via ABC press release (with perhaps the longest title I've yet seen narrowing the contest down to ABC vs. CBS vs. CW):
For the 5th Straight Week, ABC's "
In Adults 18-49 and the Most-Watched Show Overall for the 4th Time in 5 Telecasts
Opposite Fox's Big NFL Overrun at 7pm, ABC's "America's" Scores Best-Since-Premiere Numbers in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49
The No. 1 Entertainment Program at 8pm in Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC's ": " Attracts its Biggest Audience in 7 Months
Increasing its Overall Audience Week to Week, "
Winning the 10pm Hour Across All Key Women for the 5th Week in a Row, "Brothers & Sisters" Dominates its Drama Competition in the Slot in Viewers and Young Adults Sunday Primetime (7:00-11:00 p.m.)
Competing against Fox, with its big NFL primetime overrun (Giants-Steelers) leading into Game 4 of the 2008 , ABC was the top non-sports network on Sunday in Total Viewers (11.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.9/10). For the 5th week in a row, ABC qualified as the No. 1 television network overall on Sunday night all key Women demos: W18-34 (4.1/11), W18-49 (5.2/13) and W25-54 (6.0/14).
* Opposite theGame 4, ABC turned in its strongest Sunday in 3 weeks among viewers and young adults - since 10/3/08.
* For the 5th week running, ABC's "" qualified as Sunday Night's No. 1 TV program among Adults 18-49. In addition, the program was the most-watched show overall on the night for the 4th time in 5 weeks.
ABC's "America's " was the top non-sports choice in the 7 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49 (2.4/7), outdelivering CBS' " " by 9% (2.2/6).
* Airing against Fox's NFL overrun, the venerable ABC video clip show improved its performance over the prior week by 9% in viewers (8.5 million vs. 7.8 million) and by 20% among young adults (2.4/7 vs. 2.0/6), posting best-since-season-premiere numbers on both counts. In addition, "AVF" tallied season-high ratings across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11.
Surging from its lead-in against the , " : " represented the top entertainment program in the 8 o'clock hour with Total Viewers (12.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.9/10). The show ranked No. 1 its time slot in each of the key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), while also registering as the night's highest-rated broadcast program with Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11.
* Hitting season highs in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (tie), "
" " (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Sunday evening's No. 1 TV program, ABC's "Desperate Housewives" dominated its 9 o'clock time period in Total Viewers (15.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (5.7/13). In the hour, "Housewives" topped Fox's coverage by solid margins (14.2 million and 4.8/11) and towered over its CBS drama competition, "Cold Case" (12.0 million and 2.7/6).
* Despite facing World Series competition, "Housewives" increased its overall audience week to week, while retaining 100% of its Adult 18-49 audience (15.5 million and 5.7/13 on 10/19/08). The ABC series was also up week to week with Adults 25-54 (6.7/14 vs. 6.5/14).
"Brothers & Sisters" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
For the 5th consecutive week, ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" won Sunday's 10 o'clock hour across each of the key Women demographics: W18-34 (4.1/11), W18-49 (5.2/12) and W25-54 (5.9/13). The top non-sports show in the slot, "Brothers & Sisters" defeated its drama competition in the hour, CBS' "The Unit," by wide margins: +1.0 million viewers (10.1 million vs. 9.1 million) and +40% in Adults 18-49 (3.5/9 vs. 2.5/6).
* "Brothers & Sisters was up from the prior week in both Total Viewers (10.1 million vs. 9.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.5/9 vs. 3.4/8).
A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-yearcomparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 28% currently, from 20% at the same point in 2007. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.
Source: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 10/26/08.