Freshman ‘FlashForward’ returns outdraws competition


It almost like being the comeback kid…returning to ABC’s Schedule for the First Time in 3-1/2 Months, ABC’s “FlashForward” Outdraws its Non-Sports Competition in its Regular Time Period. “FlashForward” Attracts ABC’s Biggest Audience in the Thursday 8-9pm Hour Since January and its Highest Adult 18-49 Non-Sports Number Since December. Opposite Stiff Competition, “FlashForward” Builds in Key Demos from Start to Finish. An Encore “Private Practice” is Up From its Most Recent Repeat by 14% in Viewers

“FlashForward” (8:00-10:01 p.m.)
Returning to ABC’s schedule for the first time in 3-1/2 months, opposite stiff competition from CBS’ NCAA Basketball Tournament and NBC’s original 2-hour comedy block, freshman “FlashForward” drew an average audience of 6.5 million viewers during its broadcast. 

The No. 1 non-sports program in its regular 8:00-9:00 p.m. time period with Total Viewers, “FlashForward” (6.5 million) topped its original competition in the hour, besting NBC’s comedies (“Community”/”Parks and Recreation”) by 35% (4.8 million).  The ABC rookie also defeated its regular competition in the opening hour of prime in Adults 25-54 (2.4/7) and key Women (W18-49/W25-54).
In its usual 8:00-9:00 p.m. time slot, “FlashForward” attracted ABC’s biggest overall audience (6.5 million) since January and its highest Adult 18-49 non-sports number (1.9/6) since December – since 1/21/10 and 12/3/09, respectively.

Despite facing the College Basketball Tournament, “FlashForward” held steady among Adults 18-49 from its first to second hour, building 5% in its final half-hour at 9:30 p.m. (1.9/6 to 2.0/6).  The drama also gained audience from its first to second hour among Adults 25-54 (+4%) and across all key Men: M18-34 (+7%), M18-49 (+7%) and M25-54 (+5%).

TV’s top freshman gainer this season with young adult viewers via DVR playback, “FlashForward” surges from its first-reported overnight numbers by 1.8 million viewers and by 9-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point (+31%), from the Live + Same Day ratings to the Live + 7 Day DVR finals. 

“Private Practice” (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
A rebroadcast of ABC’s “Private Practice” was up over its most-recent repeat airing (on 2/25/10) by 14% in Total Viewers (4.1 million vs. 3.6 million). 

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: information from ABC – The Nielsen Company (National, Live + Same Day Program Ratings), 3/18/10.)