ABC Wednesday Comedies Hit Highs Against World Series

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via ABC press release:

Boosted by its Best-of-Season 8-10pm Halloween-Themed Comedy Block,

ABC Marks its Strongest Results Against the Start of the World Series in 3 Years

Upsetting Game 1 of the 2010 World Series, “Modern Family”

Finishes as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show for the 6th Straight Week

“The Middle” Generates its Most-Watched Telecast Ever

“Better with You” Hits Series Highs with Key Adults, Women and Kids

Besting its Year-Ago Performance for the 6th Week in a Row,

“Modern Family” Achieves Series Highs with Viewers and Adults 18-49

Building its Total Viewer Count for the 4th Straight Week, ABC’s

“Cougar Town” Scores its 2nd Biggest Audience Since September 2009

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

Posting strong year-over-year gains against the start of the World Series in viewers (+20% – 7.9 million vs. 6.6 million) and young adults (+13% – 2.7/8 vs. 2.4/6), ABC delivered its best numbers opposite Game 1 of the Fall Classic in 3 years – since 2007.  ABC was up from the year-ago Wednesday for the 4th straight week.

  • ABC’s 8:00-10:00 p.m. Halloween-themed Wednesday comedy block continued to grow year to year, building by 2.3 million viewers (9.6 million vs. 7.3 million) and by 21% in Adults 18-49 (3.4/9 vs. 2.8/7) from the same night a year ago.  In fact the 2-hour comedy block posted its highest numbers this season in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (tie). 

“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

Growing for the 2nd straight week to season-highs in both Total Viewers (9.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.8/9), ABC’s “The Middle” marked its most-competitive finish this season against CBS’ “Survivor: Nicaragua,” while topping NBC’s “Undercovers” by its biggest margins yet.  The ABC sophomore won the half-hour with Women 18-34, beating out the World Series and “Survivor.”

  • “The Middle” rose sharply from its year-ago performance, when it aired in the 8:30pm half-hour, jumping by 2.9 million viewers and by 27% in Adults 18-49 (6.5 million and 2.2/6 on 10/28/09).
  • Despite facing Game 1 of the World Series, “The Middle” produced its most-watched telecast ever and hit its 2nd-highest ever Adult 18-49 number.

“Better with You” (8:30-9:30 p.m.)

Building its numbers week to week against the game, ABC’s “Better with You” continued to dominate its freshman competition in the half-hour, beating NBC’s “Undercovers” by a best-ever advantage of 47% in Total Viewers (7.8 million vs. 5.3 million) and by 79% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 1.4/4).

  • “Better with You” improved its half-hour for ABC from the same night last year in both Total Viewers (+20%) and Adults 18-49 (+14%). 

  • The new ABC comedy matched a series-high in Adults 18-49 and drew the series’ 2nd-largest audience to date.  “Better with You” also posted series-highs with Adults 25-54, Women 18-49, Women 18-34 and Kids 2-11. 

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Qualifying as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV show for the 6th straight week this season, ABC’s “Modern Family” upset Fox’s Game 1 of World Series on the night by a solid margin in the preliminary Fast Affiliate Adult 18-49 ratings (+19% – 5.1/13 vs. 4.3/12 from 8:00-11:00 p.m.).  In the 9:00 p.m. half-hour, the ABC comedy defeated CBS’ “Criminal Minds” (3.4/9) by a season-best 50% in the key young adult sales demo.

  • “Modern Family” outdelivered its year-ago performance for the 6th week running this season, catapulting over the same night last year by 3.8 million viewers and by 38% in Adults 18-49 (9.3 million and 3.7/9).
  • “Modern Family” hit a new series high in Total Viewers and equaled its highest-ever rating with Adults 18-49.  The broad-appealing comedy also achieved its best-ever ratings in Adults 25-54, all key Women and Kids 2-11.

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

ABC’s “Cougar Town” won its half-hour with Women 18-34 (3.7/11) for the 4th week in a row and also led with Women 18-49 (4.3/11). In addition, the ABC comedy finished No. 2 in the half-hour among Adults 18-34, behind only the World Series.

  • Building its overall audience for the 4th week running at 9:30pm, “Cougar Town” pulled in its best viewer (8.3 million) and young adult (3.3/9) results since its season opener 5 weeks ago (on 9/22/10), generating its 2nd-biggest audience since September 2009 – since 9/30/09.
  • “Cougar Town” was up from its performance on the same night last year in both viewers and young adults (7.5 million and 3.2/8).

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 38% currently, from 33% 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.

Source: The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Program Ratings), 10/27/10.

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