ABC's 'The Bachelor' drew 9.0 million viewers


Marking ABC’s Top Time-Slot Results in 6 Weeks in Viewers and Young Adults, “The Bachelor” Opener Finishes as Monday’s No. 1 TV Series with Women 18-34. Despite Increased Competition, “The Bachelor” Outdraws 2 of its Last 3 Debuts.

On its Return to First-Run, “Castle” Jumps Over its Last Original by 2.0 Million Viewers and by 26% in Adults 18-49, while Leading its Slot Across Key Women.

“The Bachelor” (8:00-10:00 p.m.)
ABC’s season opener of “The Bachelor” from 8:00-10:00 p.m. 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 No. 1 against regular competition in its time period with Adults 18-34 (2.6/7, tied w/CBS comedy block) and won its slot by 20% in Women 18-34 (3.6/10 vs. 3.0/8), qualifying as the No. 1 TV series 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 (2.6/7 to 3.1/8).   

In viewers and young adults, “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 stronger 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.

“Castle” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Returning to originals for the first time since early December, ABC’s “Castle” took second in the 10 o’clock hour to its CBS and NBC competition in Total Viewers (9.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.4/7), while ranking No. 1 in the time slot across all key Women demos: W18-34 (2.1/6), W18-49 (3.2/8) and W25-54 (4.3/10).  

“Castle” improved significantly over its most recent original telecast, increasing by +2.0 million viewers and by +26% in Adults 18-49 (7.6 million and 1.9/5 on 12/6/10).  In addition, “Castle” paced well ahead of its season averages (8.8 million and 2.1/6) in both viewers (+9%) and young adults (+14%).  
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 34% 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), 1/3/11)