ABC Stands as the Most-Watched Network on Thursday

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via ABC press release:

ABC Stands as the Most-Watched Network on Thursday,

Growing Week to Week and Over the Same Night Last Year

ABC Jumps by 2.2 Million Viewers and 17% in Adults 18-49 Over Last Year

“Ugly Betty” Generates its Most-Watched Telecast Since Mid-February

Standing as Thursday’s No. 1 TV Show in Both Total Viewers and Young Adults,

ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” Increases its Overall Audience by 6% Week to Week

Marking its Best Non-Crossover Performance This Season, ABC’s “Private Practice” Takes First Place in the 10 O’clock Hour Among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49

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

ABC ranked No. 1 on Thursday night in Total Viewers (10.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.5/10 – tie). The Net also finished No. 1 on the evening in Adults 25-54 (4.1/10), Adults 18-34 (3.1/10 – tie) and across each of the key Women demos: W18-34 (4.6/13), W18-49 (5.2/14) and W25-54 (5.8/14).

  • The Network was up from the same night last year by 2.2 million viewers and by 17% in Adults 18-49 (8.4 million and 3.0/9 on 3/20/08). Growing its overall audience from the prior week, ABC generated its most-watched Thursday since mid-February – since 2/19/09.

“Ugly Betty” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

ABC’s “Ugly Betty” outdrew its NBC comedy competition in the 8 o’clock hour (“My Name is Earl”/”The Office”) by 2.1 million viewers (7.6 million vs. 5.5 million) and earned second place in the time slot across each of the key Women demos: W18-34 (2.8/9), W18-49 (3.0/9) and W25-54 (3.6/10).

  • Increasing its overall audience for the 2nd week in a row, “Ugly Betty” attracted its biggest audience in 4 weeks – since 2/19/09.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Thursday’s No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (14.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.9/12), ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” topped its nearest competition in the 9 o’clock hour by over 4 million viewers and by 29% in Adults 18-49 (CBS’ preliminary time-period based Fast Affiliate Ratings for NCAA Basketball coverage = 10.3 million and 3.8/9).  “Grey’s” marked its 12th time in its last 13 original airings to stand as Thursday’s No. 1 entertainment telecast with Adults 18-49, and the 12th time in as many airings among Adults 18-34.

  • “Grey’s” increased its overall audience by 6% week to week (14.4 million vs. 13.6 million).

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC’s “Private Practice” delivered the No. 1 position in the 10 o’clock hour among Total Viewers (10.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.6/10), topping NBC’s veteran “ER” on both counts (9.5 million and 3.3/9).  In fact the ABC sophomore drama defeated NBC’s veteran “ER” in both Total Viewers and

Adults18-49 on 7 of 8 head-to-head original telecasts in the time period.   “Private Practice” placed No. 1 in the hour among Adults 18-49 for the 4th time in its last 5 original airings, while logging its 8th straight original broadcast as the No. 1 TV show in the time slot with Adults 18-34. Trailing only “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice” stood as Thursday’s No. 2 TV show among Women 18-49 (5.3/14) and Women 25-54 (5.9/14).    

  • Growing its overall audience week to week by 1.4 million viewers (10.0 million vs. 8.6 million), “Private Practice” turned in its most-watched non-crossover episode this season. In both viewers and young adults, “Private Practice” generated its best non-crossover lead-in retention to date coming out of an original “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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), 3/19/09.

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