'Grey's Anatomy' dominated ABC takes second-place Thursday


ABC is a Competitive No. 2 on Season Premiere Thursday in Adults 18-49 And Ranks a Strong No. 1 Among Adults 18-34 and Across Key Women. “Grey’s Anatomy” Opens as Thursday’s No. 1 TV Show for the 5th Straight Year. Opposite Fierce Competition, the Debut of “My Generation” Grows its Time Period for ABC in Adults 18-49 from the 2010 May Sweep Average. Soaring Over its Lead-in to Dominate the 9pm Hour, “Grey’s Anatomy” Pulls ABC’s Top Adult 18-49 Series Number in the Slot in Over 10 Months.  Ranking No. 1 in the 10pm Hour, “Private Practice” Premiere Scores the Series’ Best Adult 18-49 Rating in Nearly 8 Months.

Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC placed a competitive second on the opening Thursday of the season among Adults 18-49 (3.4/10), while ranking a strong No. 1 on the evening in Adults 18-34 and across all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54). 

“My Generation” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
Opposite fierce demographic competition in the 8 o’clock hour (CBS’ comedy debuts of “Big Bang Theory”/”$#! My Dad Says,” NBC’s comedy premieres of “Community”/”30 Rock,” Fox’s “Bones” premiere and CW’s “Vampire Diaries”), the series debut of “My Generation” delivered ABC’s top performance in the time period with scripted programming in 6 months among Adults 18-49 (1.6/5) – since 3/25/10. 

“My Generation” grew the time period for ABC by +7% among young adults over where it finished out last season during the 2010 May Sweep.
“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Jumping from its lead-in (+169% in Total Viewers/+231% in Adults 18-49), the 7th-season premiere of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” soared to the top of the 9 o’clock hour to register as the definitive No. 1 TV show on Thursday in Adults 18-49.  Towering over Thursday’s 9 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49, Grey’s (5.3/14) beat out runner-up NBC’s comedy premieres by +36% (“The Office”/”Outsourced” – 3.9/10), third-place CBS’ “CSI” premiere by +56% (3.4/9) and Fox’s “Fringe” premiere by +152% (2.1/6).  In fact it was “Grey’s” 5th straight year to premiere as Thursday’s top-rated TV program among young adults. 

“Grey’s” produced ABC’s highest Adult 18-49 number with regular programming in the hour in over 10 months – since 11/12/09. 

“Grey’s Anatomy” qualified as television’s top gainer last season through DVR playback in Total Viewers and  Adults 18-49, picking up 2.8 million viewers and 1.5 rating points among young adults from the next-day (L+SD) to the finalized playback numbers (Live+7 Day).

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
In the 10 o’clock hour, the 4th-season premiere of ABC’s “Private Practice” tied CBS’ “The Mentalist” for No. 1 in Adults 18-49 (3.3/10).   “Private Practice” soundly defeated “The Mentalist” by 38% among Adults 18-34 (2.9/9 vs. 2.1/7). 

“Private Practice” scored the series’ top Adult 18-49 number in nearly 8 months – since 2/4/10.

Like its lead-in, “Private Practice” sees substantial DVR gains from the first-reported numbers, shooting up last season by 1.9 million viewers and by a 1.0 rating in Adults 18-49 from the L+SD numbers to the L+7 Day DVR finals.

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 32% 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 Day Ratings), 9/23/10)