ABC’s Wednesday Comedy Block Continues to Grow

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via press release:

Quick Take for Wednesday, November 17, 2010

(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)

ABC’s Wednesday Comedy Block Continues to Grow, Up Over the

Year-Ago Night by 1.2 Million Viewers and by 14% in Adults 18-49

“The Middle” is Up Sharply Year-Over-Year in Viewers and Young Adults

“Better with You” Beats the Season Premiere of Fox’s “Human Target”

“Modern Family” is Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show for the 8th Straight Telecast

ABC’s “Cougar Town” Beats the Time-Slot Premiere of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen”

In Adults 18-49 and Wins with Women 18-34 for its 6th Straight Telecast

ABC’s 10pm Special, “25 Years of Sexy: People Magazine’s

Sexiest Man Alive!” Turns in Strong Results with Key Women

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

ABC ran a strong second on Wednesday among Adults 18-49 (2.6/8) and won the night with Adults 18-34 (2.2/7 – 3rd week in a row) and Women 18-34 (2.9/9 – 5th week in a row).

  • Returning after a pre-emption the prior week for the “CMA Awards,” ABC’s 8:00-10:00 p.m. comedy block continued to grow year to year, building by 1.2 million viewers (8.8 million vs. 7.6 million) and by 14% in Adults 18-49 (3.2/9 vs. 2.8/8) from the same night a year ago.

“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

ABC’s “The Middle” once again ran a competitive second at 8:00 p.m. to CBS’ “Survivor: Nicaragua” among viewers and young adults, beating the season premiere of Fox’s “Human Target” in the half-hour by 2.8 million viewers (9.2 million  vs. 6.4 million) and by 56% in Adults 18-49 (2.8/9 vs. 1.8/5).  “The Middle” won its slot with Women 18-34 for its 3rd consecutive telecast, beating out “Survivor” by 18% (2.6/9 vs. 2.2/7).

  • The ABC sophomore sitcom rose sharply from its year-ago performance (7.1 million and 2.4/7 on 11/18/09 when it aired at 8:30 p.m.), in both viewers (+2.1 million) and young adults (+17%).

“Better with You” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)

ABC freshman “Better with You” earned second place at 8:30 p.m. to “Survivor,” beating the second half of Fox’s “Human Target” season opener by 28% in Adults 18-49 (2.3/7 vs. 1.8/5).  “Better with You” finished in a near-tie for No. 1 in its time slot with Women 18-34, running within 1-tenth of a rating point of “Survivor.”

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Qualifying as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV show for its 8th consecutive telecast this season, ABC’s “Modern Family” posted a dominant win in the 9:00 p.m. half-hour, beating second-place CBS’ “Criminal Minds” by 27% (4.7/13 vs. 3.7/10).

  • “Modern Family” bettered its year-ago performance for the 8th straight telecast this season, jumping over the same night last year (9.2 million and 3.7/10 on 11/18/09) by 2.8 million viewers and by 27% in Adults 18-49.

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

ABC’s “Cougar Town” took second place in the 9:30 pm half-hour among Adults 18-49, beating out Fox’s time-period premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen” by 11% (3.0/8 vs. 2.7/7).  The ABC sophomore comedy finished No. 1 in its slot with Women 18-34 (3.5/10) for its 6th consecutive telecast.

“25 Years of Sexy: People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive!” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Against CBS’ “The Defenders” and NBC’s “L&O: LA” in the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s special “25 Years of Sexy:  People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive!” earned the No. 2 position with Women 18-49 (2.1/6-tie) and ranked No. 1 with Women 18-34 (1.8/5).

  • Excluding only “The CMA Awards,” the special equaled ABC’s highest Women 18-34 rating in the time period in 7 months – since 4/14/10.

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 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 Ratings), 11/17/10.

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