'Private Practice' w/ 'Grey's Anatomy' gives ABC strong Thursday


ABC Generates its Strongest Thursday Night Since the Middle of January

“Wipeout” Continues to Produce Impressive Year-Over-Year Improvement For ABC Against Fox’s “American Idol” During Thursday’s 8 O’clock Hour

Posting Best-Since-Premiere Results, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” Musical Episode Dominates its Slot and Stands as Thursday’s No. 1 Scripted TV Show in Adults 18-49

ABC’s “Private Practice” Achieves a 12-Week High in Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34
Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC earned second place to an “Idol”-driven Fox on Thursday among Adults 18-49, beating CBS’ all-original schedule by 7% (3.1/9 vs. 2.9/8). 

In viewers (8.9 million) and young adults (3.1/9), ABC scored its best Thursday results since mid-January – since 1/13/11.
The Network’s numbers rose over the year-ago night, also an evening of original programming (“FlashForward,” “Grey’s” and “Private Practice” on 4/1/10 = 7.6 million and 2.5/8), by double-digit percentages in both Total Viewers (+17%) and Adults 18-49 (+24%).

“Wipeout” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
From 8:00-9:00 p.m. against “American Idol” and original comedies on CBS (“The Big Bang Theory”/”Rules of Engagement”), ABC’s Spring “Wipeout” outdelivered NBC’s comedies (“Community”/”Perfect Couples”) by wide margins in viewers (+186% – 6.3 million vs. 2.2 million) and young adults (+90% – 1.9/6 vs. 1.0/3).  In addition, the wide-appealing ABC unscripted series registered as the No. 2 broadcast program of the night with Kids 2-11 (1.9/7), behind only “Idol.”  

Despite facing the move of “Idol” into the time period this year, the ABC unscripted series continued to produce double-digit year-to-year percentage growth in the hour with Total Viewers (+26%) and Adults 18-49 (+27%), over original programming on the year-ago evening (“FlashForward” = 5.0 million and 1.5/4).

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Standing as Thursday’s No. 1 scripted TV show for the 2nd straight week, a musical episode of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” won Thursday’s 9 o’clock hour in Total Viewers (12.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.8/12), beating Fox’s “Idol”-fueled debut of “Mobbed” by 26% (3.8/10) and CBS’ original “C.S.I.” by a best-ever 71% (2.8/7) in the key young adult sales demo.  In fact Grey’s qualified as the No. 1 scripted series in the slot with Adults 18-49 for its 18th straight original broadcast this season. 

Building its numbers for the 2nd week running and hitting best-since-season-premiere results, “Grey’s” jumped over the prior week by 2.4 million viewers and by 30% in Adults 18-49.  The ABC medical drama achieved a 6-month high in viewers and young adults, marking its strongest performance since its season premiere in September – since 9/23/10.
“Grey’s” was up sharply over its year-ago original telecast (9.9 million and 3.5/11 on 4/1/10), gaining 28% in Total Viewers and 37% in Adults 18-49

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC’s “Private Practice” finished in a near-tie for No. 1 in the 10:00 p.m. hour among Adults 18-49, pacing within 1-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share with “The Mentalist” (2.7/7 vs. 2.8/7).  ABC’s “Private Practice” won the hour among Adults 18-34, beating “The Mentalist” by 18% (2.1/6 vs. 1.7/5).  In addition for its 17th consecutive first run telecast, the ABC drama registered as the No. 1 scripted TV show in the 10 o’clock hour with key Women (W18-34/W18-49). 

Among Adults 18-34 and Adults 18-49, “Private Practice” posted a 12-week high – since 1/6/11.

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 40% currently, from 36% 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), 3/31/11)