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Against a Special "Idol" on the Night, ABC is Up Week to Week In Viewers and Young Adults, with its Strongest Thursday in 5 Weeks

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March 27th, 2009

via ABC press release.  I knew they would detail In the Motherhood besting My Name is Earl, they love sticking it to NBC in their press releases these days.

Quick Take for Thursday, March 26, 2009

(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)

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

ABC placed No. 2 to an "Idol"-led Fox on Thursday night in Total Viewers (11.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.8/10), outpacing CBS' NCAA Basketball Tournament coverage (Regional Semi-Finals) on both counts.

  • Although facing increased competition on the night from Fox's special Thursday edition of "American Idol," ABC grew week to week by +4% in Total Viewers and by +9% in Adults 18-49 (10.6 million and 3.5/10 on 3/19/09). In fact the Net grew its overall Thursday audience for the 2nd consecutive week, delivering its best Thursday in 5 week in viewers and young adults - since 2/19/09.

  • The Net's numbers shot up over the same night last year by 5.1 million viewers and by 100% in Adults 18-49 (5.9 million and 1.9/5 on 3/27/08).

"In the Motherhood" (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

ABC's series debut of "In the Motherhood" upset "My Name is Earl" at 8:00 p.m., defeating NBC's veteran comedy in both Total Viewers (6.7 million vs. 5.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 2.0/6).  The new ABC comedy's biggest advantage over "Earl" came among Women 18-34, where it nearly doubled its NBC comedy competitor with an 86% winning margin (2.6/8 vs. 1.4/4).

  • Despite facing "Idol" in the time period this year, with the opener of "Motherhood" ABC was up in the half-hour over the year-ago night (with original programming) by 14% in Total Viewers (6.7 million vs. 5.9 million) and by 5% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 2.0/6). In fact among Adults 18-49, "Motherhood" generated ABC's highest rating in the time slot in 6 weeks - since 2/12/09.

"Samantha Who?" (8:30-9:00 p.m.)

Despite facing "Idol" and "March Madness" on its premiere in the half-hour, ABC's "Samantha Who?" proved itself a compatible companion for "In the Motherhood" with impressive retention of its lead-in among Total Viewers (97%) and Adults 18-49 (100%).  In fact "Samantha" built on "Motherhood" at 8:30pm to finish as the No. 1 scripted TV program in the half hour in Women 18-49 (3.0/7) and Women 25-54 (3.6/8).

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

Thursday's No. 1 scripted TV program in Total Viewers (15.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (5.5/13), ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" dominated the 9 o'clock hour, beating Fox's "Idol"-driven "Hell's Kitchen." "Grey's" tallied its 13th time in its last 14 original telecasts to stand as Thursday's No. 1 regular entertainment show with Adults 18-49, and the 14th time in as many original airings with Adults 18-34.

  • Surging week to week by 1.2 million viewers and by 10% in Adults 18-49, "Grey's" turned in its most-watched telecast in 4 months (11/20/08) and its 3rd-biggest audience this season.

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

ABC's "Private Practice" ranked No. 1 in the 10 o'clock hour, topping NBC's veteran "ER" in Total Viewers (10.5 million vs. 10.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.8/10 vs. 3.5/9).  In fact the ABC sophomore drama has topped "ER" in both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 on 8 of 9 head-to-head original telecasts in the time period.   "Private Practice" finished as the No. 1 entertainment program in the hour in Adults 18-49 for the 5th time in its last 6 originals, while standing as the top entertainment broadcast with Adults 18-34 on all 10 original airings in slot.

  • Growing its overall audience for the 2nd straight week and increasing week to week in young adults, "Private Practice" turned in its highest non-crossover numbers this season.

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 over 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), 3/26/09.

 
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