With its Biggest Audience on the Night Since Mid-Feb, ABC Wins Its 3rd Consecutive Thursday of the May Sweep in Adults 18-49

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via ABC press release:

With its Biggest Audience on the Night Since Mid-Feb, ABC Wins

Its 3rd Consecutive Thursday of the May Sweep in Adults 18-49

“Ugly Betty” Tops its NBC Comedy Competition from 8-9pm by Wide Margins

In Viewers and Young Adults and Places No. 1 in the Slot in Women 18-34

Thursday’s No. 1 TV Show in Both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, “Grey’s

Anatomy” Topples CBS’ “CSI” and Turns in its Strongest Numbers in 6 Weeks

Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” Wins the 10pm hour in Viewers and Key Adults, Drawing ABC’s Biggest Audience in the Slot in 11 Weeks

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

ABC won its 3rd consecutive Thursday of the 2009 May Sweep among Adults 18-49 (3.5/10) and Adults 18-34 (3.1/10), topping its closest competition by 9% (CBS = 3.2/9) and 29% (NBC = 2.4/8), respectively.

  • Growing its overall audience for the 5th week in a row, ABC generated its most-watched Thursday (11.1 million) since mid-February – since 2/19/09.

“Ugly Betty” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

A growing “Ugly Betty” outdrew its NBC comedy competition in the 8 o’clock hour (“My Name is Earl”/”Parks and Recreation”) by 3.0 million viewers (7.5 million vs. 4.5 million) and by 13% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/7 vs. 1.9/6). “Betty” finished No. 1 in the slot with Women 18-34 (2.9/10) for its 3rd straight telecast.

  • Up week to week by 11% in Total Viewers (7.5 million vs. 6.7 million) and by 5% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/7 vs. 2.0/6), “Ugly Betty” produced ABC’s biggest audience in the time period and the series’ most-watched telecast in 11 weeks – since 2/19/09.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

On its 100th episode, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” emerged as Thursday’s No. 1 TV show in both Total Viewers (15.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (5.3/14). Beating “CSI” by 51% in Adults 18-49 (5.3/14 vs. 3.5/9), the ABC medical drama defeated the CBS crime drama for the 3rd week running by best-of-season margins, representing its biggest advantage in 2 years – since 5/3/07. In addition, “Grey’s” topped an original of “CSI” by a best-ever 178% in Adults 18-34 (5.0/15 vs. 1.8/6).

  • “Grey’s” marked its 16th time in its past 17 original telecasts to stand as Thursday’s No. 1 regular entertainment show in Adults 18-49, including a streak of 10 straight original airings.

  • Building its numbers for the 2nd straight week in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, “Grey’s” turned in its best performance in 6 weeks – since 3/26/09.

“Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Topping the 10 o’clock hour in viewers and across all key adults (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54), ABC’s special “Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” bested its nearest competitor in the time period (CBS) by 9% in Total Viewers (10.6 million vs. 9.7 million) and by 38% in Adults 18-49 (3.3/10 vs. 2.4/7).  Fresh off its pick-up for next season, NBC’s original “Southland” finished a distant third in the hour on both counts and continued to sink to another series low.

  • Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” generated ABC’s biggest audience in the time period in nearly 3 months – since 2/19/09.

Grey’s Anatomy Images:

Click here for last night’s Grey’s Anatomy episode 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 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), 5/7/09.

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