Week 1: ABC takes No.2 post w/ strong female demo


Overall: ABC finished #2 during the opening week of the 2011-12 TV Season among Total Viewers and Adults 18-34, while ranking #1 with Women 18-49. 

ABC claimed 4 of the Top 20 TV shows during premiere week in Adults 18-49:  Modern Family SP-9/21 – #4, Modern Family – #5, Grey’s Anatomy – #17 and Dancing with the Stars – #20.  ABC delivered the season’s Top 2 new dramas in the key young adult sales demo, with Revenge and Pan Am, respectively. 

In addition, the Net aired 4 of the week’s Top 10 most-watched shows overall, including TV’s #1 unscripted series with Dancing with the Stars. 

ABC grew its overall audience year to year during premiere week (+3%), while retaining 100% of its Adult 18-49 audience. The Net was also up over premiere week last year in Adults 25-54, key Men (M18-49/M25-54) and Teens 12-17.

ABC ranked #1 in the 10 o’clock hour during premiere week in Adults 18-49.  Posting double-digit percentage year-to-year gains in Total Viewers (+18%), Adults 18-49 (+22%) and Adults 25-54 (+21%), ABC was the only net to build over premiere week last year on Mon-Fri from 10-11pm.  CBS and NBC were both down across all three Nielsen measures.

ABC marked its most-watched non-Oscar week in nearly 11 months – since w/o 11/8/10.  Excluding the weeks of the Oscars and NBA Finals, ABC equaled its top-rated week with Adults 18-49 since May 2010 – since w/o 5/17/10.

Monday: Despite going up against CBS with the high-profile return of Two and a Half Men on Monday, ABC finished as the most-watched TV network on the opening night of the 2011-12 season with the openers of Dancing and Castle, outdrawing CBS by 1.2 million viewers (HIMYM/Two and a Half Men/2 Broke Girls/Hawaii Five-0), Fox by 11.2 million viewers (2-hour season finale of Hell’s Kitchen) and NBC by 12.0 million viewers (2-hour premiere of The Sing Off/series debut of The Playboy Club). 

Among Adults 18-49, ABC outdelivered Fox by 46% and NBC by 111%.  In fact, It was ABC’s 4th time in the last 5 years to open as the most-watched network on the first Monday of the season. Building its audience from its first hour to its second hour opposite CBS’ Two and a Half Men-fueled comedy block from 8-10pm, the 13th season opener of Dancing with the Stars made ABC the most-watched net in its time slot, topping CBS by 1.1 million viewers.  Head to head during its 2-hour time period, ABC’s DWTS beat out its unscripted competition by huge margins, topping Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen finale by 13.0 million viewers and by 54% in Adults 18-49 and NBC’s The Sing Off season premiere by 13.8 million viewers and by 111% in Adults 18-49.  Surging year to year and starting out its 4th season as the most-watched drama in 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s opener of Castle topped CBS’ opener of Hawaii Five-0 by 9% and more than doubled NBC’s series debut of The Playboy Club (+166%).  The ABC drama also doubled The Playboy Club with Adults 18-49 (+100%).  In addition, ABC’s Castle stood as the #1 series in the hour with Adults 18-34 and across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).   Marking its best-ever season premiere, ABC’s Castle jumped over its year-ago season opener in Total Viewers (+24%) and Adults 18-49 (+19%).  In fact, the ABC drama attracted its 2nd-biggest audience ever.

Tuesday: With a Dancing special and the season premieres of DWTS: The Results and Body of Proof, ABC qualified as the 2nd-most-watched TV network on season-premiere Tuesday to CBS (NCIS/NCIS: LA/Unforgettable).  ABC outdrew premiere programming on Fox by 2.9 million viewers (Glee/New Girl/Raising Hope), while doubling NBC’s audience on the night (+100% ahead of the 2-hour season premiere of The Biggest Loser and Parenthood).  From 8-9pm, ABC’s DWTS: Meet the Cast ranked #2 to CBS’ top-rated NCIS premiere in Total Viewers, topping Fox’s season opener of Glee by 1.8 million viewers and the opening hour of NBC’s The Biggest Loser 12 premiere by 4.9 million viewers. 

Building sharply on its lead-in and gaining audience throughout its telecast against stiff competition, the season opener of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: The Results finished as the 2nd-most-watched program in the 9 o’clock hour, topping Fox (New Girl/Raising Hope) and NBC (The Biggest Loser).  The ABC dancing results show also delivered the #2 position in the time period with Women 18-49 and ranked #1 with Women 25-54.   ABC’s DWTS: The Results outdelivered its unscripted competition in the hour by strong margins, leading the second hour of NBC’s The Biggest Loser premiere by 8.6 million viewers and by 21% in Adults 18-49.  NBA champion Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest) was the first celebrity dancer to be eliminated from the competition this season.  Showing solid lead-in retention, ABC’s season premiere of Body of Proof earned second place in the 10 o’clock hour, topping NBC’s Parenthood by 4.1 million viewers and by 5% in Adults 18-49.  The sophomore ABC drama also ranked #2 in the hour with Adults 25-54.  Building over its freshman season finale with Adults 18-49 (+5%) and Adults 18-34 (+8%), Body of Proof equaled its strongest performance since mid-April on both young adult measures – since 4/19/11 and 4/12/11, respectively. 

Wednesday: In an early season upset, ABC ranked #1 in Adults 18-49 from 8-10pm against the hugely-promoted debut of The X Factor, beating Fox’s 2-hour Wednesday prime by 5% in Adults 18-49.  ABC’s numbers jumped over the year-ago season-premiere Wednesday in viewers (+46%) and young adults (+50%). 

In fact with young adults, it was ABC’s top-rated season-premiere Wednesday since 2007.  Opposite the opening hour of The X Factor from 8-9pm, ABC’s third-season 1-hour premiere of The Middle achieved a series high in Adults 18-49.  The ABC comedy also marked series bests with Adults 18-34, Adults 25-54, all key Men and Women and Teens 12-17.  Building over its year-ago premiere by double-digit percentages in viewers (+10%) and young adults (+15%), The Middle bettered the prior year’s season opener for the 2nd year in a row.  Despite facing stiff competition in the hour from The X Factor and CBS’ Survivor, The Middle generated ABC’s best Adult 18-49 number with regular scripted programming in the slot since October 2007 – since 10/24/07. 

Soaring to the top of its 9pm slot to dominate the second hour of Fox’s The X Factor with Total Viewers (+12%) and Adults 18-49 (+32%), back-to-back episode of ABC’s Emmy-Award winning Modern Family opened its third season at series highs and registered as Wednesday’s Top 2 TV shows.  Similarly to The Middle, Modern Family grew over the previous year’s premiere for the 2nd straight year.  The ABC comedy surpassed its prior series highs by 10% in Total Viewers and by 22% in Adults 18-49.  Modern Family produced ABC’s best Adult 18-49 number in the 1-hour time period since November 2006 – since 11/8/06 with the Fall finale of Lost. In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, Modern Family qualified as ABC’s top comedy telecast in nearly 8 years – since 11/4/03. Opposite the season premieres of veteran dramas on both CBS (CSI) and NBC (Law & Order: SVU) in the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s series debut of Revenge opened at #1 among Adults 18-49. 

The new ABC drama also led its time period with Adults 18-34 and across all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).  Revenge stands as the season’s #1 new drama series in Adults 18-49, topping CBS’ Tuesday debut of Unforgettable by 14% and NBC’s Monday debut of Playboy Club by 106%.  Revenge greatly improved the time period year to year for ABC, more than doubling the Net’s performance on the year-ago night in viewers (+104%) and young adults (+120%). Topping ABC’s last 6 drama debuts in the hour, Revenge stood as the Net’s biggest series premiere in Wednesday’s 10 o’clock hour in 4 years – since 9/26/07.

Thursday: Up against stiff competition on the opening Thursday of the season, ABC marked its strongest performance on the night with regular programming in nearly 9 months among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 – since 1/6/11. 

Opposite much greater competition in the 8 o’clock hour year to year, with the entry of Fox’s The X Factor into the slot and back-to-back telecasts of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, the series debut of Charlie’s Angels scored big gains for ABC over the year-ago season-premiere Thursday with viewers (+69%) and young adults (+31%).  Despite the competition, Charlie’s Angels gained young adult audience from its first half-hour to its second half hour.   From 8-9pm, the new ABC drama more than doubled the overall audience of NBC’s established comedies (Community/Parks and Recreation), while pulling in 11% more Adults 18-49.    In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, Charlie’s Angels qualified as ABC’s highest-rated scripted series telecast in the hour since Fall 2009 – since FlashForward on 10/29/09 and 11/19/09, respectively.

Building sharply on its lead-in (+95%) against the second hour of The X Factor, the 8th season premiere of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (9-11pm) finished as Thursday’s dominant #1 drama in Adults 18-49, topping CBS’ series debut of Person of Interest (9-10pm) by 32%, CBS’ season premiere of The Mentalist (10-11pm) by 46% and NBC’s series debut of Prime Suspect (10-11pm) by 128%.  Building audience from its first hour to its second hour, the ABC drama ran a strong #1 during the 10 o’clock hour, leading its nearest competition (CBS’ The Mentalist) by wide margins with Adults 18-49 (+50%) and Adults 25-54 (+23%).

Grey’s Anatomy surged by 14% among Adults 18-49 over where it finished out last season in its May finale, hitting the series’ best number since March – since 3/31/11.  In addition, Grey’s produced ABC’s highest Adult 18-49 number with scripted programming in the 2-hour time period in 1 year – since 9/23/10.  DVR Playback Note:  Grey’s Anatomy stood as TV’s 2nd-biggest gainer via time-shifted viewing last season among Adults 18-49 (behind only Modern Family), jumping by 2.9 million viewers and 1.4 rating points among young adults (+34%) from Live + Same Day to the finalized Live + 7 Day numbers.

Friday: From 8-9pm, two back-to-back repeat episodes of ABC’s Modern Family topped NBC’s encore comedies in the hour (Up All Night/Whitney) by 26% in Total Viewers and by 22% in Adults 18-49. ABC’s replay Revenge led Fox’s season premiere of Fringe in the 9 o’clock hour by 20% in Total Viewers.

Saturday: With coverage of Saturday Night Football (LSU at West Virginia), ABC easily won Saturday, outpacing runner-up CBS by 109% in Adults 18-49 and by 46% in Total Viewers. Airing from 8:07pm-12am, ABC’s Saturday Night Football stood as the definitive #1 TV show on Saturday among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 for the 3rd week running. Surging over the year-ago game by 16% in Total Viewers and by 15% in Adults 18-49 (Oregon St at Boise St on 9/25/10), ABC’s Saturday Night Football was up year-to-year for the 3rd straight week.

Sunday: In the 8 o’clock hour, the 9th season premiere of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, featuring First Lady Michelle Obama, was up over its prior season finale in May in both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 to draw the series’ best numbers since February – since 2/20/11.  Opposite heavy NFL-fueled competition during the 9pm hour on Sunday from NBC (Sunday Night Football) and Fox (NFL overrun-boosted comedy premieres – Family Guy/American  Dad), ABC’s 8th season premiere of Desperate Housewives towered over CBS’ season premiere of The Good Wife by 45% in Adults 18-49. 

In addition, the ABC drama qualified as Sunday’s #1 entertainment program with Women 18-49.  Pacing ahead of where it finished out last season, ABC’s Desperate Housewives topped its 2011 May Sweep average in Adults 18-49.  DVR Playback Note:  Sunday’s biggest gainer during the 2010-11 TV season via time-shifted viewing, Desperate Housewives increased by 2.0 million viewers and by 9-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point (+26%) from the first reported L+SD numbers to finalized L+7 Day numbers. 

Building on its Housewives lead-in by 1.2 million viewers and holding nearly all (97%) of its Adult 18-49 audience opposite NBC’s Sunday Night Football in the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s series debut of Pan Am took flight as Sunday’s most-watched scripted TV show.  Impressively, Pan Am became the first program to build on Desperate Housewives in overall viewers since Grey’s Anatomy in May 2006 (on 5/14/06). 

The #1 non-sports program during the 10pm hour, the new ABC drama beat out the premiere of CBS’ time-period veteran CSI: Miami by 12% in Total Viewers and by 35% in Adults 18-49.   Improving the hour year to year in viewers (+17%) and young adults (+7%) over the year-ago opener of Brother & Sisters, Pan Am posted ABC’s best season-opening numbers in the time period since 2008.  In fact, Pan Am produced ABC’s biggest audience in the slot with an hour-long telecast since the same date 3 years ago – since 9/28/08.

(source: ABC)