ABC Builds its Thursday Numbers Year to Year in Viewers and Young Adults

It’s not reasonable to expect them to headline this “Wow, We Really Really Sucked At 8pm Last Year!”  For those wondering, a year ago at 8pm was “The Deep End” which had a 1.2 adult 18-49 rating that night.

via press release:

ABC Builds its Thursday Numbers Year to Year in Viewers and Young Adults

Against Increased Competition from “Idol,” “Wipeout” Continues to Generate

Big Year-to-Year Time Period Increases for ABC in Thursday’s 8 O’clock Hour

ABC’s “Wipeout” is the No. 1 Show for Family Coviewing This Season

ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” Leads the 9pm Hour by Wide Margins in Adults 18-49

And Finishes as Thursday’s No. 1 Scripted TV Show for the 3rd Week Running

ABC’s “Private Practice” Dominates NBC’s Comedies in the 10 O’clock Hour

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

Despite facing increased competition on the night from an “Idol”-driven Fox this year, ABC grew its Thursday numbers year to year in viewers (+4% – 7.7 million vs. 7.4 million) and young adults (+8% – 2.7/8 vs. 2.5/7) over the same night last year (2/18/10) with all-original programming.

“Wipeout” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

In the 8 o’clock hour, opposite Fox’s “American Idol” and CBS’ original comedies (“The Big Bang Theory”/”$#*! My Dad Says”), ABC’s Winter “Wipeout” (6.2 million and 1.9/6) beat out NBC’s original comedies (“Community”/”Perfect Couples” = 3.6 million and 1.6/5) by 2.6 million viewers and by 19% in Adults 18-49. The broad-appealing ABC unscripted series ranked No. 2 against its broadcast competition in the hour with Kids 2-11 (2.2/8), trailing only “Idol.”

  • Although facing heightened competition from “Idol” in the time period this year, Wipeout” continued to improve the hour for ABC by substantial margins, surging from the year-ago night in viewers (+44%) and young adults (+73%).
  • Season to date, ABC’s “Wipeout” is the No. 1 TV show on the major networks in terms of Family Coviewing, as 32% of its Adult 18-49 audience watches with Teens 12-17 or Kids 2-11.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” jumped into the lead of Thursday’s 9 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49, registering as the No. 1 series in the slot for its 15th consecutive first-run broadcast this season. In its time period, “Grey’s” (3.7/10) outdelivered Fox’s “Idol”-fueled “Bones” by 12% (3.3/9), CBS’ “CSI” by 28% (2.9/8) and NBC’s comedies (“The Office”/”Parks and Recreation”) by 32% (2.8/8). “Grey’s” finished as Thursday’s No. 1 scripted TV show for the 3rd week running in the key young adult sales demographic (tie).

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC’s “Private Practice” (6.9 million and 2.4/7) held big advantages over NBC’s comedies (“30 Rock”/”Outsourced” = 3.6 million and 1.8/5) in the 10 o’clock hour, leading by 3.3 million viewers and by 33% in Adults 18-49.  In addition, for its 14th straight original airing this season, the ABC drama qualified as the No. 1 scripted TV show in its hour with key Women (W18-34/W18-49).

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.

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