‘Dancing With the Stars’ leads ABC to Monday’s line-up win


ABC is No. 1 in Viewers on Monday for the 7th Straight Week, While Standing as the Most-Watched Net on the First Monday of May for the 4th Straight Year. ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” Leads its Time Slot in Viewers and Young Adults for the 7th Consecutive Week.  “Romantically Challenged” is Up Week to Week in Total Viewers. “Castle” is No. 1 at 10pm in Viewers for the 5th Time in 7 Weeks,
Growing its Overall Audience Over the Year-Ago Night by 8%. 

Monday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC qualified as the most-watched TV network on the opening Monday of the May Sweep (15.0 million), ranking No. 1 on the night for the 7th week in a row.  In fact it was the 4th straight year for ABC to register as the most-watched network on the first Monday of May.    ABC placed a strong second during prime in Adults 18-49 to Fox, as it beat Fox by 6% (3.6/10 vs. 3.4/9) in head-to-head competition from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.  

“Dancing with the Stars” (8:00-9:30 p.m.)
ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” took first-place its time period for the 7th week running in both Total Viewers (19.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.0/11), beating out stiff original Sweep competition from 8:00-9:30 p.m. on CBS (“How I Met Your Mother”/”Rules of Engagement”/”Big Bang Theory” = 8.7 million and 3.4/10) and Fox (“House”/”24” = 9.8 million and 3.5/10).  “DWTS” qualified as Monday’s most-watched television series for the 7th week in a row. 

“Romantically Challenged” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
ABC freshman “Romantically Challenged” ranked No. 1 in 9:30 p.m. half-hour in Total Viewers (10.6 million) and took second place for the 3rd week running among key Women demos (W18-49/W25-54).  In fact the new ABC comedy outdrew the final half-hour of Fox’s “24” in Total Viewers (9.0 million).  “Romantically Challenged” built its overall audience week to week by 16% (10.6 million vs. 9.1 million). 

“Castle” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Building on its lead-in with viewers and young adults, ABC’s original “Castle” outdrew CBS’ original “CSI: Miami” for No. 1 at 10:00 p.m. by 1.2 million viewers (10.8 million vs. 9.6 million), and finished in a near tie for first-place in Adults 18-49 (2.6/7 vs. 2.7/8).  In fact ABC’s sophomore “Castle” stood as the most-watched TV show in Monday’s 10 o’clock hour for the 5th time in 7 telecasts.  Impressively, “Castle” still managed to grow its overall audience year to year by 8% (10.8 million vs. 10.0 million on 5/4/09), even though it had the added advantage of a direct lead-in from a 2-hour “DWTS” on the year-ago night.

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 36% currently, from 30% 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 – Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Program Ratings), 5/3/10)