Note, the Barbara Walters special itself was way down versus last year (a 2.3 rating with adults 18-49 versus last year's 3.2), but last year it didn't air on the same day (last year it aired Thursday, December 9).
via press notes:
ABC's Barbara Walters Special Marks Big Year-Over-Year Time-Period Improvement
From 8-9:30pm, ABC’s repeat comedies (The Middle/Suburgatory/Modern Family) rose sharply over encore comedies in the 90-minute time period on the same Wednesday last year among Total Viewers (+13%) and Adults 18-49 (+19%).
- The Middle posted its strongest repeat performance of the season and Suburgatory hit the series’ best-ever repeat numbers.
- ABC’s 9pm repeat Modern Family outdelivered Fox’s X Factor-fueled first-run I Hate My Teenage Daughter at 9:30pm by 1.4 million viewers and by 21% in Adults 18-49.
Surging over its repeat Modern Family lead-in at 9:30pm by 1.7 million viewers and gaining audience throughout its 90-minute broadcast, ABC’s Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011 earned second place in its time period with viewers and key Adult demos (AD18-49/AD25-54). In addition, the ABC special, highlighting some of the year’s most prominent names in entertainment, sports and politics, finished #1 against its broadcast competition in the slot with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34. Steve Jobs was named the most fascinating person of 2011.
- Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011 generated big year-over-year improvement for ABC in the 90-minute time period, with Total Viewers (+102%), Adults 18-49 (+53%) and Adults 25-54 (+61%).