Week 1: ABC takes 4 of top 10 TV shows


ABC Claims 4 of the Top 10 TV Shows During Premiere Week, Placing More than Any Other Network Among Adults 18-49. The Net Marks its Most-Watched Non-Oscar Week in Nearly 9 Months.

Full Episode Viewing on ABC.com and the ABC App for iPad Generates 4.9 Million Episode Starts, Jumping 63% Over Premiere Week Last Year. ABC Wins the Opening Night of the Season, Generating Its Most-Watched Season-Premiere Monday in 11 Years.

Surging Year to Year, “DWTS” is Premiere Week’s Most-Watched TV Show. Building Sharply On its Year-Ago Premiere, ABC’s “Castle” Logs The Series’ Top Telecast Since April in Viewers and Young Adults.

 “DWTS: The Results” Jumps to its Most-Watched-Ever Season Opener.

Series Debut of “Detroit 1-8-7” Outdraws NBC’s “Parenthood” Tuesday at 10pm.

“Modern Family” Opens at Series Highs and as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show.

Despite its New Earlier Slot, “The Middle” Posts its Most-Watched Telecast Ever.

“Better With You” Debuts with ABC’s Largest Audience in the Slot Since January.

ABC’s “Cougar Town” Generates the Series’ Top Numbers Since Last September.

Up Against Stiff Competition in its 10pm Slot, ABC’s “The Whole Truth” Pulls The Net’s Strongest Performance in the Hour with a Scripted Series Since April.

“Grey’s Anatomy” Opens as Thursday’s No. 1 TV Show for the 5th Straight Year.

“My Generation” Debut Grows its Slot for ABC from its 2010 May Sweep Average.

“Grey’s Anatomy” Pulls its Top Adult 18-49 Number in the Hour in Over 10 Months. 

“Private Practice” Opener Hits Series’ Best Adult 18-49 Rating in Nearly 8 Months.

ABC Wins Saturday Night among Adults 18-49 with College Football Coverage.

7th-Season Opener of “Desperate Housewives” Stands as Sunday’s Most-Watched Entertainment Show and Produces the Series’ Best Results in Nearly 9 Months.

5th-Season Premiere of “Brothers & Sisters” is Up Over Last Year in Viewers And Marks the Show’s 2nd-Highest Adult 18-49 Number Since Early January.

WEEK No. 1:
ABC finished No. 2 during the opening week of the 2010-11 TV Season (w/o 9/20/10) among Total Viewers (9.6 million) and 18-49 (2.8/8-tie), while ranking No. 1 with key Women:  W18-34 (3.0/9) and W18-49 (3.6/10). 

ABC marked its most-watched non-Oscar week in nearly 9 months – since the week of 1/4/10.

On ABC.com and on the ABC Player App for iPad during premiere week, full episode viewing jumped more than +60% in episode starts (4.9 million vs. 3.0 million) over premiere week last season.   The season premieres of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Dancing with the Stars” were ABC.com’s most viewed episodes, while “Modern Family’s” season debut and “Grey’s Anatomy” were the top two episodes viewed via ABC’s iPad app.  Source: Rentrak Episode Starts.

Rankings:  ABC claimed 4 of the Top 10 TV shows during premiere week in Adults 18-49 (more than any other network), including 3 of the Top 5 and delivering the No. 1 unscripted series with “DWTS” and the No. 1 half-hour comedy with “Modern Family”:  “Grey’s Anatomy” – No. 3, “Dancing with the Stars” and “Modern Family” tied at No. 5 and “Dancing with the Stars Results” – No. 10.   The Net aired 2 of the Top 3 most-watched shows of the week, including the No. 1 TV show overall with the 11th-season opener of “Dancing with the Stars”:  “DWTS” – No. 1 and “DWTS Results” – No. 3.   

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.

ABC finished as the most-watched network on the opening night of the 2010-11 TV Season.   During prime, ABC outpaced CBS by 5.7 million viewers (17.8 million vs. 12.1 million) and by 10% in Adults 18-49 (4.3/11 vs. 3.9/10). 

ABC posted its most-watched season premiere Monday in 11 years – since 1999.

“Dancing with the Stars” (8:00-10:01 p.m.)
Surging over its year-ago season premiere by an impressive 20% in Total Viewers (21.3 million vs. 17.8 million) and by 28% in Adults 18-49 (5.1/13 vs. 4.1/10), ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” opened its 11th season as Monday’s No. 1 TV show in Total Viewers, all key Women demos and among Teens 12-17.  Winning its 2-hour time slot, “DWTS” topped CBS’ comedy block (11.0 million and 3.9/10) by 10.3 million viewers and by 31% in Adults 18-49. 

Attracting a younger audience, “DWTS” marked its highest-rated Fall premiere in 3 years (since 2007) in Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34 (3.9/11-tie and 5.9/15, respectively), while hitting its best-ever Fall opener in Teens 12-17 (2.8/10-tie).  In addition, the show tied its most-watched Fall premiere overall.  

“Castle” (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
Opposite CBS’ highly-promoted debut of “Hawaii Five-0” in the final hour of the night, the third-season opener of “Castle” beat out NBC’s debut of “Chase” by 3.4 million viewers (10.7 million vs. 7.3 million) and by 17% in Adults 18-49 (2.7/7 vs. 2.3/6).  “Castle” beat CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” by 8% among Women 18-34 (2.8/8 vs. 2.6/8).

ABC’s “Castle jumped over its year-ago season opener (9.3 million and 2.3/6 on 9/21/09) in Total Viewers (+15%) and Adults 18-49 (+17%).  In fact the ABC drama series marked its top-rated telecast since April in Adults 18-49 and since March in Adults 18-34 – since 4/12/10 and 3/29/10, respectively.

Please note that “Castle” was one of TV’s top gainers in the 10 o’clock hour last season via recorded playback.  “Castle” generates substantial increases over its first-reported numbers through DVR playback, picking up an average 1.8 million viewers and an additional 6-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point (+23%) from the initially-reported Live + Same Day Numbers to the Live + 7 Day DVR finals (based on original telecasts for the 2009-10 TV Season).  

“Dancing with the Stars: The Results” (9:00-10:01 p.m.)
Building sharply on its lead-in (a “DWTS” recap special) and gaining audience throughout its telecast against stiff season/series premiere competition (CBS’ season premiere of “NCIS: LA,” NBC’s season premiere of “The Biggest Loser” and Fox’s “Glee”-fueled comedy debuts “Raising Hope”/”Running Wild”), the season opener of “Dancing with the Stars: The Results” moved ABC up into a definitive No. 1 position in the 9 o’clock hour with viewers and young adults.  “DWTS: The Results” beat out its nearest competition in the hour (CBS’ “NCIS: LA”) by 2.7 million viewers (18.5 million vs. 15.8 million) and by 29% in Adults 18-49 (4.4/11 vs. 3.4/9).  Actor David Hasselhoff was the first celebrity dancer to be eliminated from the competition this season. 

“DWTS: The Results” marked its most-watched-ever season premiere.  The ABC dancing results program also posted its strongest-ever Fall opener in Adults 18-49, its 2nd highest-ever (Fall or Spring).

“Detroit 1-8-7” (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
Opposite the second hour of CBS’ 2-hour “NCIS: LA” season opener in the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s series debut of “Detroit 1-8-7” stood as the 2nd-most-watched TV show, outdrawing NBC’s time-period established “Parenthood” by 58% (9.3 million vs. 5.9 million).  The new ABC drama also ranked No. 2 in the hour with Adults 25-54, defeating NBC’s Parenthood.

“Detroit 1-8-7” greatly improved the hour for ABC, boosting the slot by 3.4 million viewers (9.3 million vs. 5.9 million) and by 28% in Adults 18-49 (2.3/7 vs. 1.8/5) over its 2009-10 TV Season averages with regular programming in the time period (Live + Same Day).   In fact the new series drew the Net’s biggest audience with a regular original scripted series telecast in the hour in 1 year – since 9/22/09. 

With its season premiere Wednesday lineup, ABC turned in its strongest performance on the evening in nearly 10 months among Total Viewers (7.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.8/8) – since 12/9/09.
“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
Shifting into the lead-off position for ABC’s Wednesday night comedy block, the sophomore season premiere of “The Middle” greatly improved the 8:00 p.m. half-hour year to year among Adults 18-49 (+29% – 2.7/8 vs. 2.1/7 – “Hank”) and finished a solid No. 2 in the slot to CBS’ “Survivor: Nicaragua,” beating Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” premiere by 8% (2.5/8) and NBC’s “Undercovers” debut by 35% (2.0/6).

“The Middle” marked a series high with Total Viewers (8.8 million) and the series’ 2nd highest-ever Adult 18-49 number.

The sophomore comedy generated ABC’s largest audience with series programming in the time period in nearly 3 years and marked its top Adult 18-49 number in the slot with a regular scripted show since Fall 2007 – since 10/24/07 and 11/14/07, respectively.

“Better with You” (8:30-9:30 p.m.)
Exhibiting an impressive 93% lead-in retention at 8:30 p.m., the series debut of “Better with You” beat its freshman debut competition in the half-hour by 19% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 2.1/6), leading the second half of NBC’s “Undercovers” debut. 

“Better with You” attracted ABC’s biggest audience (7.9 million) in the time period since the beginning of January and equaled its highest Adult 18-49 rating since February – since 1/6/10 and 2/10/10, respectively.
“Modern Family” (9:00-9:31 p.m.)
Wednesday’s definitive No. 1 TV show and the top-rated comedy of the new season, ABC’s Emmy-winning “Modern Family” opened its sophomore season more than doubling its lead-in and posting a dominant victory at 9:00 p.m., beating its nearest competition (CBS’ “Criminal Minds”) by 31% in Adults 18-49 (5.1/14 vs. 3.9/10). 

“Modern Family” achieved series highs across the board (Total Viewers and all key Adults), surging from its year-ago series debut by 21% with Adults 18-49 (5.1/14 vs. 4.2/11), which had the advantage of airing directly out of big “DWTS: The Results” lead-in. 

The hit ABC comedy delivered the Net’s top Adult 18-49 rating in the slot with regular programming in over 1-1/2 years – since 2/18/09, with an episode of “Lost.”

“Cougar Town” (9:31-10:00 p.m.)
At 9:30 p.m., the season opener of “Cougar Town” earned the No. 2 position in its time period among Adults 18-49 (3.4/9), beating the NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” premiere and the final half hour of Fox’s 2-hour “Hell’s Kitchen” premiere.  The ABC comedy finished No. 1 in its time slot in Adults 18-34 (3.0/9-tie).

“Cougar Town” opened its sophomore season with the series’ biggest overall audience and tying its top Adult 18-49 rating since last September, the show’s 3rd-highest-ever numbers on both measures – since 9/30/09.

“The Whole Truth” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Up against stiff competition from the final hour of NBC’s 2-hour “L&O: SVU” opener and CBS’ highly-promoted debut of “The Defenders,” the debut of “The Whole Truth” produced ABC’s best results in the hour with regular scripted programming since April among Total Viewers (4.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.5/4)  – since 4/28/10.
ABC ran a very 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” (9:00-10:01 p.m.)
Jumping from its lead-in (+175% in Total Viewers/+238% 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” (5.4/14) beat out runner-up NBC’s comedy premieres by +35% (“The Office”/”Outsourced” – 4.0/10), third-place CBS’ “CSI” premiere by +59% (3.4/9) and Fox’s “Fringe” premiere by +157% (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” (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
In the 10 o’clock hour, the 4th-season premiere of ABC’s “Private Practice” paced a close second to CBS’ “The Mentalist” among Adults 18-49, while outdelivering NBC’s “The Apprentice” by 129% (3.2/9 vs. 1.4/4).  “Private Practice” soundly defeated “The Mentalist” by 27% among Adults 18-34 (2.8/9 vs. 2.2/7). 

“Private Practice” hit the series’ top Adult 18-49 (tie) 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.
With coverage of “Saturday Night Football,” featuring Oregon State at Boise State, ABC won Saturday among Adults 18-49, outpacing runner-up Fox by 27% (1.9/7 vs. 1.5/5).  

“Desperate Housewives” (9:00-10:01 p.m.)
Opposite heavy competition on the night from CBS’ football-boosted season premieres (from a 47-minute primetime NFL overrun), NBC (“Sunday Night Football”) and Fox (back-to-back “Family Guy” premieres), ABC’s 7th-season premiere of “Desperate Housewives” stood as Sunday’s most-watched entertainment program (13.1 million).  “Housewives” won its 9 o’clock time slot with all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), registering as Sunday’s No. 1 TV show on all 3 counts.

“Desperate Housewives” was up 8% among Adults 18-49 from where it finished out last season on its May finale (4.3/10 vs. 4.0/10 on 5/16/10), outperforming its 2010 May Sweep averages in both viewers (+8% – 13.1 million vs. 12.1 million) and young adults (+10% – 4.3/10 vs. 3.9/10).  “Housewives” drew its biggest audience and highest Adult 18-49 rating in nearly 9 months – since 1/10/10. 
“Brothers & Sisters” (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
Opposite NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and CBS’ special premiere of “Undercover Boss” in the time slot, ABC’s 5th-season premiere of “Brothers & Sisters” finished No. 1 in the 10 o’clock hour across all key Women demos (W18-49/W25-54).

“Brothers & Sisters” was up over its year-ago season opener among Total Viewers (9.5 million vs. 9.4 million), while retaining 97% of its Adult 18-49 delivery year to year (2.9/8 vs. 3.0/8).  The ABC drama also built on last season’s opener with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34.

Like its lead-in, “Brothers & Sisters” picked up where it left off last season, outperforming its May 2010 averages by 7% in Total Viewers (9.5 million vs. 8.9 million) and by 12% in Adults 18-49  (2.9/8 vs. 2.6/7).  In fact the ABC drama posted its 2nd-highest Adult 18-49 since January – since 1/10/10. 

              No.1  CBS 3.3   No.1 CBS    12,500,000
              No.2  ABC 2.8   No.2 ABC     9,580,000
              No.2  NBC 2.8   No.3 NBC     8,150,000
              No.4  FOX 2.6   No.4 FOX     6,510,000
              No.5  CW  1.1   No.5 CW      2,470,000

(Source:  ABC – The Nielsen Company (National, Live+ Same Day Program Ratings), week of 9/20/10, unless stated otherwise)