Week 29: ABC making 2nd place a habit


ABCOverall: During the week of 4/2/12, ABC registered as the 2nd-most-watched network for the 4th week in a row to CBS, increasing its advantage over 3rd-place Fox to 17%. ABC claimed 3 of the Top 10 TV series for the week in Adults 18-49:  Dancing with the Stars – #8, while Grey’s Anatomy and DWTS Results Show tied at #10.  In addition, ABC delivered 2 of the Top 4 most-watched programs overall with DWTS (#3) and DWTS  Results Show (#4), as Dancing finished ahead of Fox’s Idol-Thurs and NBC’s The Voice for the 3rd week running.  Building for the 5th straight original telecast to draw its biggest audience in nearly 1 year, ABC’s Body of Proof placed among the Top 20 most-watched TV shows for the 2nd straight week (and just the 2nd time this season), moving up to #17 from #20 the prior week. Continuing its forward momentum and gaining viewers for the 4th straight week, ABC once again generated its most-watched non-Oscar week since November – since w/o 11/21/11. In addition, as each of the other nets lost viewers year to year, ABC was the only broadcaster to grow its overall audience from the year-ago week.

* Monday: Featuring its lineup of Dancing with the Stars and Castle, ABC registered as the Monday’s most-watched net for the 3rd week in a row, outdrawing CBS with the 2012 NCAA Basketball Men’s Championship Game, while topping NBC with The Voice and Smash by 6.0 million viewers and more than doubling the audience of Fox with the return of Bones and the time-slot premiere of House.  In addition, ABC beat out Fox’s original drama lineup on the night in Adults 18-49 (+8%).  ABC’s Dancing with the Stars was the top draw in its 2-hour time period for the 3rd straight week, beating out NBC’s The Voice in head-to-head competition by 6.1 million viewers.  Among Adults 18-49, ABC’s Dancing outdelivered Fox’s combo of Bones and House by 21% in the time period.  Despite going up against the 2012 NCAA Championship Basketball Game, ABC’s DWTS held 100% of its Adult 18-34 audience week to week and spiked 25% with Men 18-34.  The night’s #1 scripted TV show in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, ABC’s Castle stood as the top series in its slot for the 2nd consecutive week on both counts.   In fact, ABC’s Castle nearly doubled the audience of NBC’s Smash (+95%) during the 10 o’clock hour and defeated the NBC drama by 19% in Adults 25-54. Castle increased its overall audience year to year, topping its year-ago telecast by 2%.

* Tuesday: Featuring a Dancing encore, DWTS Results Show and Body of Proof, ABC ranked #1 on Tuesday in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.  From 8-9pm, ABC’s DWTS: Encore Performance attracted 3.3 million more viewers than NBC’s original The Biggest Loser.  The Dancing encore improved its hour by 4.0 million viewers and by 20% year to year, topping original programming on the year-ago night.  Tuesday’s most-watched TV program, ABC’s DWTS Results Show soared above NBC’s premiere of Voice Results Show during the 9 o’clock hour by 7.1 million viewers.  The broad-appealing ABC unscripted series also finished #1 in the hour with Adults 25-54 and was the #1 broadcast program with Kids 2-11, beating The Voice by 17% on the latter measure.  Actor Jack Wagner was the second celebrity eliminated from the competition this season.  Despite facing The Voice premiere, ABC’s DWTS Results Show exhibited impressive retention of its week-ago season opener in Total Viewers (99%), Adults 18-49 (90%) and its core Women demos: W18-34 (95%), W18-49 (100%) and W25-54 (92%).  ABC’s Body of Proof ranked #1 during the 10 o’clock hour, more than doubling the audience for NBC’s Fashion Star (+156%) and leading by 33% in Adults 18-49. In addition, the ABC drama dominated the hour by 61% over its nearest competition in Adults 25-54 and won its slot for the 2nd week in a row among key Women (W18-49/W25-54).  Building its audience for its 5th straight original airing, ABC’s Body of Proof marked its most-watched telecast in close to 1 year – since 4/26/11.  Additionally among Adults 18-49, the show equaled a best-since-premiere number – since its season opener on 9/20/11.

* Wednesday: For the 3rd week running, ABC’s mostly repeat Wednesday schedule (1 original half-hour) beat out NBC’s first-run schedule on the night (including series debuts from 8-9pm), leading by 6% in Total Viewers and by 30% in Adults 18-49. At 8:30pm, ABC’s repeat Suburgatory tied NBC’s debut of Best Friends Forever among Adults 18-49 in the half hour and beat out the NBC comedy premiere by 11% in Adults 18-34. Spiking 25% week to week in Adults 18-34, ABC’s Suburgatory posted its 2nd-highest-ever repeat rating against an American Idol telecast. At 9pm, ABC’s repeat Modern Family more than doubled NBC’s original comedy Bent in the half-hour with Total Viewers (+113%) and Adults 18-49 (+125%). During the 9:30pm half-hour against the conclusion of Idol, the season finale of ABC’s Happy Endings finished as the top-rated scripted show in its slot in Adults 18-34.  In addition, the ABC sophomore comedy dominated a second original episode of NBC’s Bent by 1.8 million viewers and 143% in Adults 18-49. During the 10 o’clock hour, for the 3rd consecutive week, a replay of ABC freshman drama Missing beat out NBC’s original Rock Center with Brian Williams by double-digit percentages in Total Viewers (+20%), Adults 25-54 (+30%) and Adults 18-49 (+25%).  

* Thursday: From 8-9pm, up against Fox’s American Idol and CBS’ first-run comedies (The Big Bang Theory/Rules of Engagement), ABC’s Missing more than doubled the audience (+148%) of NBC’s original comedy block (Community/30 Rock) and led by 15% in Adults 18-49.   Despite facing depressed holiday viewing levels in the hour, Missing retained 100% of its week-ago numbers in young adults (AD18-34/AD18-49), while growing its ratings week to week with Women 18-34 (+8%) and Men 18-49 (+10%).  Nearly doubling its Adult 18-49 lead-in at 9pm (+87%), ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy finished in a virtual tie for the lead in the hour with CBS’ Person of Interest (tied in audience share), while beating Fox’s Idol-driven Touch by 22%.  Additionally, Grey’s stood as Thursday’s #1 TV show in Women 18-34.  Showing strong retention of its Grey’s lead-in during the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s debut of Scandal more than doubled its freshman drama competition, defeating NBC’s Awake by 181% in Total Viewers and by 122% in Adults 18-49.  In addition, the new drama won the hour with Women 18-49, beating out CBS’ time-period veteran The Mentalist by 7%.  And among Women 18-34, Scandal outdelivered The Mentalist by an even wider margin of 27%. Building 11% over ABC’s February Sweep average in the hour, Scandal marked a 13-week high for ABC in the time period with Total Viewers – since 1/5/12.  The new drama produced ABC’s strongest Total Viewer retention (89%) in the hour coming out of an original Grey’s Anatomy in over 3 years (since 2/12/09).  In fact, it was ABC’s best-ever viewer retention in the hour for a non-crossover episode with Grey’s.

* Friday: With a mix of repeat and original programming opposite all first-run competition, ABC ran a strong second on Friday night in Adults 18-49, outperforming Fox by 50% and NBC by 36%. Opening the evening against original programming in the 8pm hour, ABC’s Shark Tank repeat outdelivered Fox’s time-period premiere of The Finder by 18% and NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? by 63%. ABC’s Shark Tank equaled its best-ever repeat number in Adults 18-49, tying the prior week’s encore-high telecast. Building sharply on its lead-in at 9pm (+23%), ABC’s Primetime: What Would You Do? ran in a virtual tie with CBS’ CSI: NY for #1 in the hour among Adults 18-49 (pacing within 1-tenth of a rating point), while beating NBC’s Grimm by 23% and Fox’s Fringe by 60%.  For the 2nd week in a row among Adults 18-34, the ABC newsmagazine beat out the original dramas in the hour on NBC and Fox. Building week to week in Adults 18-49 (+7%) and Adults 25-54 (+5%), Primetime: What Would You Do? matched its 2nd-highest numbers this season. During the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s 20/20 once again dominated its newsmagazine competition, beating NBC’s Dateline by 1.0 million viewers, by 54% in Adults 25-54 and by 50% in Adults 18-49. ABC’s 20/20 featured Barbara Walters’ exclusive first interview with Jenna Talackova, since making international headlines for being disqualified from the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition because she was not a “naturally born female.”  Plus, in an exclusive interview, Yvonne Stern – for the first time since the attempts on her life – told ABC News Anchor Chris Cuomo why she has forgiven her husband and is standing by her man as he faces trial next week accused of trying to have her killed.

* Saturday: With the 32nd replay of The Ten Commandments on network TV, ABC easily qualified as the #1 network on Saturday night, outdrawing its closest competitor by 3.3 million viewers (CBS) and by 78% in Adults 18-49 (Fox). ABC grew over the same night last year by 3.5 million viewers and by 60% in Adults 18-49. The rebroadcast of the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille classic stood as the #1 program of the night in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. Excluding New Year’s Eve, The Ten Commandments generated ABC’s best non-sports Saturday in almost 1 year in Total Viewers and since December 2010 in Adults 18-49 – since 4/23/11 and 12/25/10, respectively. 

* Sunday: At 9pm, coming out of a repeat Once Upon a Time, a special airing of GCB shot up over its lead-in by 1.4 million viewers and by 70% in Adults 18-49.  In addition, the ABC freshman drama ranked #2 in the hour to a Masters Golf Tournament-boosted CBS with Women 18-49, beating NBC’s time-period regular Celebrity Apprentice.  Building on its lead-in among Adults 18-49 (+12%), ABC’s GCB ranked #2 in its regular 10 o’clock time period, pacing 46% ahead its CBS drama competition (The Good Wife encore/CSI: Miami season finale).  Additionally, GCB ranked #1 in the hour with Women 18-34 and earned second place with Women 18-49 and Women 25-54.  Although holiday TV usage levels were down in the hour week to week (-6% in AD18-49) and it did not have Desperate Housewives as a lead-in, GCB retained 100% of its young adult audience (AD18-34/AD18-49) and grew week to week in Women 18-34 (+7%). Improving over the second hour of a 2-hour Brothers & Sisters on the year-ago night, GCB boosted its time slot for ABC year to year by double digits in Adults 18-49 (+12%).