'Modern Family' Wednesday winner for ABC


ABC is Improves its Wednesday Numbers Year to Year and Week to Week. “Modern Family” is Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show for the 3rd Week Running. “The Middle” Grows its New Time Slot and Builds on its Own Year-Ago Results. “Better with You” is Up Week to Week, Posting its Best-Yet Lead-in  Retention and Widening its Lead Over its Freshman Competition at 8:30pm. Rising Sharply Over the Same Point Last Season, “Modern Family” Scores  Its 3rd-Highest Ever Adult 18-49 Number and 2nd-Best Adults 18-34 Number. Winning its Hour with Key Women, “Cougar Town” Builds Week to Week,  Pulling its 2nd-Biggest Numbers Since January in Viewers and Young Adults.  As its New Drama Competition Slides Week to Week in the 10 O’clock Hour,
ABC’s “The Whole Truth” Surges Over the Prior Week by 17% in Adults 18-49.

Wednesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
Producing improved year-to-year returns, ABC was up over the same Wednesday last year (10/6/09) by 6% in Total Viewers (7.1 million vs. 6.7 million) and by 9% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 2.3/7).  The Net was also up 4% over the prior week among Adults 18-49.

“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
Leading off the night, ABC’s “The Middle” (8.0 million) opened as the 2nd-most-watched TV show in the 8:00 p.m. half-hour to CBS’ “Survivor: Nicaragua,” attracting 29% more viewers than NBC’s “Undercovers” (6.2 million) and 31% more than Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (6.1 million).  The ABC sophomore comedy generated substantial year-to-year time period improvement for ABC, increasing the half-hour by 1.5 million viewers (8.0 million vs. 6.5 million) and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (2.4/8  vs. 1.6/5) from the same night a year ago. 

In fact on average, “The Middle” is growing its new earlier time period for ABC from the same point last season by 14% in Total Viewers and by 32% in Adults 18-49.   “The Middle” is also up over its own performance at the same point last year in both viewers (+14%) and young adults (+9%).

“Better with You” (8:30-9:30 p.m.)
Growing by 5% week to week and exhibiting its strongest-yet lead-in retention for ABC at 8:30pm (96%) on its third telecast, “Better with You” (2.3/7) continued to dominate its freshman competition in the half-hour in Adults 18-49, leading NBC’s “Undercovers” by a best-yet margin of 44% (1.6/5) in Week 3 of the season – building steadily from a 19% advantage on Week 1 and a 29% advantage on Week 2.  The new comedy series also boosted the half-hour for ABC by 10% year to year in Adults 18-49 (2.3/7 vs. 2.1/6). 

In addition to building it young adult audience week to week, “Better with You” equaled series-high ratings with key Men (M18-34/M25-54).

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
Finishing as Wednesday’s dominant  No. 1 TV show for the 3rd consecutive week this season, ABC’s “Modern Family” once again led its 9:00 p.m. half-hour by a strong margin, outdelivering second-place CBS’ “Criminal Minds” by 29% in Adults 18-49 (4.5/12 vs. 3.5/9). 

“Modern Family” built sharply on its year-ago performance, gaining 2.5 million viewers (11.3 million vs. 8.8 million) and 32% in Adults 18-49 (4.5/12 vs. 3.4/9).  On average in its sophomore season, Modern Family’s numbers are up over the same point last season by 14% in Total Viewers and by 24% in Adults 18-49. 

“Modern Family” posted the series’ 3rd-highest-ever Adult 18-49 number, while tallying its 2nd-highest-ever numbers with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34 (behind only its second-season premiere).

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
At 9:30 p.m., “Cougar Town” was up week to week by 11% in Adults 18-49 (3.1/8 vs. 2.8/8), pulling in the series’ 2nd-highest viewer and young adult numbers since January (behind only its season premiere) – since 1/20/10. 

The ABC comedy ranked a strong No. 1 in its time period with Women 18-34, beating its nearest competition by 16% (3.7/10 vs. 3.2/9 – the final half-hour of Fox’s 2-hour “Hell’s Kitchen”).

“The Whole Truth” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Qualifying as the only new network drama to grow week to week in Wednesday’s 10 o’clock hour, as NBC’s “Law & Order: Los Angeles” and CBS’ “The Defenders” each declined sharply, ABC’s “The Whole Truth” surged by 17% over the prior week in Adults 18-49 rating (1.4/4 vs. 1.2/4).

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 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: The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 10/6/10.