Week 16: ABC grabs 8 of top 20 programs; strong w/ “The Bachelor”


ABC Marks its Most-Watched Week in 2 Months, Hits its Top Adult 18-49 Number Since September and its Top Adult 18-34 Number Since February.ABC Claims 8 of the Top 20 TV Programs for the Week in Adults 18-49.  With its Top Number in 6 Weeks, ABC’s Finishes No. 2 on Monday to Fox’s “Fiesta Bowl” in Adults 18-49 and Wins the Night Across Key Women Demos

Growing Year to Year in Viewers and Young Adults, “The Bachelor” Marks its Most-Watched Premiere in 4 Seasons and 2nd-Biggest Opener Since April 2004. 

Monday at 10pm, ABC’s “Conveyor Belt of Love” is the Top Non-Sports Show in Young Adults and Ranks No. 1 Overall with Women 18-34 and Women 18-49.

ABC’s “The Middle” Hits Series Highs with Key Adults, Men and Women.

Returning to Original for the 1st Time in 4 Weeks, “Modern Family” Stands As Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49 with Best-Since-Debut Results. 

“Cougar Town” Generates its Strongest Numbers Since Mid-October.

On its Wednesday Premiere, “Ugly Betty” Marks Season Highs and Produces ABC’s Best Numbers with Regular Programming in the Time Slot in 10 Weeks.

ABC Beats its Combined Thursday Competition by Wide Margins, Marking its Second-Biggest Audience on the Night Since at Least 1991.

Surging Year to Year, ABC’s “2010 CITI BCS National Championship” EarnsThe Best-Ever Numbers for the Designated National Championship Game.

On its Friday Premiere, “Shark Tank” Hits Season Highs for ABC in the Slot.

Friday’s No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49, ABC’s “20/20” Hits its Best Number In 2 Months and Marks its 9th Straight Week as the No. 1 Show in its Hour. 

“AFV” Dominates its Non-Sports Competition Sunday at 7pm, Beating CBS’ “60 Minutes” by 20% and NBC’s “Dateline” by 80% in Adults 18-49.

The Most-Watched TV Show in Sunday’s 9pm Hour, ABC’s “Housewives” Overshadows its Original CBS and NBC Drama Competition in the Time Slot.

Winning Sunday’s 10 O’clock Hour in Viewers and Adults 18-49, “Brothers & Sisters” Achieves Season Highs in Key Men Demographics.  

             No.1 FOX 3.6    No.1 NBC  10,340,000
             No.2 NBC 3.5    No.2 FOX  10,070,000
             No.3 ABC 3.2    No.3 CBS   9,860,000
             No.4 CBS 2.3    No.4 ABC   9,610,000
             No.5 CW  0.4    No.5 CW    1,120,000

WEEK No. 16:
ABC opened the New Year on a strong note.  During the first complete week of 2010 (w/o 1/4/10), ABC generated its most-watched week (9.6 million) in 2 months and equaled its highest Adult 18-49 number (3.2/9) since season-premiere week in September – since w/o 11/9/09 and 9/21/09, respectively.  The Net posted a season-high Adult 18-34 number (2.7/8), registering its top-rated week since last February – since w/o 2/16/09.

ABC’s numbers were up substantially over the year-ago week, gaining 1.8 million viewers and 19% in Adults 18-49 year to year (7.8 million and 2.7/7 on w/o 1/5/09).
Rankings: ABC aired 8 of the week’s Top 20 television programs in Adults 18-49:  “2010 BCS National Championship Game” – No. 2, “BCS Championship Pre Game” – No. 5, “Desperate Housewives” – No. 6, “Modern Family” – No. 10, “Brothers & Sisters” – No. 14, “The Bachelor” and “Cougar Town” tied at No. 17 and  “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” – No. 20.  ABC’s Thursday broadcast of the “BCS National Championship Game” between Texas and Alabama stood as the TV’s No. 1 telecast in Adults 18-34, Men 18-34 and Teens 12-17, topping NBC’s Dallas-Philadelphia NFL Wildcard Game on Saturday.  ABC’s “Modern Family” stood as the week’s No. 1 sitcom in Adults 18-49.  ABC News’ “20/20” qualified as the week’s No. 1 newsmagazine in Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.
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 34% currently, from 29% 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.

With the season premiere of “The Bachelor” and the special “Conveyor Belt of Love,” ABC earned second place on Monday in Adults 18-49 (3.1/8) to Fox’s “Fiesta Bowl” coverage, beating third-place CBS by 19% (2.6/7) and fourth-place NBC by 55% (2.0/5).  The Net ranked No. 1 on the night across all key Women: Women 18-34 (4.3/12), Women 18-49 (4.4/11) and Women 25-54 (4.6/10). 

In Total Viewers (8.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.1/9), ABC drew its strongest Monday numbers in 6 weeks – since 11/23/09.

“The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love” (8:00-10:02 p.m.)
ABC’s season opener of “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love” drew an average audience of 9.5 million viewers and a 3.3 rating, 8 share in Adults 18-49, against original competition that included Fox’s “Fiesta Bowl” and the return of NBC’s “Heroes.”  In fact head to head, “The Bachelor” premiere topped the 2-hour return of NBC’s “Heroes” by 4.6 million viewers and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (4.9 million and 2.2/5). “The Bachelor” stood as TV’s No. 1 series telecast on Monday with Adults 18-34 and across all key Women demographics (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54). 

“The Bachelor” was up over its season premiere on the year-ago evening in both Total Viewers (+9%) and in Adults 18-49 (+6%), registering the most-watched opener for the franchise since April ’07 (4 seasons ago) and its highest young adult number since September ’07 (3 seasons ago).  In fact it was the 2nd-most-watched opener for the show in its last 9 seasons – since April ’04.

“Conveyor Belt of Love” (10:02-11:00 p.m.)
In the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s special “Conveyor Belt of Love” stood as the No. 1 series telecast with Adults 18-49 (2.6/7) and Adults 18-34 (2.4/7), and as the highest-rated program overall in Women 18-49 (3.5/9) and Women 18-34 (3.4/10).  The ABC unscripted special defeated NBC’s original “Jay Leno” in the time period by 1.5 million viewers (6.3 million vs. 4.8 million) and by 73% in Adults 18-49 (2.6/7 vs. 1.5/4). 

Opposite stiff competition from CBS’ special lineup (“I Get That a Lot”/”People’s Choice Awards”), ABC took second place on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49.  On its first original airing in 4 weeks, ABC’s “Modern Family” emerged as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV show in the key young adult sales demo.

Despite the heightened year-to-year competition from the “People’s Choice Awards” (up year to year), ABC grew over the year-ago night against the awards show by 13% (2.6/7 vs. 2.3/6 on 1/7/09).

“The Middle” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
On its first original telecasts in a month, opposite CBS’ 1-hour special “I Get That a Lot,” back-to-back episodes of ABC freshman comedy “The Middle” finished as the Top 2 regular programs in the hour among Adults 18-49, beating NBC’s original Mercy by 41% on average in the key young adult sales demo (2.4/7 vs. 1.7/5). 

In its regular 8:30 p.m. slot, “The Middle” tallied series-high numbers with Adults 18-49 (tie), Adults 25-54, Men 18-49 and all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).  The comedy also generated its biggest overall audience (8.1 million) since its series debut telecast – since 9/30/09.

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
The No. 1 TV show of the night in Adults 18-49, ABC’s Modern Family won the 9:00 p.m. half-hour by 28% over its nearest competition (4.1/11 vs. 3.2/8 – CBS’ “People’s  Choice Awards”). 

In Total Viewers (10.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.1/11), “Modern Family” achieved best-since-debut results.   The show hit series-high ratings with key Men (M18-49/M25-54).    

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:01 p.m.)
At 9:30 p.m., ABC’s “Cougar Town” finished in a near tie for first place among Adults 18-49 (3.3/8), while winning its half-hour across each of the Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).  In fact “Cougar Town” finished as the No. 2 TV show of the night in all key Men, behind only “Modern Family.”

Surging from its last original telecast in early December by 18% in Adults 18-49 (3.3/8 vs. 2.8/7 on 12/9/09), ABC’s “Cougar Town” tallied its highest viewer (7.9 million) and young adult numbers in nearly 2 months – since 10/14/09.    

“Ugly Betty” (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
On its premiere in the time period, ABC’s “Ugly Betty” hit season-highs across each of the key Adult demos:  AD18-34 (1.4/4), AD18-49 (1.6/5) and AD25-54 (2.0/5).  “Betty” also marked ABC’s strongest performance in the hour with regular programming in 10 weeks with Total Viewers (5.0 million) and all key Adult demographics – since 10/28/09.

With coverage of the “2010 CITI BCS National Championship,” featuring Texas vs. Alabama, ABC outdelivered its combined network competition during Thursday’s prime by 8.7 million viewers (29.2 million vs. 20.5 million = CBS, NBC, Fox and CW combined) and by 73% among Adults 18-49 (9.7/25 vs. 5.6/14). 
ABC generated its largest Thursday audience since October 1995 and its highest Adult 18-49 number on the night since February 2003 – since 10/26/95 and 2/6/03, respectively.  In fact it was the second-largest audience for ABC on the evening since at least September of 1991 – pre-dating Nielsen’s electronic database.  

“2010 CITI BCS National Championship” (8:32 p.m. – 12:14 a.m.)
ABC’s broadcast of the “CITI BCS National Championship” drew an average audience of 30.8 million viewers and earned a 10.5 rating, 28 share among Adults 18-49.  Alabama defeated Texas, 37-21, winning its first national title since 1992.  

Versus Fox’s year-ago coverage of the BCS National Championship, the “2010 CITI BCS National Championship” on ABC was up by 4.0 million viewers and by 11% in Adults 18-49 (2009 “FEDEX BCS National Championship” – 26.8 million & 9.5/25 on 1/8/09).  In fact ABC’s broadcast was the most-watched ever for the designated “BCS National Championship,” topping Fox’s telecasts in 2009, 2008 and 2007.

ABC’s airing of the “2010 CITI BCS National Championship” generated the biggest audience for any TV telecast in nearly 1 year – since ABC’s 2009 “Academy Awards” broadcast on 2/22/09.

“Shark Tank” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
On its Friday premiere at 9:00 p.m., “Shark Tank” surged over its lead-in by 27% to deliver ABC’s top young adult numbers (AD18-34 = 1.2/4 and AD18-49 = 1.4/4) with regular programming in the hour this season.  Against established all original competition on CBS, NBC and Fox, the ABC unscripted series gained viewers and young adults throughout its telecast and finished No. 1 against its broadcast rivals in the hour with Men 18-34 (1.1/4).

“20/20” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Building sharply on its lead-in (+64%) to emerge as Friday’s No. 1 TV show in the key young adult sales demo, ABC’s “20/20” won the 10 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49 (2.3/7), beating CBS’ original “Num3ers” by 10% (2.1/6) and NBC’s original “Jay Leno” by 64% (1.4/4).    In fact the ABC newsmagazine finished as the No. 1 regular program during Friday’s 10 o’clock hour for the 9th consecutive week with Adults 18-49.   The program featured the story of British model Katie Piper, who was doused with sulfuric acid by a complete stranger.

“20/20” marked its highest-rated telecast in 2 months (since 11/6/09) among Adults 18-49 (2.3/7) and Adults 25-54 (2.8/8), registering the show’s 2nd-highest numbers this season on both Nielsen measures.

Opposite an NFL-fueled Fox, with a huge primetime overrun of the overtime Packers-Cardinals Wild Card Playoff game, ABC (10.5 million and 3.3/8) defeated its nearest non-sport driven competition on Sunday by wide margins, beating CBS by 1.3 million viewers (9.2 million) and NBC by 50% in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6). 

ABC grew its overall Sunday audience year to year for the 2nd straight week (10.5 million vs. 10.3 million on 1/11/09).

“America’s Funniest Home Videos” (7:00-8:00 p.m.)
Opposite NFL competition on Fox during the 7 o’clock hour, ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” stood as the definitive No. 1 non-sport program in Adults 18-49 (1.8/5), beating CBS’ “60 Minutes” by 20% (1.5/4) and NBC’s “Dateline” by 80% (1.0/3).

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
Taking second to an NFL-fueled Fox from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” defeated 3rd-place NBC’s “Dateline” by 2.8 million viewers (10.6 million vs. 7.8 million) and by 68% (3.2/8 vs. 1.9/5). 

“Desperate Housewives” (9:00-10:01 p.m.)
Overcoming Fox’s momentum from earlier in the evening, ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” finished as the most-watched TV show in the 9 o’clock hour.  “Housewives” (14.0 million and 4.7/11) overshadowed its nearest drama competition in the hour, beating CBS’ original “Cold Case” by 3.6 million viewers (10.4 million) and the first hour of NBC’s season premiere of “Chuck” by 57% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/7). 

“Brothers & Sisters” (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” won in the 10 o’clock hour over its drama competition, beating out its nearest competition by 1.1 million viewers (10.5 million vs. 9.4 million – CBS’ “Criminal Minds” replay) and by 21% in Adults 18-49 (3.5/9 vs. 2.9/8 – NBC’s season premiere of “Chuck”).

“Brothers & Sisters” hit season highs among key Men demos:  M18-34 (tie) and M25-54 (tie). 

             No.1 FOX 3.6    No.1 NBC  10,340,000
             No.2 NBC 3.5    No.2 FOX  10,070,000
             No.3 ABC 3.2    No.3 CBS   9,860,000
             No.4 CBS 2.3    No.4 ABC   9,610,000
             No.5 CW  0.4    No.5 CW    1,120,000

(source: data and information provided by ABC. – The Nielsen Company (National Live+Same Day Program Ratings), week of 1/4/10, unless stated otherwise.)