“Dating in the Dark” Finishes its First Season as Summer’s No. 1 New TV Series in Adults 18-49

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

September 1st, 2009

via ABC press release:

Primetime Ratings Report

For the week of August 24, 2009

(Based on National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)

“Dating in the Dark” Finishes its First Season Delivering Impressive Time Slot

Gains for ABC and Qualifying as Summer’s No. 1 New TV Series in Adults 18-49

WEEK No. 49:


“Dating in the Dark” (Monday 10:02-11:00 p.m. and 9:00-10:00 p.m. Summer 2009 – 7/20-8/24/09)

During its first-season run, “Dating in the Dark” was the time-period leader with young Adults, winning its Monday 10 o’clock slot in all 3 telecasts during the hour in both Adults 18-34 and Adults 18-49.  Moving to 9 o’clock after the conclusion of “The Bachelorette’s” run, the show beat its CBS, NBC and Fox in the hour among Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34.  ABC’s “Dating in the Dark” stands as the No. 1 new TV series of Summer 2009 in Adults 18-49 (2.1/6).

  • On average, “Dating in the Dark” (5.3 million & 2.2/6 at 10 p.m. and 4.7 million & 1.7/5 at 9 p.m.) improved its Monday time periods for the ABC year to year by 1.6 million viewers and by 47% in Adults 18-49 at 10:00 p.m. (3.7 million and 1.5/4) and by 2.3 million and by 143% in Adults 18-49 at 9:00 p.m. (2.1 million and 0.7/2), over the Net’s averages on the same night’s last year.


“Shaq VS” (9:00-10:01 p.m.)

Jumping from its lead-in and growing from start to finish by an even greater margin on its second telecast, ABC’s “Shaq VS” retained all of its week-ago series debut numbers against established unscripted time-period competition on both NBC (“America’s Got Talent”) and CBS (“Big Brother”) in the 9:00 p.m. hour. On the show’s second episode, Shaquille O’Neal challenged women’s beach volleyball gold medal Olympians Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh to a 2-on-2 match.

  • Coming out of a repeat airing of the prior week’s episode from 8:00-9:00 p.m., “Shaq VS” surged from its lead-in by 1 million viewers (4.1 million vs. 3.1 million) and by 55% in Adults 18-49 (1.7/5 vs. 1.1/4).  In fact the show’s Adult 18-49 build on lead-in (+55%) was substantially bigger on its second airing than on the previous week’s debut telecast (+31%).

  • Gaining sharply from its first to its second half-hour, “Shaq VS” moved ahead of its Fox freshman unscripted competition at 9:30 p.m. (“More to Love”) by 15% in Total Viewers (4.6 million vs. 4.0 million) and 12% in Adults 18-49 (1.9/5 vs. 1.7/5), despite Fox’s lead-in advantage from “Hell’s Kitchen” coming into the hour. In addition, “Shaq VS” beat out its competitors in the 9:00 p.m. hour with hard-to-reach Men 18-34 (1.8/6), topping “America’s Got Talent” by 13% (1.6/5), “Big Brother” by 20% (1.5/5) and “More to Love” by 38% (1.3/4).

  • Although it aired out of a smaller lead-in on its second telecast, “Shaq VS” retained 100% of its week-ago debut in Adults 18-49 (1.7/5), while shooting up 23% from its premiere with Adults 18-34 (1.6/5 vs. 1.3/4).  The show was also up week to week with Men 18-34, Women 18-34 and Women 18-49.
  • For the 2nd straight week among young adults, “Shaq VS” pulled in ABC’s strongest summer numbers in the hour with regular programming in well over a 1 year – since 8/5/08.


ABC earned second place on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49 (1.8/5), while delivering the No. 1 position on the evening among key Men: M18-34 (1.5/5) and  M18-49 (1.7/5).

  • For the 12th consecutive week ABC increased its Wednesday audience year to year, surging by 2.2 million viewers (5.5 million vs. 3.3 million) and by 64% in Adults 18-49 (1.8/5 vs. 1.1/3) over the year-ago night (8/27/08).

“Wipeout” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

ABC’s “Wipeout” returned to its regular 8 o’clock time period, after shifting to 9:00 p.m. for two weeks coming out of “Millionaire,” finishing No. 1 in Total Viewers (7.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.5/8).  It was the 8th straight original telecast for “Wipeout” to place No. 1 in the hour with Total Viewers, the 4th straight in Adults 18-49 and the 9th straight across all key Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).    

  • “Wipeout” registered as the night’s No. 1 TV show in key Men (M18-34/M18-49). It was Wednesday’s No. 2 TV show in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, trailing only NBC’s “Talent” in the 9 o’clock hour.
  • “Wipeout” was up from its most recent original airing two weeks ago by 1.4 million viewers and by 14% in Adults 18-49 (6.2 million and 2.2/7 on 8/12/09).

“Crash Course” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Opposite NBC’s veteran “America’s Got Talent” in the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s series debut of “Crash Course” ranked No. 2 among Adults 18-49 (1.9/5), outpacing CBS by 46% (1.3/4) and Fox by 46% (1.3/4). Additionally in the hour, “Crash Course” beat out “America’s Got Talent” by 13% with Men 18-34 (1.7/6 vs. 1.5/5).

  • “Crash Course” boosted ABC’s performance in the slot by 9% in Total Viewers (5.1 million vs. 4.7 million) and by 12% in Adults 18-49 (1.9/5 vs. 1.7/5), over its averages in the time period this summer.  In fact excluding “Wipeout” telecasts in the hour, “Crash Course” pulled in ABC’s second-strongest numbers in the time period this summer.


Opposite stiff demographic competition from NBC’s NFL pre-season game (Chicago Bears-Denver Broncos), ABC posted its highest-rated non-sports Summer Sunday among Adults 18-49 (1.5/4) in well over 1 year – since 7/13/08.

“America’s Funniest Home Videos” (7:00-8:00 p.m.)

ABC’s repeat “America’s Funniest Home Videos” took first place during the 7 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49 (1.7/6), representing the 5th time in the last 6 weeks that the replay “AFV” finished No. 1 in its time period in the key young adult sales demo.

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

Hitting summer-high numbers in viewers and young adults (tie), ABC’s replay “Home Edition” was up sharply from its performance in the hour on the same night last year (8/31/08), increasing by 1.5 million viewers (5.6 million vs. 4.1 million) and by 33% in Adults 18-49 (1.6/5 vs. 1.2/4).

“Shark Tank” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Despite CBS’ lead-in advantage coming into the hour from an original “Big Brother 11,” ABC’s “Shark Tank” defeated its CBS freshman unscripted competition in the 9:00 p.m. hour for the 3rd straight week, beating out “There Goes the Neighborhood” by 32% in Total Viewers (4.9 million vs. 3.7 million) by 64% in Adults 18-49 (1.8/5 vs. 1.1/3).

  • Building on its lead-in for the 3rd straight telecast in Adults 18-49, “Shark Tank” generated a 13% increase in Adults 18-49 for ABC from 9:00-10:00 p.m. (1.8/5 vs. 1.6/5) against NBC’s NFL game.  In addition, the new ABC unscripted show gained young adults from its first half-hour to its second half-hour.
  • The new ABC series boosted the hour year to year for ABC by 29% in Adults 18-49 (1.8/5 vs. 1.4/4).

  • “Shark Tank” hit a series-high with Women 18-34 (1.7/5) and Women 18-49 (2.0/5).


No.1 CBS 1.8      No.1 CBS   6,600,000

No.1 NBC 1.8      No.2 NBC   6,370,000

No.3 FOX 1.7      No.3 FOX   4,780,000

No.4 ABC 1.2      No.4 ABC   3,840,000

No.5 CW  0.5      No.5 CW    1,340,000

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 32% currently, from 26% 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 (National Live+Same Day Program Ratings), week of 8/24/09, unless stated otherwise.

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