‘Shrek the Halls' and 'Barbara Walters Presents’ hits ABC w/ 2nd-biggest numbers


Jumping Year to Year, ABC Marks One of its Strongest Wednesdays of the Season 

ABC’s Second Replay This Season of “Shrek the Halls” Wins at 8pm

ABC’s “The Middle” Leads its Time Slot, Posting Best-Since-Debut Numbers

With its Strongest Performance in 10 Weeks, ABC’s “Modern Family” Stands as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49 and Key Men

“Cougar Town’s” Numbers Surge Over its Most Recent Original Airing

“Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009” Produces ABC’s 2nd-Biggest Numbers in the Time Period This Season

Wednesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC took second place on Wednesday night in Total Viewers (8.9 million) and finished in a virtual tie with CBS for No. 1 on the evening in Adults18-49, pacing within one-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share (3.0/8 vs. 3.1/8).   The Network ranked No. 1 on the night with key Men:  M18-34 (2.1/7) and M18-49 (2.5/7).

In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC posted its 2nd-strongest results on the night since season-premiere Wednesday – behind only the night of the “CMA Awards” on 11/11/09.

ABC’s Wednesday numbers surged over the year-ago night by 3.2 million viewers and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (5.7 million and 2.0/5 on 12/10/08, with an original line-up)

“Shrek the Halls” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
ABC’s second replay this season of “Shrek the Halls” won the 8:00 p.m. half-hour in Total Viewers (8.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.6/8).

“The Middle” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)
Like its lead-in, ABC’s “The Middle” took top honors in its half-hour with Total Viewers (7.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.5/7).  

Registering its 2nd straight week of gains with viewers and young adults, ABC turned in best-since-debut numbers – since its premiere telecast on 9/30/09.  

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
ABC’s “Modern Family” won the 9:30 p.m. half-hour in Adults 18-49 (3.8/10), tying CBS’ original “Criminal Minds” as the No. 1 TV show of the evening in the key young adult sales demo.  In addition, the ABC freshman comedy dominated its slot and stood as the definitive No. 1 TV show on Wednesday in key Men:  M18-34 (3.4/10) and M18-49 (3.5/9).

“Modern Family” generated its biggest audience (9.6 million) and top Adult 18-49 number (3.8/10) in 10 weeks – since 9/30/09.   The show marked the series’ highest-ever ratings with Adults 18-34 (3.5/10), Men 18-34 (3.4/10) and Men 18-49 (3.5/10).

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
Opposite stiff all-original competition, including the second half-hours of CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” Fox’s “Glee” and NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU,” ABC’s “Cougar Town” ranked No. 2 at 9:30 p.m. with Adults 18-34 (2.4/7) and Men 18-34 (1.9/6).

Returning to original after a repeat the prior week, “Cougar Town” jumped over its most recent original airing (11/25/09) by 1.4 million viewers (6.9 million vs. 5.5 million) and by 47% in Adults 18-49 (2.8/7 vs. 1.9/6).  

“Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
In the final hour of primetime, ABC’s “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009” took a strong second with Total Viewers (10.5 million) and ran in a near-tie for first place with CBS’ original veteran drama “CSI: NY” among Adults 18-49 (3.1/9 vs. 3.2/9).   The annual special won the hour by 20% among Adults 18-34 over “CSI: NY” (2.4/7 vs. 2.0/6).  First Lady Michelle Obama was named the most fascinating person of 2009.

“Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009” overshadowed the two-weeks-ago airing of “NBC’s People of the Year” with host Matt Lauer by 5.3 million viewers and by 121% in Adults 18-49 (5.2 million and 1.4/4 on 11/26/09).
In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, the Barbara Walters special generated ABC’s 2nd-biggest numbers in the hour this season – behind only “CMA Awards” in the time period on 11/11/09.

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 33% currently, from 28% at the same point in 2008. 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: data and information provided by ABC . –  Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 12/2/09)