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On an Ultra-Competitive Night, ABC Draws Biggest Tuesday in 2 Months

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March 18th, 2009

via ABC press release:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
ABC Television Network
PRESS RELEASE - ENTERTAINMENT -
OVERNIGHT ABC RATINGS (FOR 3/17)
Quick Take for Tuesday, March 17, 2009
(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)
On an Ultra-Competitive Night, ABC Draws Biggest Tuesday in 2 Months

Opener of "DWTS Results" Surges from its Lead-in, Outdrawing NBC's "Biggest Loser" by 3.8 Million Viewers and Beating CBS' "Mentalist" in the Younger Demos

Despite Facing Lower TV Usage Levels from St. Patrick's Day, ABC's Opener of
"DWTS Results" Pulls ABC's Biggest Audience in the Time Slot in Nearly 4 Months

ABC News' "Primetime: What Would You Do?" Generates the Series' Biggest
Audience this Season and Marks its Top Adult 25-54 Number Since Mid-January

Tuesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
On an ultra-competitive Tuesday night, facing Fox's expanded 2-hour installment of "American Idol," CBS' original drama lineup ("NCIS"/"The Mentalist"/"Without a Trace") and originals on NBC (2-hour "Biggest Loser"/"L&O: SVU"), ABC attracted its biggest audience (9.4 million) on the evening in 2 months - since 1/20/09.

Please note:  Due to the St. Patrick's Day holiday, overall primetime TV usage levels were down notably among Adults 18-49 from the prior Tuesday (36.2% vs. 37.6%).

"Dancing with the Stars Results" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
In the 9 o'clock hour opposite the second halves of Fox's "Idol" and NBC's "Loser" as well as CBS' "The Mentalist," ABC's "DWTS Results" surged from its lead-in by 4.3 million viewers and by 59% in Adults 18-49, while gaining audience throughout its telecast.  On its season opener, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars Results" outdrew the second hour of NBC's time-slot regular, "Biggest Loser," by 3.8 million viewers (12.4 million vs. 8.6 million) and defeated CBS' hit-drama "The Mentalist" across the younger demos: +5%  in Adults 18-34 (2.1/6 vs. 2.0/6), +21% in Women 18-34 (2.9/8 vs. 2.4/6) and +7% in Teens 12-17 (1.5/5 vs. 1.3/4).  With Kids 2-11 (1.5/6) ABC's broad-appealing unscripted dance competition beat out both "Biggest Loser" and "The Mentalist," trailing only Fox's "American Idol" in the time slot.  Singer Belinda Carlisle was the first celebrity dancer eliminated from the competition this season.

* "DWTS Results" generated ABC's biggest audience (12.4 million) in the slot with regular programming in nearly 4 months and its best Adult 18-49 number (2.7/7) in more than 2 months - since 11/25/08 and 1/6/09, respectively.

"Primetime: What Would You Do?" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
During the 10 o'clock hour against NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" and CBS' "Without a Trace," ABC News' "Primetime: What Would You Do?" topped its CBS competitor by 21% among Adults 18-34 (1.7/5 vs. 1.4/4) and by 35% among Women 18-34 (2.3/7v s. 1.7/5).

* "What Would You Do?" garnered the series' biggest audience (7.8 million) this season and hit its top Adult 25-54 number (2.8/7) since mid-January - since 1/13/09.

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), 3/17/09

 
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