ABC take on Wednesday ratings, LOST has “appointment television” status

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via ABC press release:

January 29, 2009

Quick Take for Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Program Ratings)

ABC Finishes No. 2 to Fox on Wednesday in Adults 18-49,

Leading Third-Place NBC by 38% and Fourth-Place CBS by 45%

Demonstrating its Appointment-TV Status, “Lost” Surges from its Lead-in to

Beat Fox’s “Idol”-Boosted “Lie to Me” in the 9pm Hour by 9% in Adults 18-49

And Stands as Wednesday’s No. 1 Scripted TV Show for the 2nd Week in a Row

“Lost” Retains Nearly All of its Week-Ago Premiere Viewers and Young Adults,

While Posting the Series’ Top Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 Numbers Since March ’08

Excluding the Prior Week’s “Lost” Premiere, ABC’s “Life on Mars” Opens on its New Night with ABC’s Strongest Series Numbers in the Time Period in Almost 4 Months

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

ABC took second place on Wednesday in Adults 18-49 (2.9/7) to an “American Idol”-driven Fox, besting third-place NBC by 38% (2.1/5) and fourth-place CBS by 45% (2.0/5).

“Lost” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Demonstrating its appointment-television status, “Lost” surged from its lead-in by 5.8 million viewers and by 182% in young adults to win the 9 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49 and stand as Wednesday’s No. 1 scripted TV show for the 2nd week in a row.  Winning the 9 o’clock hour, “Lost” overcame Fox’s “Idol”-boosted episode of “Lie to Me” by 9% in Adults 18-49 (4.8/11 vs. 4.4/10).

  • For the 2nd week in a row, “Lost” qualified as Wednesday’s No. 1 scripted TV program in Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54 and across each of the key Men demographics (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). Moving ahead of Fox’s “Lie to Me” on their second match-up, “Lost” also emerged as the night’s highest-rated scripted series in Adults 18-34.
  • “Lost” retained nearly all of its week-ago season premiere delivery in Total Viewers (97% – 11.1 million vs. 11.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (96% – 4.8/11 vs. 5.0/12). The show was up from its season opener in key Men, posting the series’ highest-rated telecast since early-March 2008 in Men 18-34 (4.4/12 vs. 4.2/12) and Men 18-49 (4.6/12 vs. 4.5/12) – since 3/6/08.

“Life on Mars” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

On its new night, ABC’s “Life on Mars” ranked No. 2 against its veteran NBC (“Law & Order”) and CBS (“C.S.I.: NY”) drama competition in the 10 o’clock hour among Adults 18-34 (1.6/5), Men 18-34 (1.6/5) and Men 25-54 (2.7/7).

  • Excluding the prior week’s 2-hour “Lost” which ran into the hour, “Life on Mars” drew ABC’s biggest audience (6.5 million) and top Adult 18-49 rating (2.3/6) with series programming in the time slot in nearly 4 months – since 10/1/08.

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), 1/28/09.

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