49, taking second place to CBS’ original comedy block.
The Bachelor ranked #1 in its time period with Adults 18-34 (tied w/CBS comedy block) and won its slot by 20% in Women 18-34, qualifying as the #1 TV show of the night on the latter measure.
The veteran ABC unscripted series built steadily throughout its broadcast in viewers and young adults, surging by 19% in Adults 18-49 from its first half-hour to its final half-hour.
The Bachelor generated ABC’s strongest performance in the 2-hour time period in 6 weeks – since 11/22/10.
Retaining nearly all of its year-ago premiere audience (95%) despite facing stiffer competition, The Bachelor marked its 2nd-most-watched debut since September ’07 (4 seasons ago).
In addition to topping 2 of its last 3 debuts, The Bachelor also drew more viewers than its openers in October 2006, January 2006, March 2005 and September 2004.
Please note: The Bachelor faced stiffer competition this year from originals of CBS’ Monday comedy block, as opposed to repeat comedies on its last two January premieres in 2010 and 2009.
RBR-TVBR note: to see Stacey B on ‘The Bachelor’ why Brad Womack will end up Alone Again (review)