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Opposite the BCS Championship, ABC ranks as the number one non-sports network

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January 9th, 2009

via ABC press release:

Opposite the BCS Championship, ABC Ranks as the No. 1 Non-Sports Net

And Sees its Top Thursday with Regular Programming in Nearly 2 Months

From 8-9pm, ABC's "Ugly Betty" is the Top-Rated Series Telecast in Adults 18-49 and

Holds its Biggest Advantage This Season Over NBC's Original Comedies in the Hour

"Grey's Anatomy" Stands as Thursday's No. 1 TV Series in Viewers and Adults 18-49 And as the Top Show Overall in Key Women, Ahead of the BCS Championship Game

"Grey's" Marks its 6th Consecutive Original Telecast as Thursday's

Highest-Rated TV Series in the Key Adult 18-49 Sales Demographic

On its Thursday Premiere, "Private Practice" Tops its Non-Sports Competition in the 10pm Hour, Becoming the First ABC Series This Season to Beat an Original "ER"

Versus the Season Averages, "Private Practice" Exhibits Substantially Improved Audience Retention for ABC During the 10pm Hour Coming Out of "Grey's"

Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)

Facing Fox's highly-rated National College Football BCS Championship Game (Florida-Oklahoma) on the night, ABC qualified as Thursday's No. 1 non-sports network, outpacing its nearest entertainment competition by 1.0 million viewers (10.1 million vs. 9.1 million - CBS) and by 64% in Adults 18-49 (3.6/9 vs. 2.2/6 - CBS and NBC tied in rating).  ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and the Thursday premiere of "Private Practice" qualified as the Top 2 non-sports telecasts of the evening in Adults 18-49.

  • Despite the stiff competition from the football game, ABC turned in its strongest Thursday with regular series programming on the night in nearly 2 months - since 11/20/08.

"Ugly Betty" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

The top-rated series telecast in the 8 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49, ABC's "Ugly Betty" (2.4/6) beat out its non-sports competition on CBS by 20% (2.0/5 - "C.S.I.: NY" replay) and on NBC by 26% (1.9/5 - originals of "My Name is Earl"/"Kath & Kim").  In addition, "Betty" outdrew NBC's "My Name is Earl"/"Kath & Kim" combo in the hour by 56% in Total Viewers (7.5 million vs. 4.8 million).  In fact it was "Betty's" biggest percent advantage this season over the NBC original comedies in the hour in both viewers and young adults.

"Grey's Anatomy" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" registered as Thursday's No. 1 non-sports program in both Total Viewers (13.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (5.1/12).  It was the night's highest-rated program overall across the key Women demos [W18-34 (7.6/20), W18-49 (7.6/18) and W25-54 (8.2/18)], outdelivering even the BCS Championship Game.  In fact "Grey's" was Thursday's No. 1 TV series in Adults 18-49 for its 6th consecutive original airing and the 7th time in the last 8 original telecasts.

"Private Practice" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Delivering improved lead-in retention for ABC coming out of "Grey's Anatomy," ABC's Thursday premiere of "Private Practice" ranked as the No. 1 non-sports program during the 10 o'clock hour in Total Viewers (9.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.3/8).  In fact the ABC sophomore series defeated NBC's veteran "ER" in the time slot by 23% in Total Viewers and by 27% in Adults 18-49 ("E.R." = 7.3 million and 2.6/7).  "Private Practice" is the ABC's first series this season to beat an original episode of "ER" in the key young adult sales demo.

  • Compared to ABC's average with regular original programming in the hour this season coming out of originals of "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice" exhibited considerably improved retention of its lead-in among both Total Viewers (66% vs. 57%) and Adults 18-49 (65% vs. 47%).
  • Although it faced a strong draw from the football game, "Private Practice" attracted its second-largest audience of the season and matched its season-high among Adults 18-49.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: 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 29% currently, from 22% at the same point in 2008. 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), 1/8/09.

 
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