‘Mr. Sunshine’ Stands as ABC’s Highest Rated Midseason Scripted Debut in Over 3 Years

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via press release:

ABC Marks its Best Regular Wednesday This Season in Viewers and Young Adults

“The Middle” Generates its Highest-Ever Numbers Against “American Idol”

“Better with You” Takes Full Control of its Non-“Idol” Competition at 8:30pm

“Modern Family” Equals its Biggest Audience Ever and Stands as Wednesday’s

No. 1 Scripted TV Show in Adults 18-49 for its 14th Straight Original Airing

“Mr. Sunshine” Stands as ABC’s Top Midseason Scripted Debut in Over 3 Years

With its Biggest Audience in 3 Weeks, ABC’s “Off the Map” Continues to

Produce Substantial Year-Over-Year Increases in Wednesday’s 10pm Hour

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

As its Wednesday lineup returned to originals for the first time in three weeks, ABC (2.8/8) finished a strong No. 2 to an “Idol”-led Fox in Adults 18-49, beating all-original programming on CBS by 22% (2.3/6) and on NBC by 33% (2.1/6).

  • In viewers (8.4 million) and young adults (2.8/8), ABC marked its strongest Wednesday of the season with regular programming on the night.

“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

At 8:00 p.m. for the 4th week in a row, ABC’s “The Middle” took full control of its non-“Idol” competition in viewers and young adults (8.8 million and 2.6/7), towering over NBC’s first-run “Minute to Win It” (4.6 million and 1.2/3) and CBS’ season finale of “Live to Dance” (4.9 million and 1.0/3).

  • “The Middle” scored its highest-ever numbers against “American Idol” in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.

“Better with You” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)

At 8:30 p.m. like its lead-in, ABC’s “Better with You” finished No. 2 to “Idol” in viewers and young adults (6.8 million and 2.0/5), dominating the second half-hours of “Minute to Win It” (5.0 million and 1.4/4) and “Live to Dance” (4.8 million and 0.9/2).

  • “Better with You” grew over its most-recent first-run telecast three weeks ago against “Idol” (on 1/19/11) by 6% in Total Viewers (6.8 million vs. 6.4 million).

Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

On its return to original at 9:00 p.m., ABC’s “Modern Family” shot to the top of its half-hour to stand as Wednesday’s No. 1 scripted TV show in Adults 18-49 (5.0/13) for its 14th consecutive original airing this season.

  • “Modern Family” matched a series-high in Total Viewers (13.1 million) and posted its 3rd highest Adult 18-49 number (5.0/13).

“Mr.  Sunshine” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

At 9:30 p.m., opening as ABC’s biggest series debut this season among Adults 18-49 (3.7/10), “Mr. Sunshine” qualified as the Net’s highest-rated midseason scripted premiere in over 3 years – since 1/31/08.  In fact, the new ABC comedy was TV’s biggest midseason scripted premiere since the same date to open without the advantage of an “American Idol” lead-in or an NFL boost.

  • In viewers (10.6 million) and young adults (3.7/10), “Mr. Sunshine” posted ABC’s best series numbers in the time period in over 16 months – since 9/23/09 and 9/30/09, respectively.

“Off the Map” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

In the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s “Off the Map” continued to deliver strong year-over-year gains for the Network, improving the hour in both Total Viewers (+19% – 5.6 million vs. 4.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (+19% – 1.9/5 vs. 1.6/5) over the year-ago night with original drama programming (“Ugly Betty”).

  • “Off the Map” attracted its biggest audience in 3 weeks.

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 39% currently, from 35% at the same point in 2010. 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 Day Ratings), 2/9/11.

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