ABC Opens the Season as the Most-Watched Net for the 4th Time in 5 Years

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via press release:



ABC Opens the Season as the Most-Watched Net for the 4th Time in 5 Years


Despite Going Up Against CBS’ “Two and a Half Men”-Fueled Comedy Block, the

13th Season Opener of “Dancing” Makes ABC the Most-Watched Net from 8-10pm


“DWTS” Overshadows its Unscripted Competition with Viewers and Young Adults


Opening its 4th Season as the Most-Watched Drama in the 10pm Hour,

ABC’s “Castle” Surges Year to Year to Mark its Best-Ever Season Premiere 



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

Despite going up against CBS with the high-profile return of “Two and a Half Men” on Monday, ABC (16.9 million) finished as the most-watched TV network on the opening night of the 2011-12 season with the openers of “Dancing” and “Castle,” outdrawing CBS by 1.2 million viewers (“HIMYM”/”Two and a Half Men”/”2 Broke Girls”/”Hawaii Five-0” = 15.7 million), Fox by 11.0 million viewers (2-hour season finale of “Hell’s Kitchen” = 5.9 million) and NBC by 11.8 million viewers (2-hour premiere of “The Sing Off”/series debut of “The Playboy Club” = 5.1 million).  Among Adults 18-49, ABC (3.7/9) outdelivered Fox by 48% (2.5/6) and NBC by 106% (1.8/4).


  • It was ABC’s 4th time in the last 5 years to open as the most-watched network on the first Monday of the season.


“Dancing with the Stars” (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Building its audience from its first hour to its second hour (18.4 million to 18.7 million) opposite CBS’ “Two and a Half Men”-fueled comedy block from 8:00-10:00 p.m., the 13th season opener of “Dancing with the Stars” made ABC the most-watched net in its time slot, topping CBS by 1.0 million viewers (18.6 million vs. 17.6 million).


  • Head to head during its 2-hour time period, ABC’s “DWTS” (18.6 million and 3.9/10) beat out its unscripted competition by huge margins, topping Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” finale by 12.7 million viewers and by 56% in Adults 18-49 (5.9 million and 2.5/6) and NBC’s “The Sing Off” season premiere by 13.4 million viewers and by 105% in Adults 18-49 (5.2 million and 1.9/5).


“Castle” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Surging year to year and starting out its 4th season as the most-watched drama in 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s opener of “Castle” (13.6 million) topped CBS’ opener of “Hawaii Five-0” by 13% (12.0 million) and more than doubled NBC’s series debut of “The Playboy Club” (+172% – 5.0 million).  The ABC drama also doubled “The Playboy Club” with Adults 18-49 (+106% – 3.3/8 vs. 1.6/4).  In addition, ABC’s “Castle” stood as the No. 1 series in the hour with Adults 18-34 and across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).   


  • Marking its best-ever season premiere, ABC’s “Castle” jumped over its year-ago season opener (10.7 million and 2.7/7 on 9/20/10) in Total Viewers (+27%) and Adults 18-49 (+22%).  In fact among viewers and young adults, the ABC drama generated its 2nd-highest-ever numbers.


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 42% currently, from 38% 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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