Week 35: ABC strong, 5 of the Top 20 TV shows for the season


Overall: During the final complete week of the 2010-11 season (w/o 5/16/11), ABC posted a solid second-place finish among Adults 18-49, beating third-place CBS by 20% and fourth-place NBC by 33%.  

In fact, ABC delivered the #2 position to Fox on each of the final 6 weeks of the season.  The Net also took second place for the week in Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-34.  ABC claimed 5 of the week’s Top 15 TV programs among Adults 18-49 (more than any other net), delivering TV’s #1 scripted show for the 3rd week in a row with Modern Family:  Dancing with the Stars – #4, Modern Family – #7 (#1 scripted show), Grey’s Anatomy – #10, DWTS Results Show – #13 and Castle – #15. 

In addition, ABC aired 4 of the week’s Top 10 most-watched television programs overall, with DWTS, DWTS Results Show, DWTS-TUE 8PM and Castle.  In fact ABC’s DWTS was the week’s #2 show in viewers, outdrawing Fox’s final Thursday telecast of American Idol this season.

2010-11 TV Season Program Rankings: ABC aired 5 of the Top 20 TV shows for the season in Adults 18-49, including the #1 comedy with Modern Family and the #1 drama with Grey’s Anatomy:  DWTS and Modern Family tied at #5, Grey’s Anatomy – #9, DWTS Results Show and Desperate Housewives tied at #17.  In addition, ABC’s Body of Proof qualified as TV’s most-watched new show overall for the season. 

Monday: Featuring the semi-finals of DWTS and the 3rd-season finale of Castle, ABC towered over its competitors for the 3rd straight Monday of the 2011 May Sweep, more than doubling runner-up CBS with its season finales in Total Viewers and outrunning second-place Fox by 56% in Adults 18-49. 

For the 2nd week in a row, the Net defeated its broadcast competition in all 6 half-hours of the night with viewers and young adults. 

In fact, ABC stood as Monday’s most-watched television network for the 10th week in a row and delivered the #1 position on the evening in Adults 18-49 for the 9th time in 10 weeks.  In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC generated its best Monday results in 7 weeks – since 3/28/11. 

For the 3rd straight Monday, the Net substantially improved its year-to-year May Sweep returns, surging by 4.7 million viewers and by 31% with young adults over the same night a year ago (5/17/10).

Building week to week in viewers (+6%) and young adults (+10%), ABC’s Dancing with the Stars once again won each of its half-hours in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 to finish #1 in its time period for the 9th time in as many weeks.  The ABC dancing performance program continued to register as Monday’s #1 TV show in Total Viewers (9 of 9 telecasts) and Adults 18-49 (8 of 9 telecasts). 

DWTS built over the same night last year by 3.0 million viewers and by 12% in Adults 18-49.  On average, Season 12 of DWTS is up over the same point in Season 11 by 1.2 million viewers and by 7% in Adults 18-49, standing as the franchise’s most-watched-ever season overall. 

Hitting season-highs, ABC’s 3rd-season closer of Castle won the 10 o’clock hour, dominating CBS’ season finale of Hawaii Five-0 by 2.5 million viewers and by 22% in Adults 18-49, as the ABC drama won their 5th straight head-to-head original matchup.  In addition, on both counts Castle was the #1 TV series in its time period for 7th time in its past 8 original airings.  On each of its final 7 first-run broadcast this season, ABC’s Castle finished as Monday’s most-watched scripted TV program. 

Building its viewer and young adult numbers for the 3rd week in a row, Castle scored its best results in nearly 14 months (since 3/29/10, with the conclusion of a high-rated 2-part episode), qualifying as the series’ 2nd-highest numbers ever. 

Posting its strongest finale ever, Castle was up sharply over its year-ago season closer in Total Viewers (+2.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (+38%). In fact ABC’s Castle marked its strongest season ever, building over its sophomore season averages in both Total Viewers (+8% ) and Adults 18-49 (+4%). 

Tuesday: ABC finished as the 2nd-most-watched network on Tuesday to CBS with its season finale lineup, outdrawing NBC by 6.0 million viewers and Fox by 7.4 million viewers.  The Net also earned second place on Tuesday with Adults 25-54 and Women 18-49, while ranking #1 with Women 25-54. 

Up on the evening for the 2nd week in a row, the Net improved its Tuesday numbers week to week by 8% Total Viewers and by 8% in Adults 18-49. Building over the same night last May Sweep by 4.3 million viewers, ABC grew its overall Tuesday audience year to year for the 9th week running. 

Increasing ABC’s numbers in the 8pm hour week to week against CBS’ season finale of NCIS, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Live: Freestyle Special topped Fox’s Glee by 4.8 million viewers and the opening hour of NBC’s 2-hour The Biggest Loser: Couples by 7.5 million viewers.  With the special, ABC drew its biggest audience in the hour since the beginning of November (since 11/2/10), representing its 2nd-largest audience in the slot this season. 

Opposite all-original competition in the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s DWTS Results Show ran #1 for the 2nd week in a row, defeating the season finale of CBS’ NCIS: LA by 2.3 million viewers and by 6% in Adults 18-49.  It was the most-watched television show in its hour for the 8th week running. The broad-appealing ABC unscripted series also delivered the #1 position in the hour with Adults 25-54 and Women 18-49, and stood as the top-rated broadcast program in its slot with Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11.   

The ABC dancing results program registered as Tuesday’s 2nd-most-watched TV show overall (behind only CBS’ NCIS finale).  Actor Ralph Macchio was the eighth celebrity dancer to be eliminated from the competition this season.  In viewers and young adults, DWTS Results Show was up week to week for the 2nd consecutive Tuesday.  On average this season, ABC’s DWTS Results Show is growing by double-digit percentages from the same point a year ago in viewers (+29%) and young adults (+29%). 

Against the season finale of CBS’ The Good Wife and NBC’s The Voice in the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s freshman finale of Body of Proof built its overall audience week to week to post its most-watched telecast in 3 weeks – since 4/26/11.  

Finishing out as TV’s most-watched new series for the 2010-11 season, ABC’s Body of Proof outdrew NBC’s The Voice in head-to-head competition during the hour.  The new drama continued to greatly improve its hour for ABC year over year, bettering the season finale of V on the same night last year coming out of Lost by 4.8 million viewers.  On average, Body of Proof qualifies as ABC’s most-watched series in the time slot in 10 years – since the 8th season of NYPD Blue in 2001.

Wednesday: Up against Fox with a 2-hour American Idol during prime, ABC ranked #2 against its broadcast rivals on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34, beating CBS by 36% and NBC by 46% on the latter measure.  At 8pm, ABC’s The Middle ran #2 to Idol in viewers and young adults. 

Building for the 3rd straight week in viewers (+7%) and young adults (+9%), The Middle drew its biggest audience in 11 weeks and equaled its top Adult 18-49 number in 14 weeks – since 3/2/11 and 2/9/11, respectively.  In addition, the ABC sophomore comedy hit a 4-month high among key Men (M18-34/M18-49) – since 1/19/11. 

Season to date, ABC’s The Middle stands as TV’s 2nd-biggest year-to-year gainer (behind only Modern Family) among returning broadcast series, surging by 23% in Total Viewers over its performance in the 8:30pm half-hour last season.  At 8:30pm, a repeat telecast of ABC’s The Middle beat out CBS’ replay Criminal Minds by 20% and NBC’s original Minute to Win It by 64% in Adults 18-49. Jumping 38% over its most-recent 8:30pm encore (on 4/6/11) in Adults 18-49, ABC’s The Middle posted its 3rd-highest repeat number this season. 

Surging over its lead-in against the third half-hour of Idol at 9pm, ABC’s Modern Family was the top-rated scripted show in its slot among Adults 18-49, beating runner-up CBS’ season finale of Criminal Minds by 28%. TV’s #1 comedy and the highest-rated scripted series this season, ABC’s Modern Family ran as Wednesday’s #1 scripted program for its 23rd consecutive original airing this season in the key young adult sales demographic.

Season to date, ABC’s Modern Family is the fastest-growing television show on the broadcast nets, increasing over the same point last season by 24% in Total Viewers and by 23% in Adults 18-49.  In the 9:30pm half-hour against the final segment of Idol, ABC’s Cougar Town grew its overall audience by 4% over the last time it faced American Idol in the time period. 

At 10pm, ABC’s Happy Endings beat out the finale of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior by 25% in Men 18-34.  In addition, the ABC freshman comedy improved its half-hour by 8% in Adults 18-34 year to year over original programming on the same night last year.

Thursday: Opposite Fox with its final American Idol telecast on the night this season, ABC posted its strongest Thursday since March among young adults (AD18-34/AD18-49) – since 3/31/11. Rising for the 2nd week in a row, ABC’s season closer of Spring Wipeout attracted the show’s biggest audience in 5 weeks – since 4/14/11. 

Despite going up against American Idol in the hour this year, Wipeout continued to improve its time slot for ABC, up by 8% in viewers and by 6% in Adults 18-49 over original drama programming on the same night a year ago.

 In its 7th season finale, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy beat out its season-finale drama competition during the 9 o’clock hour among Adults 18-49, defeating Fox’s Idol-fueled Bones by 13% and the opening hour of CBS’ 2-hour The Mentalist by 44%. In addition, the ABC drama won its hour in Adults 25-54 and stood as Thursday’s #1 scripted series across all key Women demographics (W18-49/W25-54).

Grey’s surged by double-digit percentages week to week in Adults 18-49 (+13%) and Adults 18-34 (+15%).  In the 10pm hour, ABC’s 4th season finale of Private Practice ran as the #2 series in viewers and young adults, while delivering the #1 position with Women 18-34 and Women 18-49.  In fact it was the ABC drama’s 21st consecutive original broadcast to stand as the #1 scripted TV show in the slot with key Women (W18-34/W18-49). 

Building its viewer count for the 3rd week running, ABC’s Private Practice marked its most-watched telecast in 8 weeks and its top Adult 18-49 rating in 7 weeks – since 3/24/11 and 3/31/11.  Jumping by 25% week to week, Private Practice equaled its highest Adult 18-34 number since the beginning of December – since 12/2/10.

Friday: With a replay Shark Tank, Primetime: What Would You Do? and 20/20, ABC earned second place among the major nets on the final Friday of the May Sweep and 2010-11 TV Season among Adults 18-49.

In the 8pm hour, ABC’s repeat Shark Tank ran #2 versus its network rivals in Adults 18-49 to Fox’s season finale of Kitchen Nightmares, beating CBS’ original Flashpoint by 22% and NBC’s original Friday Night Lights by 22%. Building on its lead-in at 9pm, ABC’s season closer of Primetime: What Would You Do? defeated its newsmagazine competition, topping NBC’s Dateline by 30% in Adults 18-49 and by 14% in Adults 25-54. Growing week to week by 8% in Adults 18-49, What Would You Do? posted its top-rated telecast in 5 weeks – since 4/15/11.

Surging from its lead-in, ABC’s 20/20 finished a solid #1 in the 10pm hour among Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54, beating out original newsmagazine competition on both CBS (48 Hours Mystery) and NBC (Dateline). 

In fact, 20/20 stood as Friday’s #1 TV show in the key Adult 25-54 news demographic.  20/20 featured reports on the sex scandals that are imploding the worlds of two superstar politicians – former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In addition, 20/20 and Consumer Reports teamed up for a special report on infomercials. 20/20 was up sharply week to week in Total Viewers (+1.3 million viewers), Adults 18-49 (+25%) and Adults 25-54 (+25%). The ABC newsmagazine built over is year-ago telecast by 1.1 million viewers and by 15% in Adults 18-49.

Sunday: ABC finished as the top-rated broadcaster the final Sunday of the 2010-11 TV Season and May Sweep in Adults 18-49, beating Fox by 18% (w/Animated Comedy season finales), NBC by 24% (w/Celebrity Apprentice season finale) and CBS by 86% (w/Jesse Stone movie).

ABC posted its top-rated Sunday since the beginning of March in Adults 18-49 – since 3/6/11. And excluding the Academy Awards, the Net scored its highest Adult 18-34 number on the evening since November – since 11/21/10.  During the 7 o’clock hour, ABC’s conclusion of a 2-part season finale for America’s Funniest Home Videos finished as the #1 show in its slot for the 2nd week in a row in Adults 18-49.

ABC’s 3-hour broadcast of The 2011 Billboard Music Awards ran #1 against its broadcast competition in the 8-11pm time period among Adults 18-49, leading Fox by 11%, NBC by 25% and CBS by 114%. 

The wide-appealing music awards show also finished #1 against its broadcast competition in the time period with Adults 25-54, across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54) and Kids 2-11. 

Head to head from 9-11pm, ABC’s Billboard Music Awards defeated NBC’s season finale of Celebrity Apprentice by 3% in Adults 18-49 and by 72% in Adults 18-34.  Opposite stiff end-of-season/sweep competition, The 2011 Billboard Music Awards produced ABC’s top Adult 18-49 number in the time period in nearly 3 months – since 3/6/11.  Rising over its most-recent telecast in 2006 on Fox with viewers (+30%) and young adults (+11%), The Billboard Music Awards drew its biggest audience since 2003.

(source: ABC)