When life hands you lemons, look to last year's strike-riddled completely different Wednesday schedule to get some lemonade. I believe ABC set or tied series low 18-49 demo numbers for all shows between 8pm-10p, and let's face it, ABC has to be disappointed in The Unusuals. Notably however, ABC went all retentionista on us in order to say something nice about it.:
via ABC press release:
Growing Year to Year in Viewers and Young Adults, ABC is Up Over
The Same Wednesday Last Year for 9 Weeks in a Row in Adults 18-49
ABC's 8-9pm Comedy Block Continues to Produce Strong Audience Retention
ABC's "Lost" Registers as Wednesday's No. 1 Scripted TV Series
In Adults 18-49 for its 11th Straight Original Telecast This Season
Series Debut of "The Unusuals" Ranks No. 2 in its Time Slot, Generating ABC's
Biggest Audience for a Regular Wednesday 10pm Series Telecast in 6 Months
Wednesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC placed No. 2 to an "Idol"-driven Fox on Wednesday in Adults 18-34 (2.3/7), outdelivering CBS by 28% (1.8/6) and NBC by 156% (0.9/3). The Net also took second on the evening with Men 18-49 (2.3/7), Men 18-34 (2.1/7) and Women 18-34 (2.6/7).
- Growing over the same night last year (4/9/08) by 7% in Total Viewers (6.5 million vs. 6.1 million) and by 18% in Adults 18-49 (2.6/7 vs. 2.2/6), ABC registered its 9th straight Wednesday delivering a year-to-year increase in the key young adult sales demo.
"Scrubs"/"Better Off Ted" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
ABC's 8:00-9:00 p.m. comedy block ("Scrubs"/"Better Off Ted") continued to show strong audience retention for ABC in the hour, with "Better Off Ted" at 8:30 p.m. holding 89% of its "Scrubs" lead-in among Total Viewers (4.2 million vs. 4.7 million) and 94% in Adults 18-49 (1.7/5 vs. 1.8/5).
- "Scrubs" finished No. 1 in the 8:00 p.m. half-hour among Adults 18-34 (1.9/7) and Men 18-34 (1.8/7).
"Lost" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Jumping from its lead-in opposite Fox's "American Idol" in the 9 o'clock hour, ABC's "Lost" beat out its original drama competition in the slot by solid margins among Adults 18-49. In the time slot, ABC's "Lost" (3.7/9) defeated CBS' "Criminal Minds" by 16% (3.2/8) and NBC's season finale of "Life" by 185% (1.3/3). Additionally, "Lost" marked its 11th straight original airing as Wednesday's No. 1 scripted TV show in Adults 18-49.
"The Unusuals" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
On its series debut, ABC's "The Unusuals" placed a strong No. 2 in the 10 o'clock hour to CBS' veteran "CSI: NY" in Total Viewers (6.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.2/6). On its premiere, the ABC drama turned in the best-ever lead-in retention for any series to follow an original "Lost" in Total Viewers (82%) and the strongest among Adults 18-49 (59%) in more than 1 year (since 1/31/08).
- "The Unusuals" attracted ABC's biggest audience for a regular 10 o'clock Wednesday series telecast since October and highest Adult 18-49 rating since January - since 10/1/08 ("Dirty Sexy Money" season premiere) and 1/28/09 ("Life on Mars" time period premiere).
- Compared to ABC's average in the hour this season with regular series programming (Live + Same Day), "The Unusuals" improved ABC's performance in the slot by 21% in Total Viewers (6.8 million vs. 5.6 million) and by 16% in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6 vs. 1.9/5).
The Unusuals Photography:
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), 4/8/09.