Overall: During the week of 3/19/12, ABC qualified as the #2 most-watched network for the 2nd week in a row to CBS, once again outdrawing Fox. ABC aired 4 of the Top 20 broadcast series for the week in Adults 18-49: Dancing with the Stars – #5, Once Upon a Time – #12, Desperate Housewives – #16 and Castle – #20. In addition, ABC’s DWTS finished as week’s most-watched unscripted series overall, topping both editions of Fox’s Idol and NBC’s The Voice. In fact, it was the first time ever that a spring edition of DWTS stood as the most-watched unscripted series during its season premiere week. Dancing’s audience was bigger than nearly every American Idol telecast this season (outdrawing all but 4 of Idol’s 21 airings so far), besting Idol’s numbers during each of the last 5 Nielsen weeks – since w/o 2/13/12. In addition, excluding only its post-Super Bowl airing, Dancing attracted more viewers than every telecast of The Voice since its series debut last April. Growing its audience for the 2nd straight week, ABC marked its most-watched non-Oscar week in more than 2 months – since w/o 1/9/12
Monday: With the 14th-season premiere Dancing with the Stars and Castle against all-original competition, ABC stood as the most-watched TV network on Monday night, outdrawing runner-up NBC with The Voice and Smash by 6.3 million viewers. In addition, ABC beat Fox (House/Alcatraz) by 72%. In viewers and young adults, ABC marked its biggest Monday since September – since 9/19/11 and 9/26/11, respectively. Monday’s most-watched TV show, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars soared to the top of its time slot with an average audience of 18.8 million viewers, beating NBC’s The Voice by 6.8 million viewers in head-to-head competition. In fact, DWTS became the first program this season to outdraw The Voice, as the NBC series dropped to season lows. In addition among Adults 18-49, Dancing nearly doubled the delivery of Fox’s back-to-back dramas (+94%). In viewers and young adults, DWTS turned in ABC’s best numbers in the time period since season-premiere Monday 6 months ago – since 9/19/11. ABC’s Castle drew 11.5 million viewers on average, to finish as the most-watched TV show during the 10 o’clock hour, topping CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 (+24%) and NBC’s Smash (+74%) by season-best margins. The ABC drama also ranked #1 in the hour with Adults 25-54. In addition, Castle defeated NBC’s The Voice-led Smash among Adults 18-49. Jumping over its most-recent original three weeks ago (2/27/12) in Total Viewers (+26%) and Adults 18-49 (+10%), ABC’s Castle generated its strongest performance since October – since 10/31/11.
Tuesday: At 8pm, ABC’s Last Man Standing took full control of its comedy competition on Fox, beating Raising Hope by 3.2 million viewers and by 19% in Adults 18-49. In fact, ABC self-starter Last Man Standing finished as Tuesday’s most-watched comedy overall, attracting 1.8 million more viewers than Fox’s New Girl at 9pm. Continuing to improve its time slot year over year, Last Man Standing boosted the half-hour for ABC by 1.5 million viewers and by 19% in Adults 18-49 over original programming on the year-ago night. In the 8:30pm half-hour like its lead-in, ABC’s Cougar Town towered over Fox’s competing comedy, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, by 52% in Total Viewers and by 33% in Adults 18-49. Cougar Town grew week to week in Total Viewers (+5%) and Adults 18-49 (+14%), generating its biggest audience in 1 month – since 2/21/12. During the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s season finale of The River was up week to week by 8% in Adults 18-49, by 18% in Women 18-34 and by 13% in Women 18-49.
Wednesday: Up against all-original competition on the other nets including Fox’s 2-hour American Idol, ABC’s mostly repeat line-up (1 original half-hour) overshadowed NBC’s first-run schedule (including the series debut of Bent) by 1.7 million viewers and by 50% in Adults 18-49. At 8pm, ABC’s repeat The Middle delivered a 12% larger audience than NBC’s original Whitney. Building on its lead-in at 8:30pm among young adults, ABC’s repeat Suburgatory beat its original NBC comedy competition by an even larger margin, topping Are You There, Chelsea? by 23% in Total Viewers and essentially tying the first-run NBC comedy in Adults 18-49 (pacing within 1-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share). At 9pm, ABC’s repeat Modern Family crushed NBC’s series debut of Bent, doubling the delivery of the new NBC comedy in both Total Viewers (+107%) and Adults 18-49 (+100%). Like its lead-in, during the 9:30pm half-hour, ABC’s Happy Endings towered over a second original episode of NBC’s Bent, topping its comedy competition by 1.7 million viewers and by 125% in Adults 18-49.
During the 10 o’clock hour, a replay of the Missing pilot built sharply on its lead-in (+22%) and attracted 2.0 million more viewers than NBC’s original Rock Center with Brian Williams. In addition, the repeat ABC freshman drama beat out the first-run NBC newsmagazine by enormous margins in both Adults 25-54 (+89%) and Adults 18-49 (+86%). ABC’s Missing rebroadcast improved its time period week to week in Total Viewers (+14%) and Adults 18-49 (+8%), while drawing 11% more viewers to the hour year to year over original programming on the year-ago evening.
Thursday: From 8-9pm, opposite Fox’s American Idol, ABC’s Missing finished as the 2nd-most-watched TV show for the 2nd week in a row, topping CBS’ NCAA Basketball coverage by over 2.0 million viewers and more than doubling the audience of NBC’s original comedy block (+144% over Community/30 Rock). The ABC drama also ranked as the #2 regular program in the hour to Idol with Adults 25-54, while taking second overall with key Women (W18-49/W25-54). In fact, ABC’s Missing qualified as Thursday’s 2nd-most-watched scripted series, topping all 4 of NBC’s comedies and the drama Awake at 10pm, trailing only Fox’s Idol-driven Touch premiere. Missing delivered strong retention of its week-ago debut in Total Viewers (83%), Adults 25-54 (86%), Men 18-49 (92%) and Men 25-54 (100%). The new drama improved its time period year to year by double digits, drawing 19% more viewers than original programming on the same night last year. In the 9pm hour, ABC’s repeat Grey’s Anatomy outdrew NBC’s original comedies (30 Rock/Up All Night) by 1.2 million viewers. Grey’s generated its largest repeat audience this season, up 10% over its last replay. During the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s repeat Private Practice was up a sharp 22% over its last encore airing in viewers.
Friday: ABC finished a strong second on Friday to CBS with its NCAA Basketball coverage in Total Viewers. Overshadowing its non-sports competition in Adults 18-49, ABC beat out Fox by 60% and NBC by 100% in Adults 18-49. Growing its young adult audience for the 2nd week in a row, the Net hit a 5-week high on Friday night in Adults 18-49 – since 2/17/12. For the 2nd consecutive week, ABC’s Shark Tank was the top draw in the 8 o’clock hour and stood as Friday’s most-watched TV series overall. ABC’s Shark Tank dominated its original unscripted competition in the hour among Adults 18-49, beating NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? by 50% and Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares by 36%. Surging year to year, Shark Tank grew sharply over its premiere in the time period on the year-ago night by 1.2 million viewers and by 25% in Adults 18-49. From 9-10pm, ABC’s Primetime: What Would You Do? ranked as the #1 non-sports show in its slot with viewers and young adults. In the hour, the ABC newsmagazine towered over Fox’s first-run Fringe by 76% in Total Viewers and by 78% in Adults 18-49. Gaining week to week in Adults 18-49 (+7%), What Would You Do? posted its highest rating in 7 weeks – since 1/27/12. ABC’s 20/20 took full control of its newsmagazine competition during the 10 o’clock hour, defeating NBC’s Dateline by 1.0 million viewers, by 62% in Adults 25-54 and by 78% in Adults 18-49. 20/20 featured Chris Cuomo’s exclusive television interview with former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi – the first time he has spoken on camera since being found guilty last week of spying on his college roommate Tyler Clementi with a webcam in the fall of 2010 because he was gay. Posting its 2nd straight week of increases in Adults 25-54 (+11%) and Adults 18-49 (+14%), ABC’s 20/20 scored its best results in 5 weeks – since 2/17/12.
Sunday: ABC finished a close second on Sunday in Adults 18-49 to an NCAA Basketball overrun-boosted CBS (pacing within 2-tenths of a rating point), leading third-place Fox by 22% and fourth-place NBC by 57%. In fact after the basketball tournament overrun, ABC beat CBS in each hour from 8-11pm The Net won the night for the 5th week in a row across all key Women demographics (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54). Once again more than doubling its lead-in at 8pm (+142%), ABC’s Once Upon a Time won its hour for its 5th consecutive telecast in Adults 18-49, besting runner-up CBS’ 60 Minutes/Amazing Race XX by 16%. In fact, the Disney-owned drama stood as Sunday night’s #1 TV show in the key young adult sales demo. TV’s #1 new drama this season in Adults 18-49, on average Once Upon a Time is improving its time period for ABC by 75% over the same point last season. Once Upon a Time earned its best number in 3 weeks with Women 18-49 and marked a 6-week high with Teens 12-17 – since 3/4/12 and 2/12/12, respectively. ABC’s Desperate Housewives led the 9 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49, outrunning original programming on CBS (Amazing Race/The Good Wife) by 30% and the first hour of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice by 63%. Building its Women 18-49 audience week to week (+9%), Desperate Housewives equaled an 11-week high – since 1/8/12. For the 3rd week in a row, ABC’s GCB registered as the #1 series in the 10pm hour in Adults 18-49, tying the second hour of NBC’s 2-hour Celebrity Apprentice and beating CBS’ The Good Wife/CSI: Miami combo by 5%. Additionally, for the 4th straight week, the new ABC drama earned the #1 broadcast position in its slot with Adults 18-34 and key Women (W18-34/W18-49). GCB grew week to week by 3% in Total Viewers and by 5% in Adults 18-49, while hitting series highs in Adults 18-34 and key Women (W18-34/W18-49).