‘The Middle’ Posts Its Best 18-49 Number in 14 Weeks

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via press release:

ABC Finishes No. 2 to an “Idol”-Driven Fox on Wednesday with Young Adults

At 8pm, ABC’s “The Middle” Draws is Biggest Audience in 11 Weeks, its

Top Adult 18-49 Number in 14 Weeks and Hits a 4-Month High with Key Men

At 8:30pm, ABC’s “The Middle” Posts its 3rd-Highest Repeat Number This Season

TV’s No. 1 Comedy and the Season’s Fastest-Growing TV Show in Adults 18-49, “Modern Family” is the Night’s No. 1 Scripted Show for its 23rd Straight Original

“Cougar Town” is Up Over its Most Recent Broadcast Against “American Idol”

At 10pm, “Happy Endings” Improves its Slot by 15% Year to Year in Adults 18-34

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

Up against Fox with a 2-hour “American Idol” airing during prime, ABC ranked No. 2 on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49 (2.2/6-tie) and Adults 18-34 (1.9/6), beating CBS by 36% (1.4/4) and NBC by 46% (1.3/4) on the latter measure.

“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

At 8:00 p.m., ABC’s “The Middle” finished No. 2 to “Idol” in viewers (7.7 million) and young adults (2.4/7).


  • Building for the 3rd straight week in viewers (+7%) and young adults (+9%), “The Middle” drew its biggest audience in 11 weeks and equaled its top Adult 18-49 number in 14 weeks – since 3/2/11 and 2/9/11, respectively.  In addition, the ABC sophomore comedy hit a 4-month high among key Men (M18-34/M18-49) – since 1/19/11.


  • Season to date, ABC’s “The Middle” stands as TV’s 2nd-biggest year-to-year gainer (behind only “Modern Family”) among returning broadcast series, surging by 23% in Total Viewers (8.1 million vs. 6.6 million) over its performance in the 8:30 p.m. half-hour last season.


“The Middle” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)

At 8:30 p.m., a repeat telecast of “The Middle” took second place in its half-hour among Adults 18-49 (1.8/5), beating out CBS’ replay “Criminal Minds” by 20% (1.5/4) and NBC’s original “Minute to Win It” by 64% (1.1/3).


  • Jumping 38% over its most-recent 8:30 p.m. encore (1.3/4 on 4/6/11) in Adults 18-49, ABC’s “The Middle” posted its 3rd-highest repeat number this season.


Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Surging over its lead-in against the third half-hour of “Idol” at 9:00 p.m., ABC’s “Modern Family” was the top-rated scripted show in its slot in Adults 18-49 (4.0/10), beating runner-up CBS’ season finale of “Criminal Minds” by 25% (3.2/8).


  • TV’s No. 1 comedy and the highest-rated scripted series this season, ABC’s “Modern Family” ran as Wednesday’s No. 1 scripted show for its 23rd consecutive original airing this season in the key young adult sales demographic.


  • Season to date, ABC’s Modern Family is the fastest-growing television show on the broadcast nets, increasing over the same point last season by 24% in Total Viewers (11.7 million vs. 9.4 million) and by 23% in Adults 18-49 (4.8/12 vs. 3.9/10).

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

In the 9:30 p.m. half-hour against the final segment of “Idol,” ABC’s “Cougar Town” grew its overall audience by 8% over the last time it faced “American Idol” in the time period (5.4 million vs. 5.0 million on 1/26/11).


“Happy Endings” (10:00-10:30 p.m.)

At 10:00 p.m., ABC’s “Happy Endings” beat out the finale of CBS’ “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” by 15% in Adults 18-34 (1.5/4 vs. 1.3/4).


  • The ABC freshman comedy improved its half-hour by 15% in Adults 18-34 year to year over original programming on the same night a year ago (1.3/4 on 5/19/10).


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 41% currently, from 36% 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), 5/18/11.


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