ABC’s Cougar Town increases to a 3.8 A18-49 rating in finals, tops all shows

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via ABC press release:

Quick Take for Wednesday, September 30, 2009

(National Live + Same Program Ratings)

Showing Impressive Compatibility Throughout, ABC’s 8-10pm Freshman

Comedy Block Ranks No. 1 in Adults 18-49, Beating Fox’s Primetime

“Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” Tie for the Night’s No. 1 TV Show

Wednesday Night Freshman Comedy Block (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

ABC’s debut of its 2-hour Wednesday comedy block ranked No. 1 from 8:00-10:00 p.m., beating Fox’s primetime line-up by 3% (3.1/9 vs. 3.0/9 – “So You Think You Can Dance”/”Glee”). The Net’s comedies exhibited impressive compatibility and audience flow, surging a substantial 81% from start to finish in Adults 18-49 (2.1/7 to 3.8/10) against fierce established competition on the other nets.

  • The Wednesday comedy block registered year-to-year improvements for ABC of 1.8 million viewers (9.0 million vs. 7.2 million) and 15% in Adults 18-49 (3.1/9 vs. 2.7/7) over the Net’s performance in the 2-hour time period on the same night last year with season premiere programming (“Pushing Daisies”/”Private Practice”).  In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC was up in all 4 half-hours over the same night last year.

“Hank” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

Debuting as the most-watched TV show at 8:00 p.m. (8.3 million), ABC’s “Hank” also stood as the No. 1 comedy in its half-hour among Adults 18-49 (2.1/7), beating CBS’ time period veteran “Old Christine” (6.7 million and 1.9/6) by 1.6 million viewers and by 11% in young adults.  The new ABC comedy also delivered first place in the slot with Adults 25-54 and Men 18-49.

  • “Hank” generated ABC’s largest overall audience in the half-hour with series programming in nearly 2 years – since 11/14/07.

“The Middle” (8:30-9:30 p.m.)

Jumping from its lead-in by 24% in young adults (2.6/8), ABC’s “The Middle” also debuted as the most-watched television program overall (8.7 million) in its time slot and as the No. 1 comedy, outpacing CBS’ veteran sit-com, “Gary Unmarried,” by solid margins. Like its lead-in, “The Middle” also took top honors in its half-hour with Adults 25-54 and Men 18-49.

  • “The Middle” substantially boosted its time slot year to year for the Network, topping the year-ago “Pushing Daisies” premiere by 2.8 million viewers (8.7 million vs. 5.9 million) and by 30% in Adults 18-49 (2.6/8 vs. 2.0/6).

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Building on “The Middle” at 9:00 p.m. by 46% in Adults 18-49, the second week of “Modern Family” delivered strong retention of its big week-ago series debut among Adults 18-49 (90%) and built on its week-earlier debut by 3% in Adults 18-34 (3.2/10 vs. 3.1/10).  “Modern Family” won its half-hour over “Criminal Minds” (finishing No. 1 in the slot for the 2nd week in a row) to stand as Wednesday’s No. 1 show in the key young adult sales demo (3.8/10-tie).

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

Showing perfect young adult lead-in retention (100% in both AD18-34/AD18-49), ABC’s “Cougar Town” qualified as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV program for the 2nd week in a row among Adults 18-49 (3.8/10-tie).

“Eastwick” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite CBS’ time-period veteran “CSI: NY,” ABC’s freshman “Eastwick” earned second place in the 10 o’clock hour, defeating NBC’s “Jay Leno” for the 2nd week in a row in both Total Viewers (+8% – 6.6 million vs. 6.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (+21% – 2.3/7 vs. 1.9/5).

  • Growing from its week-ago series debut by 8%, “Eastwick” won its time period among Women 18-34, beating “CSI: NY” in the hour by 12% (2.8/8 vs. 2.5/8).

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 (National, Live + Same Day Program Ratings), 9/30/09.

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