ABC Ranks No. 1 on Wednesday and Claims the Top Shows in Adults 18-49, with Modern Family and Cougar Town

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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September 24th, 2009

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ABC Ranks No. 1 on Wednesday and Claims the Top Shows in Adults 18-49, as “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” Are TV’s Best Comedy Debuts in 2 Years

Dancing with the Stars” Wins the 8 O’clock Hour in Viewers and Young Adults

Delivering Strong Time Slot Improvement Year to Year, “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” Demonstrate Impressive Compatibility for ABC from 9-10pm

ABC’s “Eastwick” Defeats Leno at 10pm by Wide Margins, Bringing

Strong Increases to the Time Period for ABC in Viewers and Young Adults

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

ABC finished No.1 on the opening Wednesday of the ’09-10 TV Season in Adults 18-49 (3.5/10-tied w/CBS), claiming the Top 2 TV shows of the night in the key young adult sales demo with its 9:00-10:00 p.m. comedy debuts. In fact Modern Family” and “Cougar Towntied as the No. 1 show of the night and finished as TV’s highest rated comedy debuts in nearly 2 years – since 10/15/07.

  • Versus ABC’s Wednesday night roll-out last year (on 10/1/08), the Net was up by 4.7 million viewers (11.9 million vs. 7.2 million) and by 35% in Adults 18-49 (3.5/10 vs. 2.6/7).  ABC generated its most-watched Wednesday night in 10 months – since 11/12/08.

Dancing with the Stars Results” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

On the third evening of its 3-night premiere event, ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” dominated the 8 o’clock hour in Total Viewers (15.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.2/10), topping second-place Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” by 28% in the key sales demo (2.5/8).  In a double-elimination, Macy Gray and Ashley Hamilton were the first two celebrity dancers to be eliminated from the contest this season.

Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Surging 34% from its Adult 18-49 lead-in at 9:00 p.m. and becoming the first-ever comedy to build on “DWTS,” the series premiere of “Modern Family” won its half-hour among Adults 18-49 (4.3/12) to qualify as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV show.

  • “Modern Family” greatly improved its half-hour year to year for ABC, pacing ahead of the “Private Practice(3.2/8) opener last season by 34% in Adults 18-49.

  • “Modern Family” drew ABC’s biggest overall audience (12.7 million) in the half-hour with regular programming in 2 years – since 9/26/07.

Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

Exhibiting impressive compatibility for ABC in the time slot, ABC’s “Cougar Town” debuted with 100% retention of its “Modern Family” lead-in among Adults 18-49 (4.3/11) to finish tied as Wednesday’s top-rated show. In fact “Cougar Town” built on “Modern Family” in Adults 18-34 and all key Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).


  • Like its lead-in, “Cougar Town” substantially grew its time period year to year for ABC, topping the second half-hour of the year-ago “Private Practice” opener (3.4/8) by 26% in Adults 18-49.

“Eastwick” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite CBS’ season opener of time-period veteran “CSI: NY,” ABC’s series debut of  “Eastwick” earned second place in the 10 o’clock hour, beating out NBC’s “Jay Leno” by over 2 million viewers (8.5 million vs. 6.4 million) and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.0/5).

  • “Eastwick” finished well ahead of the “Dirty Sexy Money” premiere in the hour last season, boosting the time period for ABC year to year by 1.5 million viewers and by 25% in Adults 18-49 (“DSM” = 7.0 million and 2.4/7 on 10/1/08).

  • Excluding only the “Lost” premiere and finale last season, “Eastwick” produced ABC’s highest viewer and young adult numbers in the time period with regular programming in almost 2 years – since 10/17/07 and 10/24/07, respectively.

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 33% currently, from 27% at the same point in 2007. 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), 9/23/09.

 
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