Wednesday’s No. 1 Scripted TV Show for the 5th Straight Week in Adults 18-49, “Lost” Defeats Fox’s “Idol”-Fueled “Lie to Me”

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via ABC press release:

February 19, 2009

Quick Take for Wednesday, February 18, 2009

(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)

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

With its top numbers on the night in 4 weeks (since 1/21/09), ABC finished No. 2 to an “Idol”-boosted Fox on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49 (3.0/8) and Adults 18-34 (2.7/8).

  • ABC’s Wednesday night results were up sharply year to year, jumping by 2.1 million viewers (7.5 million vs. 5.4 million) and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.0/5) over the year-ago night (2/20/08). In fact it was ABC’s 3rd straight week to register year-to-year young adult growth on Wednesday, finishing up or even with the year-ago night for 5 weeks in a row.

“Lost” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

In the 8 o’clock hour, ABC’s repeat of the prior week’s “Lost” episode defeated NBC’s original installment of “Knight Rider” in both Total Viewers (5.6 million vs. 5.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.9/5 vs. 1.5/4), holding an impressive 27% advantage over the NBC drama in the key young adult sales demo.

“Lost” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Self-starter “Lost” shot up from its lead-in by 5.7 million viewers and by 168% in young adults to dominate the 9 o’clock hour among Adults 18-49, beating Fox’s “Idol”-fueled “Lie to Me” by a best-yet 21% (5.1/12 vs. 4.2/10).  Additionally, “Lost” established itself as Wednesday’s No. 1 scripted TV show for the 5th straight week in the key young adult sales demo.  The fifth-year ABC drama also won its time slot in the other key Adult demos, leading its nearest competitors by 30% in Adults 18-34 (4.8/13 vs. 3.7/10 – Fox’s “Lie to Me”) and by 10% in Adults 25-54 (5.4/12 vs. 4.9/11 – CBS’ “Criminal Minds”).  In fact, “Lost” registered as Wednesday’s No. 1 scripted TV program across all key Adult, Men and young Women demographics.

  • Achieving season highs, “Lost” marked the series’ highest young adult ratings (AD18-49/AD18-34) since last April (since 4/24/08) and its top Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 numbers in nearly 1 year (since 2/28/08 and 3/6/08, respectively).

“Life on Mars” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite originals of CBS’ “C.S.I.: NY” and NBC’s “Law & Order,” “Life on Mars” took second in the 10 o’clock hour among Adults 18-49 (2.1/6-tie) and ranked No. 1 with Adults 18-34 (1.7/5-tie).  The freshman ABC drama won the hour among Men 18-34 (1.5/5).

  • “Life on Mars” turned in best-since-premiere numbers in the time period with Total Viewers (5.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.1/6).

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 30% currently, from 23% 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), 2/18/09.

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