Week 9: ABC runs strong No. 2 w/ total viewers and adults 18-49

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Overall: During the week of 11/14/11, ABC ran a strong #2 with Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, outdelivering the third-place networks by 2.8 million viewers (NBC) and by 17% in young adults (Fox).  ABC finished within 2-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point of the #1 position for the 2nd week in a row, nearly tying an NFL Sunday primetime overrun-boosted CBS.  In addition, the Network ranked #1 across all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).


ABC delivered 5 of the week’s Top 20 TV shows in Adults 18-49, including the #1 scripted series with Modern Family for its 4th straight original telecast:  Modern Family – #3 (#1 scripted), American Music Awards – #9, Saturday Night Football – #16, while DWTS and Happy Endings tied at #20. The Network claimed 3 of the week’s Top 10 most-watched television programs overall, once again airing the #1 unscripted series with Dancing: DWTS – #3, DWTS: The Results – #5 and Modern Family – #10.  For the 9th week running this season, ABC grew its overall audience year to year during the 10 o’clock hour (+15%). On average this season (9 Complete Weeks) on Monday-Friday from 10-11pm as a lead-in to affiliates’ late-local news, ABC is exhibiting double-digit percentage year-to-year gains in Total Viewers (+13%), Adults 18-49 (+12%) and Adults 25-54 (+12%). In fact season to date, ABC remains the only net to show improvement on any of the three Nielsen measures, as CBS and NBC are each down.  Coming off the prior week’s season-high performance with viewers and young adults, the Net turned around and posted its 2nd strongest results since season-premiere week – since w/o 9/19/11.  For the 2nd week in a row, ABC increased its overall audience year to year (+3%).

ABC Season-to-Date Update for Fall 2011 (All Programming/Most Current):  On average through 9 complete weeks, ABC is growing its overall audience this season, while retaining 100% of its year-ago delivery with Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34.  The Net is also up for the season with Adults 25-54 (+3%) and Teens 12-17 (+8%).  ABC ranks as the #2 TV network this season in Viewers, Adults 18-34 and across all key Women demographics (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).  Furthermore among Adults 18-49, ABC claims the season’s #2 scripted series (virtually tied for #1, as Modern Family is now within 1-tenth of a rating point of catching CBS’ Two and a Half Men for the top spot), the #1 drama (Grey’s Anatomy) and the Top 2 new dramas (Once Upon a Time and Revenge, respectively).   

Monday: With Dancing and A Special Edition of 20/20 featuring Diane Sawyer’s exclusive interview with Gabrielle Giffords, ABC finished as Monday’s most-watched television network, topping CBS by 4.0 million viewers (HIMYM/2 Broke Girls/Two and a Half Men/Mike & Molly/Hawaii Five-0), Fox by 9.3 million viewers (Terra Nova/House) and NBC by 12.0 million viewers (The Sing Off/Rock Center with Brian Williams).  ABC qualified as Monday’s #1 network in Total Viewers for the 9th time in as many weeks this season.  In addition among Adults 18-49, ABC continued to beat out Fox by a strong margin on Monday (+25%) and once again more than doubled NBC’s young adult delivery on the night (+150%). 

Growing for the 2nd week in a row, ABC drew best-since-premiere numbers with Total Viewers – since 9/19/11.  In addition, the Net was up over the year-ago Monday by 5%.  Gaining audience from its first to second hour, the semifinals of Dancing with the Stars made ABC the most-watched network in its time period for the 9th week running.  ABC’s broad-skewing dance performance show registered as the #2 broadcast program its time slot in key Adult demos (AD18-49/AD25-54), while running #1 with Women 25-54. 

ABC’s Dancing qualified as Monday’s most-watched TV show overall for its 6th straight telecast.  In the 10 o’clock hour, A Special Edition of 20/20 with Diane Sawyer qualified as the most-watched non-sports show, outdrawing CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 by 6%.  20/20 featured Diane Sawyer’s exclusive first interview with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  ABC’s 20/20 crushed NBC’s competing Rock Center with Brian Williams in the hour, more than tripling the NBC newsmagazine in Total Viewers (+218%) and more than doubling its Adult 18-49 delivery (+118% ). Rock Center featured Bob Costas’ exclusive interview with former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.  In Total Viewers and key Adults (AD18-49/AD25-54), the special edition of 20/20 stood as ABC’s biggest newsmagazine telecast in over 4 months – since 7/10/11 with Diane Sawyer’s exclusive Jaycee Dugard interview.  Versus Diane Sawyer’s recent ABC News Special – Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words in September, the Gabrielle Giffords interview was up by wide margins in Total Viewers (+48%), Adults 18-49 (+60%) and Adults 25-54 (+67%).

Tuesday: ABC qualified as the #2 most-watched TV network on Tuesday night to CBS, outdrawing Fox by 4.4 million viewers and NBC by 5.0 million viewers.  In addition, ABC beat out NBC by 10% among Adults 18-49 on the evening.  The Network built week to week with viewers (+4%) and young adults (+5%), while equaling its top Tuesday Women 18-49 number in 5 weeks – since 10/11/11.  ABC grew over the same night last year by 5% in Adults 18-49.  Starting off the night opposite CBS’ veteran NCIS, ABC rookie Last Man Standing registered as the 2nd-most-watched TV program overall at 8pm, besting Fox’s Glee by 2.2 million viewers and NBC’s The Biggest Loser 12 by 2.9 million viewers. 

The broad-appealing Tim Allen comedy widened its winning advantage over NBC’s veteran Biggest Loser to 30% among Adults 18-49 (up from an 18% advantage the prior week), while continuing to hold the #2 position in its time slot with Adults 25-54 and key Men (M18-49/M25-54). ABC self-starter Last Man Standing once again stood as Tuesday’s most-watched sitcom, attracting 2.2 million more viewers than Fox’s runner-up Glee-boosted New Girl at 9pm.  The freshman comedy generated big year-to-year growth in its half-hour, surging by 2.5 million viewers and by 63% in Adults 18-49 from the year-ago night (w/No Ordinary Family).  At 8:30pm opposite stiff competition from the second half-hours of NCIS and Glee, ABC’s Man Up! grew its overall audience week to week and retained 100% of its Adult 18-49 delivery.  Jumping over its lead-in at 9pm and building throughout its broadcast, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: The Results ran neck-and-neck with NCIS: LA for the Total Viewer lead in its hour, while more than doubling the audiences of The Biggest Loser (+144%) and Fox’s comedies (+156% – New Girl/Raising Hope). In addition, the ABC dancing results program placed #1 in its hour with key Women (W18-49/W25-54).  Dancing dominated its NBC unscripted competition in the hour among Adults 18-49 (+27%).  Soccer star Hope Solo was the ninth celebrity dancer to be eliminated from the ABC dance competition this season.  The season’s penultimate episode of DWTS: The Results hit a 5-week high in Adults 25-54, scoring its 2nd-highest number this season. 

ABC’s Body of Proof earned second place during the 10 o’clock hour, beating NBC’s Parenthood by 4.7 million viewers.  In fact, Body of Proof registered as the #2 most-watched program in its time slot for its 8th straight telecast this season, and ranked #1 with Women 25-54 for its 2nd telecast in a row. After being pre-empted the prior week, ABC’s Body of Proof returned with an 5% increase among Adults 18-49 over its most recent airing, exhibiting its 2nd consecutive telecast of growth with young adults.   In addition, Body of Proof matched a season high with Adults 25-54, while producing a best-since-premiere number with Adults 18-49. Body of Proof scored strong time period improvement for ABC over the same night last year (w/Detroit 1-8-7) with Total Viewers (+23%) and Adults 18-49 (+18%).

Wednesday: Opposite Fox with its 2-hour primetime comprised of The X Factor live performance show, ABC returned to its regular Wednesday schedule after being preempted the prior week for the CMA Awards with a strong second-place finish on the night among Adults 18-49.  On the evening, ABC outdelivered CBS by 3% and more than doubled NBC’s results on the evening (+106%). In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC claimed Wednesday’s #1 TV show with Modern Family.  The Net’s regular Wednesday lineup scored strong year-to-year gains on the evening for the 8th time in as many tries this season, building by double-digit percentages over the same night last November Sweep (11/17/10) with viewers (+22%) and young adults (+22%).

At 8pm, ABC’s The Middle took full control of its comedy competition in the half-hour, outdelivering NBC’s Up All Night by 4.3 million viewers and by 58% in Adults 18-49.  In addition, the ABC comedy finished #2 to The X Factor across the 18-34 demos, beating out CBS’ Survivor: South Pacific by strong advantages with Adults 18-34 (+38%), Men 18-34 (+19%) and Women 18-34 (+47%). For its 8th straight telecast this season, The Middle grew over its year-ago performance with Adults 18-49 (+7%).  The Middle equaled a series-high in Men 18-34 and its 2nd-best-ever number in Men 18-49.  Building on its lead at 8:30pm, ABC’s Suburgatory placed #2 to The X Factor in Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34, beating the second half-hour of CBS’ Survivor by wide margins.  The ABC freshman comedy also ranked as the #2 TV show in the half-hour with Teens 12-17.  Surging 13% over its most recent telecast, Suburgatory hit a 5-week high with Teens 12-17 – since 10/12/11.  For the new series’ 7th time in as many airings, Suburgatory generated substantial improvement for the Net over the year-ago comedy (Better with You) in the half-hour with viewers (+15%) and young adults (+26%). 

Jumping over its lead-in at 9pm to win its time slot over CBS’ Criminal Minds and Fox’s The X Factor, ABC’s Modern Family registered as the evening’s #1 TV program in viewers and young adults.  In fact the ABC comedy finished as Wednesday’s #1 TV show with Adults 18-49 for the 8th consecutive airing this season.  Bettering its year-ago telecast on each original airing this season, the ABC third-season comedy was up year to year in viewers (+7%) and young adults (+17%).  During the 9:30pm half-hour, ABC’s Happy Endings finished as the #1 scripted series in its slot for its 7th straight airing with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34.  Despite facing increased competition year to year against the final half-hour of Fox’s 2-hour The X Factor, ABC’s Happy Endings improved its slot by 7% in Adults 18-49 from the year-ago night. From 10-11pm opposite veteran dramas on CBS (CSI) and NBC (Law & Order: SVU), ABC freshman drama Revenge ranked #1 for its 3rd straight broadcast in Adults 18-49.   In addition, Revenge was the highest-rated series in the hour for its 8th consecutive telecast with Women 18-34.  The new series continued to exhibit impressive year-to-year growth for ABC in the hour, jumping over the year-ago night with an original Sweep special (25 Years of Sexy) by 93% in viewers and by 73% in Adults 18-49.  In fact, on average among viewers and young adults, Revenge is ABC’s strongest series to air in Wednesday’s 10 o’clock hour in more than 4 years – since Lost during the 2006-07 TV Season.

Thursday: During the 8 o’clock hour against stiff November Sweep competition from CBS’ comedies (Big Bang Theory/Rules of Engagement) and Fox’s The X-Factor,  A Special Edition of 20/20 – Regis Philbin: The Morning Maestro with Katie Couric pulled in an impressive 8.1 million viewers, drawing ABC’s biggest audience in the hour in 8 weeks (best since season-premiere Thursday on 9/22/11) and its 2nd largest viewer count in 10 months (since 1/20/11). On the program, which gained viewers  (+8%) and young adults (+14%) from its first half-hour to its second half-hour, the undisputed king of morning television welcomed Katie Couric and ABC News cameras to capture a side of Regis rarely seen. 

The ABC newsmagazine boosted the Net’s delivery in the hour week to week by 3.0 million viewers and by 36% in Adults 18-49, and also topped its season averages in the time period on both counts.  Gaining sharply on its Adult 18-49 lead-in at 9pm (+73%) and building from its first to second hour, ABC’s 2-hour fall finale of Private Practice moved up to rank as the #1 drama from 10-11pm, beating CBS’ Mentalist (+8%) and NBC’s Prime Suspect (+145% ). The show ran #1 in its 2-hour time period and qualified as the top-rated drama of the evening across all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).  In addition, Private Practice finished as the #1 drama in Thursday’s 10 o’clock hour for the 8th straight telecast this season with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34. Private Practice generated the series’ 2nd-most-watched telecast since its September season premiere (on 9/29/11).

Friday: ABC stood as the 2nd-most-watched network overall on Friday evening to CBS, outdrawing NBC by 8% in Total Viewers and Fox by 63%. ABC also topped Fox by 8% in Adults 18-49. Jumping 18% week to week, the Network hit a 4-week high in Adults 18-49 to generate its 2nd-highest-rated Friday of the season. From 8-9pm, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition once again drew a larger audience than Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares (+34%) and NBC’s Chuck (+52%), while also outdelivering the NBC drama by a margin of 22% in Adults 18-49. Home Edition grew by wide margins week to week in viewers (+15%) and young adults (+57%).

Returning after a preemption the prior week, a second installment of ABC’s Home Edition shot up by 23% over its lead-in with Total Viewers to rank #2 in the 9 o’clock hour, leading NBC’s Grimm by 7% and doubling Fox’s Fringe (+100%). The ABC unscripted series ranked #1 in its time slot versus its network rivals in Adults 18-34, Women 18-34, Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11. Building on its most recent telecast two weeks ago, Home Edition posted the series’ 2nd-highest-ever ratings on Friday with viewers and young adults (best-since-premiere numbers on the evening). In the 10pm hour, ABC’s 20/20 ranked #1 with Women 18-34. 20/20 featured a rare look inside the secret world of a polygamous family, a Brian Ross exclusive investigation into the safety of eggs and an interview by Elizabeth Vargas with Tim Allen from ABC’s Last Man Standing. 20/20 equaled its top rating in 4 weeks with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34, tying its 2nd-best numbers this season.

Saturday: Coverage of Saturday Night Football (USC at Oregon/Oklahoma at Baylor) made ABC a solid #1 on Saturday evening in Total Viewers and across each of the key adult demographics (AD18-34, AD18-49 and AD25-54). In fact, ABC beat the other major networks combined (CBS, NBC, and Fox) by 4% in Adults 18-49. In viewers and young adults, the Network posted its 2nd-strongest Saturday of the season, while also seeing gains over the year-ago Saturday (11/20/10) of 27% in viewers and 59% in young adults. ABC’s Saturday Night Football easily qualified as the #1 TV show on Saturday among Total Viewers and Adults 18-4 for the 2nd week running. Saturday Night Football was up over coverage of the prior week’s games (Oregon at Stanford on 11/12/11) by 1.0 million viewers and by 13% in young adults to deliver its best numbers in 3 years – best since 11/22/08. In addition, Saturday Night Football catapulted over coverage on the year-ago night (11/20/10) by 3.2 million viewers and by 89% in Adults 18-49.

Sunday: Opposite fierce competition on the evening, including a high rated and down-to-the-wire Sunday Night Football contest (NY Giants-Philadelphia Eagles) and an NFL primetime overrun-boosted CBS, the 2011 American Music Awards made ABC the dominant #1 non-sports network from 8-11pm among Adults 18-49, towering over CBS by 87% and Fox by 72%.   In addition, ABC’s AMA broadcast won its 3-hour time period over Sunday Night Football to stand as the #1 TV show of the night across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11 (top broadcast program). 

The American Music Awards was up year to year in Total Viewers (+3%) and retained 100% of its Adult 18-49 audience.   In fact, the AMAs grew year to year across virtually all key younger demos:  AD18-34 (+5%), W18-34 (+8%), M18-34 (+4%), W18-49 (+2%), M18-49 (+3%) and Teens 12-17 (+24%). The American Music Awards scored its highest Teen 12-17 number in 7 years – since 2004. 

Despite the intense competition during primetime, ABC achieved Sunday night season highs with its coverage of the 2011 AMAs among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.  The show generated ABC’s top Adult 18-49 number in the time period with entertainment programming in 9 months – since the Academy Awards on 2/27/11.   An estimated 32.0 million viewers watched at least some portion of the 2011 American Music Awards on ABC during its 3-hour broadcast – unduplicated Viewers 2+ watching 6 minutes or more of the broadcast.

(source; ABC)