ABC Sunday Dramas Score Best Ratings Since January

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via press release:

7th-Season Opener of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” Stands as Sunday’s

Most-Watched Entertainment Show and No. 1 Overall in Key Women Demos

“Housewives” Marks the Series’ Strongest Results in Nearly 9 Months

On its 5th-Season Premiere, ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” Leads its Hour in

Key Women and Post its Highest Adult 18-49 Number Since Early January

“Brothers & Sisters” Builds on its Year-Ago Season Premiere in Overall Viewers

“Desperate Housewives” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Opposite heavy competition on the night from CBS’ football-boosted season premieres (from an approximate 47-minute primetime NFL overrun), NBC (“Sunday Night Football”) and Fox (back-to-back “Family Guy” premieres), ABC’s 7th-season premiere of “Desperate Housewives” stood as Sunday’s most-watched entertainment program (12.8 million).  “Housewives” won its 9 o’clock time slot with all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), registering as Sunday’s No. 1 TV show on all 3 counts.

  • Desperate Housewives” was up 5% among Adults 18-49 from where it finished out last season on its May finale (4.2/10 vs. 4.0/10 on 5/16/10), outperforming its 2010 May Sweep averages in both viewers (+6% – 12.8 million vs. 12.1 million) and young adults (+8% – 4.2/10 vs. 3.9/10).  “Housewives” drew its biggest audience and highest Adult 18-49 rating in nearly 9 months – since 1/10/10.

“Brothers & Sisters” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and CBS’ special premiere of “Undercover Boss” in the time slot, ABC’s 5th-season premiere of “Brothers & Sisters” finished No. 1 in the 10 o’clock hour across all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).

  • “Brothers & Sisters” was up over its year-ago season opener among Total Viewers (9.6 million vs. 9.4 million), while retaining 100% of its Adult 18-49 delivery year to year (3.0/8).  The ABC drama also built on last season’s opener with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34.
  • Like its lead-in, “Brothers & Sisters” picked up where it left off last season, outperforming its May 2010 by 8% in Total Viewers (9.6 million vs. 8.9 million) and by 15% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.6/7). In fact the ABC drama posted its highest Adult 18-49 since January – since 1/10/10.

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 38% currently, from 32% 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.

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