ABC’s spin on Wednesday numbers touts Lost’s DVR viewing, and…The Unusuals

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Is it a bad sign when they have to pull out comparisons to year ago shows that are already canceled?  Via ABC press release:

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

ABC placed No. 2 to an “Idol”-driven Fox on Wednesday among young adults: Adults 18-49 (2.6/7) and Adults 18-34 (2.5/8).

  • Jumping 13% from the year-ago night in Adults 18-49 (4/16/08 = 2.3/6), ABC marked its 10th consecutive Wednesday delivering a year-to-year increase in the key young adult sales demo.

“Scrubs” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

ABC’s “Scrubs” took second place in its time period among Adults 18-49 (2.0/7) and delivered the No. 1 position in the half-hour with Men 18-34 (1.9/7) for the 3rd time in 5 telecasts.

  • In Total Viewers (5.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.0/7), “Scrubs” delivered its best numbers in 3 weeks – since 3/25/09.

“Better Off Ted” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)

With strong retention of its lead-in (89% in Viewers/95% in Adults 18-49), ABC’s “Better Off Ted” earned second place in its half-hour among Adults 18-49, beating its CBS comedy competition, a replay of “Gary Unmarried,” by 6% (1.9/6 vs. 1.8/5).  The new ABC comedy ranked No. 1 in the slot with Men 18-34 (1.7/6).

  • Surging week to week by 18% in Total Viewers (4.7 million vs. 4.0 million) and by 12% in Adults 18-49 (1.9/6 vs. 1.7/5), “Better Off Ted” hit best-since-debut numbers.

“Lost” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Growing week to week opposite Fox’s “American Idol” in the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s “Lost” beat out its CBS and NBC competition in the slot by wide margins among Adults 18-49. In fact, “Lost” marked its 12th straight original airing as Wednesday’s No. 1 scripted TV show in Adults 18-49.

  • “Lost” was up week to week in both Total Viewers (+5% – 9.0 million vs. 8.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (+3% – 3.9/10 vs. 3.8/10).

DVR Playback for “Lost”: Season-to-date, “Lost” is one of the Top 5 most popularly recorded and played back shows on television in Total Viewers and the No. 2 biggest gainer in Adults 18-49, pulling in an additional 1.9 million viewers and picking up 1.0 rating point among young adults (a +21% jump) from the first-reported Live + Same Day numbers to the finalized Live + 7 Day averages.

“The Unusuals” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

For the 2nd week in a row, ABC’s “The Unusuals” finished No. 2 in the 10 o’clock hour among Adults 18-49 (1.9/5) to CBS’ veteran “CSI: NY.”

  • Versus ABC’s performance in the hour on the year-ago night with original drama programming (“Men in Trees” = 1.5/4), “The Unusuals” boosted the Net’s Adult 18-49 delivery by 27%.
  • On average, “The Unusuals” has improved ABC’s performance in the slot by 16% in Total Viewers (6.5 million vs. 5.6 million) and by 5% in Adults 18-49 (2.0/6 vs. 1.9/5) over its average in the hour this season with regular series programming prior to its debut (Live + Same Day).

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 31% currently, from 24% 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), 4/15/09.

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