ABC Produces its Top-Rated November Sweep Opening Wednesday in 4 Years

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ABC Produces its Top-Rated November Sweep Opening Wednesday in 4 Years


ABC’s “The Middle” Towers over NBC’s “Up All Night” in Viewers and Young Adults


Building on its Lead-in, ABC’s “Suburgatory” Beats CBS’ “Survivor” in Adults 18-34


ABC’s “Modern Family” is Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show for the 7th Week Running


ABC’s “Happy Endings” Hits Series Highs Across a Number of Key Demographics


Posting a Best-Since Debut Adult 18-49 Rating, ABC’s “Revenge” Wins Wednesday’s 10pm Hour by its Biggest-Ever Margins Over Both CBS’ “CSI” and NBC’s “L&O: SVU”



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

Opposite Fox with its 2-hour primetime comprised of “The X Factor,” ABC ran a strong second on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49 (3.5/9), leading CBS by 6% (3.3/9) and more than doubling NBC’s results on the evening (+133% – 1.5/4).

  • Up 6% week to week among Adults 18-49 despite facing all-original November Sweep competition, ABC marked its highest rating on the night since season-premiere Wednesday.


  • The Net posted strong year-to-year gains on the evening for the 7th week running this season, increasing over the year-ago Wednesday (11/3/10) in viewers (+13% – 9.3 million vs. 8.2 million) and young adults (+25% – 3.5/9 vs. 2.8/8).  ABC marked its top-rated opening Wednesday of the November Sweep in 4 years in Adults 18-49 and its most-watched overall in 3 years – since 2007 and 2008, respectively.


“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

At 8:00 p.m., ABC’s “The Middle” towered over its comedy competition in the half-hour, outdelivering NBC’s “Up All Night” by a strongest-ever 4.7 million viewers (9.4 million vs. 4.7 million) and by 61% in Adults 18-49 (2.9/9 vs. 1.8/5).  In addition, the ABC comedy once again beat out CBS’ “Survivor:  South Pacific” by wide margins in the half-hour in Adults 18-34 (+21%) and Women 18-34 (+40%).


“Suburgatory” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)

At 8:30 p.m., ABC’s “Suburgatory” (3.1/8) built on its Adult 18-49 lead-in for the series’ 6th straight broadcast (+7%).  Like its lead-in, the new ABC comedy held big advantages over CBS’ veteran “Survivor” in the half-hour with Adults 18-34 (+24%) and Women 18-34 (+59%).


  • For the show’s 6th time in as many telecasts, “Suburgatory” generated strong improvement for the Net over the year-ago comedy in the half-hour (“Better with You”) in viewers (+10% – 8.5 million vs. 7.7 million) and young adults (+24% – 3.1/8 vs. 2.5/7).



“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Surging over its lead-in at 9:00 p.m. to win its time slot over CBS’ “Criminal Minds” and Fox’s “The X Factor,” ABC’s “Modern Family” registered as the evening’s No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (13.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (5.6/14).  In fact the ABC comedy finished as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV show with young adults for the 7th straight week this season.


  • “Modern Family” hit its 2nd-highest-ever rating for a regular telecast with Women 18-34 (tie).


  • Bettering its year-ago telecast on each original airing this season, the ABC third season comedy was up year to year (12.2 million and 4.8/13 on 11/3/10) in viewers (+8%) and young adults (+17%).


“Happy Endings” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

During the 9:30 p.m. half-hour, ABC’s “Happy Endings” qualified as the No. 1 scripted series in its slot for the 5th week running with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34.  In addition, the ABC comedy tied Fox’s “The X Factor” for first place in the half-hour with hard-to-reach Men 18-34.


  • Despite facing the final half-hour of Fox’s 2-hour “The X Factor” this week, ABC’s “Happy Endings” hit a series high in Adults 18-49 for the 2nd week in a row (tying the prior week).  In addition, the ABC sophomore comedy achieved series bests with Adults 18-34, Men 18-34, Men 18-49 and Women 18-49.


“Revenge” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

During the 10 o’clock hour opposite veteran dramas on CBS and NBC, ABC freshman drama “Revenge” (3.0/8) ranked No. 1 for the 2nd week in a row among Adults 18-49, beating CBS’ original “CSI” by a best-ever 11% (2.7/7) and NBC’s first-run “Law & Order: SVU” by a best-ever 50% (2.0/5).   In addition, Revenge was the No. 1 series in the hour for its 7th consecutive broadcast with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34.  The new ABC drama also ranked No. 1 in the slot with Adults 25-54 (tie).


  • Gaining young adults for the 2nd week running (surging +11% week to week), ABC’s “Revenge” posted its 2nd-highest-ever Adult 18-49 number – best since its series debut 6 weeks ago on 9/21/11.  In fact the show scored its 2nd-highest-ever numbers across all key Adults, Men and Women demographics.


  • On average, “Revenge” is generating enormous year-over-year time-period improvement, jumping over the Net’s performance at the same point last year with original series programming by 94% in Total Viewers and more than doubling the number of Adults 18-49 (+136%) watching ABC in the hour.  In fact, “Revenge” is ABC’s most-watched series overall in Wednesday’s 10 o’clock hour in more than 4 years – since “Lost” during the 2006-07 TV Season.


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 43% 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.


Source: The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 11/02/11.

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