ABC wins the opening night of May sweeps in young adults and key women

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via ABC press release:

ABC Wins the Opening Night of the ’09 May Sweep in Young Adults and

Key Women, Finishing No. 1 with Adults 18-49 for the 3rd Straight Year

A Repeat Airing of “Grey’s Anatomy” at 8pm Gains 1.0 Million Viewers from

Start to Finish, Outdrawing NBC’s Original “Parks and Recreation” at 8:30pm

On its First Original Airing in a 4 Weeks, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” Returns

As Thursday’s No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49, Overshadowing “CSI” by 36%

Winning the 10pm Hour on its Return to Original in Viewers and Young Adults, ABC’s “Private Practice” Towers Over NBC’s “Southland” and CBS’ “Harper’s Island”

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

Despite airing a repeat in the first hour on Thursday, ABC won the opening night of the 2009 May Sweep among young Adults (AD18-34 – 3.0/10 and AD18-49 – 3.2/9) and across each of the key Women demos: W18-34 (4.8/14), W18-49 (5.0/13) and W25-54 (5.4/13).  It was ABC’s 3rd consecutive year to rank No. 1 on the opening night of the May Sweep in the key young adult sales demo.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

Gaining 1.0 million viewers from start to finish (4.6 million to 5.6 million), ABC’s repeat telecast of “Grey’s Anatomy” outdrew NBC’s original of “Parks and Recreation” at 8:30 p.m. by 8% (5.6 million vs. 5.2 million).  In fact, the replay “Grey’s” won the 8:30pm half-hour in Women 18-34 (2.8/9), outrunning CBS’ time period veteran “Survivor” (2.6/8).

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Returning to original for the first time in a month (since 3/26/09), ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” qualified as Thursday’s definitive No. 1 TV show in Adults 18-49 (4.9/13).  The ABC medical drama overshadowed the 9 o’clock hour, beating CBS’ “CSI” by a best-of-season 36% (3.6/9), NBC’s original comedies (“The Office”/”30 Rock”) by 44% (3.4/9) and Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” by 63% (3.0/8). 

  • “Grey’s” marked its 14th time in its last 15 original telecasts to stand as Thursday’s No. 1 regular entertainment show with Adults 18-49, including 8 consecutive original broadcasts.

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

On its first original airing in 4 weeks (since 3/26/09), ABC’s “Private Practice” won the 10 o’clock hour, dominating original dramas on NBC and CBS in Total Viewers (9.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.4/10). In the hour, the ABC drama outdelivered runner-up NBC’s “Southland” by 1.2 million viewers and by 36% in Adults 18-49 (8.0 million and 2.5/7), while topping third-place CBS’ “Harper’s Island” by 1.7 million viewers and by 70% in Adults 18-49 (7.5 million and 2.0/6).

  • “Private Practice” finished as the No. 1 entertainment TV show in the hour in Adults 18-49 for the 6th time in its last 7 originals, while standing as the top entertainment broadcast with Adults 18-34 on all 11 original airings in time slot.

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), 4/23/09.

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