Week 42: ABC No. 2 in adults 18-49, airing 5 of the Week's Top 20


Overall: During the week of 7/4/11, ABC took second place in Adults 18-49, beating Fox by 8% and CBS by 8%. The Net finished #1 for the week among Women 18-49. 

ABC aired 5 of the Top 20 TV shows of the week in Adults 18-49: Primetime Special Edition-7/10 – #2, Wipeout-Thurs – #10, 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show – #13, Expedition Impossible – #17 and Wipeout-Tues – #20.  

ABC’s Primetime Special Edition on Sunday, featuring Diane Sawyer’s exclusive interview with Jaycee Dugard, finished as the 2nd-most-watched TV show overall during the week and qualified as the most-watched summer newsmagazine telecast in more than 7 years.  In fact, the Net claimed the #1 newsmagazine for the 3rd week in a row among key Adults (AD18-49/AD25-54).  Generating its strongest performance in 4 weeks with viewers and young adults, ABC posted its biggest non-sports week this summer.  Additionally, the Net grew its overall audience year to year for the 5th time in the last 7 weeks.

Tuesday: From 8-9pm, ABC’s repeat Wipeout finished #2 in Adults 18-49 to the opening hour of NBC’s 3 hours of America’s Got Talent.  Wipeout built sharply from its most recent repeat in the hour in mid-June (6/14/11), shooting up by 1.7 million viewers and by 60% in Adults 18-49. Against the second hour of America’s Got Talent from 9-10pm, ABC’s 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show surged over its lead-in by 19% in Adults 18-49, retaining an impressive 100% of its ratings from the series’ first two telecasts when it had the advantage airing out of an original Wipeout. In addition, the show hit series-highs with key Women demographics (W18-34/W18-49).  101 Ways to Leave a Game Show drastically improved its time period year over year for ABC, topping an original airing of the gamer Downfall on the same night last summer by 1.3 million viewers and by 58% in Adults 18-49. Opposite the third hour of America’s Got Talent and CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery special on Casey Anthony at 10pm, ABC’s Combat Hospital grew its hour year to year by 13% in overall viewers, bettering original programming on the same night last year.

Wednesday: More than doubling its lead-in audience (+129%) and building throughout its broadcast in the 10pm hour against NBC’s America’s Got Talent-fueled Love in the Wild, ABC’s special Primetime Nightline – Casey Anthony: Not Guilty boosted its time period by strong margins week to week in Total Viewers (+1.3 million), Adults 18-49 (+8%) and Adults 25-54 (+13%). The program featured Barbara Walters’ sit-down with Casey Anthony’s lead lawyer Jose Baez, in his first network interview since the jury acquitted his client of murder, manslaughter and child endangerment charges.  The Primetime Nightline special drew ABC’s biggest overall audience to the time period in 5 months – since 2/9/11.

Thursday: With its Thursday summer lineup, ABC won the evening among Adults 18-34, beating CBS with its season premiere of Big Brother 13, Fox with So You Think You Can Dance and NBC with an original Love Bites.  The Net also ranked #1 on the night with key Men (M18-34/M18-49) and was the top-rated broadcaster with Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11.  ABC grew over the same night last year by 8% in Adults 18-34, while retaining 100% of its Adult 18-49 audience.

At 8pm, ABC’s Wipeout won its time period for the 3rd straight week in both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, beating its unscripted competition on Fox (So You Think You Can Dance) by 1.3 million viewers and by 18% in young adults.  The ABC unscripted series increased its overall audience week to week, while hitting its top Men 18-34 number in the hour in 5 months – since 2/3/11.  During the 9 o’clock hour opposite the season premiere of CBS’ veteran Big Brother, ABC’s freshman Expedition Impossible earned second place in viewers and young adults.  Against the CBS reality premiere, the broad-appealing ABC unscripted series built over the prior week with Kids 2-11 (+8%) to finish as the #1 broadcast in its time slot.  

Despite facing greater competition in the hour year to year with the season opener of Big Brother shifting from 8pm to 9pm, Expedition Impossible boosted its time period for ABC by 13% in Adults 18-49 and by 8% in Adults 18-34 from the same night last year with original programming. ABC’s Rookie Blue took first place in Thursday’s 10 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49 for the 3rd week running, more than doubling NBC’s original Love Bites (+114%) in key young adult sales demographic.  The ABC sophomore drama also finished #1 in the hour with Adults 25-54. Rookie Blue was up week to week in both Total Viewers (+4%) and Adults 18-49 (+7%), while equaling a season-high with Adults 18-34.  Rookie Blue substantially improved its time period over the year-ago night with original programming by 16% in viewers and by 36% in young adults.

Friday: With replays of Shark Tank and Primetime: What Would You Do? leading into an original 20/20, ABC finished first among the major nets on Friday in Adults 18-49, beating CBS by 18% and Fox by 63%. The Net drew its largest Friday audience of the summer and equaled a 9-week high in young adults – since 5/20/11 and 5/6/11, respectively. At 8pm, ABC’s encore Shark Tank was the #1 program in the hour among Adults 18-49 for the 2nd week in a row, leading NBC’s original Friday Night Lights by 71% and Fox’s repeat Bones by 50%. In addition, Shark Tank stood as Friday’s top non-sports show in Adults 18-34.

Shark Tank generated its 2nd-largest ever repeat audience  and delivered its highest-ever repeat numbers in key Adult (AD18-34/AD18-49). ABC’s repeat Primetime: What Would You Do? led its network rivals in the 9 o’clock hour in Adults 18-34, beating NBC’s original Dateline by 25%. ABC’s 20/20 grew week to week by 8% in Total Viewers, by 8% in Adults 18-49 and by 6% in Adults 25-54 to produce its best numbers of the summer. In fact, the ABC newsmagazine delivered its best summer performance in nearly 1 year – since 7/23/10.

Sunday: Boosted by A Special Edition of Primetime with Diane Sawyer – Jaycee Dugard:  In Her Own Words, ABC posted a dominant first-place finish on Sunday evening, leading its nearest competition by 4.2 million viewers and by 79% in Adults 18-49.  ABC’s numbers soared over the year-ago Sunday by 149% in Total Viewers and by 127% in Adults 18-49.  ABC’s A Special Edition of Primetime with Diane Sawyer – Jaycee Dugard: In Her Own Words more than doubled its lead-in at 9pm among viewers (+175%) and young adults (+171%) to dominate its time slot and stand as Sunday’s highest-rated TV program, attracting an average audience of 15.1 million viewers during its 2-hour broadcast.  In a landmark television event, Diane Sawyer conducted the first interview with Jaycee Dugard. 

Dugard was kidnapped at age 11 on her way to school by Phillip and Nancy Garrido, and held captive for the next 18 years, during which time she was repeatedly abused and gave birth to two daughters.  In addition to Diane Sawyer’s exclusive interview with Jaycee Dugard, the two-hour special featured Chris Cuomo’s investigation into why law enforcement failed to find Dugard despite 60 visits to Garrido’s home. 

The definitive #1 TV show on Sunday, ABC’s A Special Edition of Primetime beat CBS, NBC and Fox combined in its 9-11pm time period by 5.4 million viewers, by 36% in Adults 25-54 and by 12% in Adults 18-49.  In fact, Primetime is ABC’s biggest non-sports telecast of Summer 2011 in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49.  ABC’s A Special Edition of Primetime with Diane Sawyer – Jaycee Dugard: In Her Own Words qualifies as TV’s most-watched summer newsmagazine telecast in more than 7 years – since 6/20/04.  Diane Sawyer’s interview with Jaycee Dugard on Primetime produced ABC’s biggest summer audience in the 2-hour time period with non-sports programming in nearly 11 years – since 8/27/00.  The ABC newsmagazine registered as Sunday’s most-watched non-sports TV broadcast since February – since ABC’s February airing of the Academy Awards on 2/27/11.

(source: ABC)