ABC's Wednesday sitcom line-up w/ 'Modern Family' second place


Finishing a Solid Second in Adults 18-49, ABC Posts Big Year-to-Year Increases And is the Only Major Net to Grow Opposite the Wednesday Premiere of “Idol”. 

Dominating its Non-“Idol” Competitors at 8pm, ABC’s “The Middle” Pulls its Top Adult 18-34 Number Since Early November and Hits a Season High in Men 18-34.

Improving its Slot, ABC’s “Better with You” Beats Out its Non-“Idol” Competition.

Marking its Best-Ever Numbers Against Fox’s “American Idol,” ABC’s “Modern Family” is Wednesday’s No. 1 Scripted TV Show in Adults 18-49.

ABC’s “Cougar Town” is the No. 1 Scripted Show at 9:30pm with Adults 18-34.
Exhibiting Strong Retention of its Week-Ago Debut, “Off the Map” Turns in a Competitive Performance and Scores Big Year-to-Year Gains for the Net in the Hour.

Wednesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
Up against the 2-hour season premiere of Fox’s “American Idol,” ABC posted a solid second-place finish on Wednesday night in Adults 18-49 (2.7/7), beating out third-place CBS by 42% (1.9/5) and fourth-place NBC by 69% (1.6/4).

The Net grew by strong margins over the Wednesday last year, when “Idol” premiered from 8:00-9:30 p.m. (1/13/10), in both Total Viewers (+28% – 7.4 million vs. 5.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (+23% – 2.7/7 vs. 2.2/6).  In fact ABC was the only major net up year to year against the Wednesday premiere of “Idol.”

“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
At 8:00 p.m., ABC’s “The Middle” defeated its non-“Idol” competition in viewers and young adults.  Among Adults 18-49 (2.7/8), “The Middle” topped NBC’s original “Minute to Win It” by 93% (1.4/4) and CBS’ original “Live to Dance” by 170% (1.0/3).  

Marking the series’ highest-ever numbers against “Idol,” “The Middle” jumped over its year-ago performance opposite the Fox opener by 2.7 million viewers (8.7 million vs. 6.0 million) and by 29% in Adults 18-49 (2.7/8 vs. 2.1/5).

“The Middle” generated its highest Adult 18-34 number since the beginning of November (11/3/10), while hitting a season-high rating with Men 18-34.

“Better with You” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)
Like its lead-in, ABC’s “Better With You” bested its non-“Idol” competition at 8:30 p.m. in viewers and young adults, leading the second half-hours of “Minute to Win It” (+22% – 1.8/5) and “Live to Dance” (+120% – 1.0/3) by wide margins in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6). 

The freshman comedy improved its time period for ABC over the year-ago Wednesday against the “Idol” premiere in both Total Viewers (+13% – 6.8 million vs. 6.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (+5% – 2.2/6 vs. 2.1/5).
“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
Standing as the definitive No. 1 scripted TV program on Wednesday among Adults 18-49, ABC’s “Modern Family” (4.6/12) built on its lead-in against the third half-hour of “Idol” at 9:00 p.m., towering above its closest scripted competition in its time slot by 64% (CBS’ original “Criminal Minds” – 2.8/7).  In fact the ABC comedy topped its combined CBS and NBC scripted competition by 21% in the half-hour (4.6/12 vs. 3.8/10).
In viewers and young adults, the ABC sophomore comedy scored its best-ever results against “American Idol.” The show surged over its performance on the year-ago night of the “Idol” opener by double-digit percentages in both Total Viewers (+42% – 11.1 million vs. 7.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (+39% – 4.6/12 vs. 3.3/8). 

“Modern Family” produced its highest Adult 18-34 number since November and its top Men 18-34 number since October – since 11/17/10 and 10/20/10, respectively.
“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
At 9:30 p.m. against the final half-hour of “Idol,” ABC’s “Cougar Town” earned second against its scripted competition in Adults 18-49 (2.5/6), beating NBC’s time-period premiere of “Chase” by 150% (1.0/3).  “Cougar Town” registered as the No. 1 scripted program in the hour with Adults 18-34, Women 18-34 and Men 18-34.

“Off the Map” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Retaining an impressive 91% of its week-ago series debut among Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 2.3/6) in Wednesday’s 10:00 p.m. hour, ABC’s “Off the Map” ran a close second to NBC’s veteran “Law & Order: SVU” (2.3/6 – tied in audience share) and beat out CBS’ time-period premiere of “Blue Bloods” (2.0/6).  “Off the Map” ranked No. 1 against its drama competition in the hour with Men 18-49, Men 18-34 and Teens 12-17. 

“Off the Map” delivered strong year-over-year improvement for the Network in the hour, building over the same night last year with original programming (“Ugly Betty” on 1/20/10) by 1.3 million viewers (5.8 million vs. 4.5 million) and by 31% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 1.6/4).   

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 39% currently, from 35% at the same point in 2010. 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), 1/19/1)