ABC’s Premiere Monday Lineup of “DWTS” and “Castle” Dominates; ABC’s Largest Monday Audience Since January 2001

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via press release:

ABC’s Premiere Monday Lineup of “DWTS” and “Castle” Dominates,

Producing the Net’s Largest Monday Audience Since January 2001

ABC’s 10th Season Opener for “Dancing with the Stars” Marks its Most-Watched Premiere Ever and the Net’s Largest Audience in the Time Slot in Almost 10 Years

“DWTS” Wins Each of its Half-Hours to Outpace its Closest Competition

In the Time Period by 12.7 Million Viewers and by 47% Among Adults 18-49

Achieving Series Highs, “Castle” Wins the 10 O’clock Hour in Viewers and Young Adults, Defeating for the First Time Ever an Original of CBS’ Veteran “CSI: Miami”

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

With the 10th season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” (most-watched ever) leading into “Castle” (series highs), ABC delivered a dominant Monday night victory, winning all 6 half-hours of primetime and beating its nearest competition on the evening (CBS) by 9.2 million viewers (20.2 million vs. 11.0 million) and by 38% in Adults 18-49 (5.4/15 vs. 3.9/11).

  • The Network drew its biggest Monday night audience since January 2001 – since 1/1/01 with the Rose Bowl.

“Dancing with the Stars” (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Against nearly all original competition during its 10th season premiere (including CBS’ Monday comedy block/NBC’s “Chuck” and “Trauma”/Fox’s “24”), ABC’s broad appealing “Dancing with the Stars” drew an average audience of 23.9 million viewers and a 6.3/17 in Adults 18-49 to win its time period and finish as Monday’s No. 1 TV program on both Nielsen measures.  Growing steadily throughout its broadcast, “DWTS” won each of its half-hours in viewers and young adults, outdrawing second-place CBS in the 2-hour time period by 12.7 million viewers and by 47% in Adults 18-49 (CBS = 11.2 million and 4.3/11).

  • “DWTS” was up nicely over its year-ago season opener (22.8 million and 6.1/15 on 3/9/09), while leaping over its most-recent season premiere in Fall ’09 by 6.1 million and 54% in Adults 18-49 (17.8 million and 4.1/10 on 9/21/09).  In fact it registered as “Dancing’s” most-watched season opener ever and second-highest ever in Adults 18-49.
  • The “DWTS” Season 10 premiere represents ABC’s most-watched regular entertainment telecast since November 2007 (11/27/07). And excluding only the 2001 Rose Bowl, “Dancing” produced ABC’s biggest audience in the time slot in nearly 10 years, while generating its highest Adult 18-49 number in more than 3 years –  since 5/1/00 and 3/19/07, respectively.

“Castle” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC’s “Castle” finished No. 1 in the 10 o’clock hour over original drama competition in Total Viewers (12.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.6/10), beating a first-run episode of CBS’ veteran “CSI: Miami” (10.7 million and 3.2/9) for the first time ever, and more than doubling the overall audience of NBC’s “Law & Order” (5.9 million and 1.8/5), as well as beating the NBC veteran by 100% in Adults 18-49.

  • Surging over its performance on the year-ago night (9.1 million and 2.5/7 on 3/23/09) in Total Viewers (+42%) and Adults 18-49 (+44%), “Castle” achieved the series’ highest numbers ever.
  • “Castle” delivered ABC’s biggest audience in the time period with a scripted series telecast since 2001 and its top Adult 18-49 number since 2006 – since 3/12/01 and 3/27/06, 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 36% currently, from 30% at the same point in 2009. 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.

“Dancing with the Stars” Season 10 Photography: Click here for DWTS Photographic Images

Source: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 3/22/10.

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