For the 2010-11 TV Season, ABC Draws its Biggest Audience in Late-Night in 8 Years

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


via press release:

For the 2010-11 TV Season, ABC Draws its Biggest Audience in Late-Night in 8 Years

Standing as the Only Broadcaster to See Year-to-Year Increases,
ABC Draws its Largest-Ever 3rd Quarter Audience in Late-Night


ABC’s “Nightline” is No.1 in Late-Night in Total Viewers
and Adults 25-54 for the 2010-11 Television Season


“Nightline” Ranks No. 1 in 3Q11 in Viewers, Marking the 4th Consecutive
Quarter to Beat NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and CBS’ “The Late Show”


ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Turns in its Most-Watched Season in 4 Years

With Year-to-Year Gains in 5 of the Last 6 Quarters,
“JKL” is the Only Late-Night Program to Grow in Adults 18-49

ABC Late-Night (Monday – Friday)

During the recently completed 52-week TV Season, ABC grew over last season by 4% in Total Viewers (2.310 million vs. 2.226 million) to draw its largest audience in late-night in 8 years (since the 2002-03 season), marking its 2nd-most-watched season featuring the late-night lineup of “Nightline” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”


During the 3rd Quarter 2011, ABC was up over the year-ago quarter by 6% in Total Viewers (2.131 million vs. 2.010 million), generating its most-watched 3rd quarter ever in late-night. With year-to-year growth in 5 of the last 6 quarters – including the last 3 quarters – ABC stood as the only broadcaster in late-night to build its overall audience (CBS was down -5%; NBC was down -2%).


  • ABC drew a larger overall audience than CBS during the quarter in late-night (+2% – 2.131 million vs. 2.089 million).


“Nightline” (Monday – Friday)

For the 2010-11 television season, ABC News’ “Nightline” ranked as the No. 1 program in late-night in Total Viewers (3.943 million) and Adults 25-54 (1.595 million), according to Nielsen Media Research. The ABC late-night program took the top spot in Total Viewers for the season for the second time in a row, and this marks its first time ever to rank No. 1 in the key adult news demo versus NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and CBS’ “The Late Show.”  (Note: “Letterman” began on CBS in the 1993-94 season).


In addition, during the course of the 52-week 2010-11 TV season, “Nightline” ranked No. 1 in 32 weeks in Total Viewers, 29 weeks in Adults 25-54 and 27 weeks in Adults 18-49. This represents the most number of weeks at No. 1 in each of the key target demos during the course of a season, beating both “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show.”


“Nightline” improved by 6% in Total Viewers and by 4% in Adults 25-54 compared to the 2009-10 television season, representing the ABC late-night program’s largest overall season audience in 8 years – since the 2002-03 season. Additionally, “Nightline” stood as the only late-night program to post season-to-season growth in Adults 25-54, as both CBS’ “The Late Show” (-7%) and NBC’s “The Tonight Show”(-4%) saw decreases.


  • “Nightline” defeated NBC’s “The Tonight Show” during the TV season by 95,000 Total Viewers and by 20,000 Adults 25-54. This qualifies as the first time that “Nightline” outperformed the NBC program in Adults 25-54 during a TV season in 16 years – since the 1994-95 season.


  • “Nightline” bettered CBS’ “The Late Show” during the TV season by 603,000 Total Viewers, by 159,000 Adults 25-54 and by 165,000 Adults 18-49, turning in its largest margins versus the CBS program in all three demos in 12 years – since the 1998-99 season.


During the 3rd Quarter 2011, ABC’s “Nightline” ranked No. 1 in Total Viewers (3.743 million), marking the 4th consecutive quarter for the ABC late-night program to take the top spot over NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and CBS’ “The Late Show,” according to Nielsen Media Research.


For the 3rd time in the last 4 years, “Nightline” increased from the year-ago 3rd quarter in Total Viewers (+10%) and Adults 25-54 (+2%), standing as the only late-night program among its CBS (down -5% and -8%, respectively) and NBC (-4% and -8%, respectively) late-night rivals to grow in both Nielsen measures. In fact, the ABC program attracted its most-watched 3rd quarter in 10 years and best news demo performance in 5 years – since 3Q01 and 3Q06, respectively.


  • “Nightline” defeated NBC’s “The Tonight Show” by 32,000 Total Viewers, outdrawing the NBC program for the 4th straight quarter. 


  • “Nightline” produced its largest advantages over CBS’ “The Late Show” during any quarter in 12 years in Total Viewers (+930,000) and in more than 11 years in Adults 25-54 (+256,000) – since 3Q99 and 2Q00, respectively. In addition, “Nightline” posted its largest Adults 18-49 (+198,000) lead during a 3rd quarter in 12 years – since 3Q99.


“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (Monday – Friday)

During the recently completed 52-week 2010-11 TV Season, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was up over last season in Total Viewers (+4% – 1.687 million vs. 1.625 million), generating its most-watched season in 4 years – since its 2006-07 season. In addition, “JKL” was up 3% among Adults 18-49 (690,000 vs. 672,000), while NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (-13%) and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (-2%), CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” (-11%) and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (-9%) were all down from their prior seasons.


  • ABC’s “JKL” (M-F 12:00 a.m.) outperformed CBS’ “Ferguson” (M-F 12:35 a.m.) during the season by 2% in Total Viewers (1.687 million vs. 1.646 million) and by 5% in Adults 18-49 (690,000 vs. 658,000).


During the 3rd Quarter 2011, ABC’s “JKL” improved over the year-ago 3rd quarter by 4% in Total Viewers (1.519 million vs. 1.460 million) to turn in its most-watched 3Q in 5 years (since 3Q06), marking its 2nd-most-watched 3Q ever. Growing its overall audience year to year for the 6th quarter in a row,JKL” delivered the largest yearly gains among Total Viewers of any talk show in late-night. “JKL” was also up from the same quarter last year in Adults 18-49 (+1% – 592,000 vs. 585,000) for the 5th time in 6 quarters. In fact, “JKL” stood as the only late-night program to grow year to year in young adults, as NBC’s “Tonight Show” (-11%), “Fallon” (-3%) and “Last Call with Carson Daly”
(-12%), CBS’ “Letterman” (-9%) and “Ferguson” (-2%), Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” (-11%) and “Colbert Report” (-16%) and E!’s “Chelsea Lately” (-17%) were all down.


  • ABC’s “JKL” topped CBS’ “Ferguson” with its largest-ever quarter margin in Total Viewers (+10% – 1.519 million vs. 1.375 million) and led the CBS late-night program in Adults 18-49 (+6% – 592,000 vs. 561,000) for the 6th straight quarter. Additionally, “JKL” outdelivered “Ferguson” in 11 of the 12 weeks of the quarter in both viewers and young adults.


Late-Night Rank (2010-11 Season):     TOTAL VIEWERS  A18-49(000)

ABC                                    2,310,000     841,000

CBS                                    2,446,000     853,000

NBC                                    2,364,000     895,000


Late-Night Rank (3rd Qtr 2011):       TOTAL VIEWERS  A18-49(000)

ABC                                    2,131,000     731,000

CBS                                    2,089,000     730,000

NBC                                    2,268,000     823,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, Live+7 (where available) & Live+SD for 2010-11 vs. 2009-10 (9/20/10-9/18/11 vs. 9/21/09-9/19/10) and 3rd Quarter 2011 vs. 3rd Quarter 2010 (6/27/11-9/18/11 vs. 6/28/10-9/19/10). Comparisons based on 000s.

ABC Late-Night = “Nightline” and “JKL”; CBS Late-Night = “Letterman” and “Ferguson”; NBC Late-Night = “Tonight Show,” “Fallon” and “Carson Daly.”


blog comments powered by Disqus