ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ Posts Double-Digit Gains on Its Return and Its Top Numbers Since November

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via press release:

ABC Runs No. 2 on Sunday to an NFL-Driven CBS, with its Best Results in 8 Weeks


ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is the No. 1 Non-Sports Show at 7pm


Sunday’s No. 1 Scripted TV Show in Adults 18-49, ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”

Soars in its Return to Original to its Highest Number Since Mid-November


Disney-Owned “Once Upon a Time” Scores a Series High with Teens 12-17


On its First Telecast in 5 Weeks, ABC’s “Desperate Housewives”

Grows by 11% to Hit its Top Adult 18-49 Number Since October  


 Sunday Night (7:00-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite a sports-propelled CBS with its enormous overtime NFL Wild Card playoff overrun (Pittsburgh Steelers-Denver Broncos) that went into the 8 o’clock hour, ABC earned a solid second place in Total Viewers (7.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.3/6), beating NBC (+14%/+77% – including the high-profile debut of “The Firm” – 6.3 million and 1.3/3) and Fox by strong margins (+80%/+21% – 4.0 million and 1.9/4).


  • In viewers and young adults, ABC marked its strongest Sunday with regular programming in 8 weeks – since 11/13/11.


“America’s Funniest Home Videos” (7:00-8:00 p.m.)

During the 7 o’clock hour against the NFL overrun on CBS, ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” stood as the No. 1 non-sports program, surging from its first half-hour to its second half-hour by nearly 1.0 million viewers (5.3 million to 6.2 million) and by 25% among Adults 18-49 (1.2/3 to 1.5/4).


“Once Upon a Time” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

Despite facing the tail-end of the NFL playoff game, ABC freshman drama “Once Upon a Time” catapulted over its lead-in at 8:00 p.m. (+4.5 million viewers/+164% in AD18-49) and gained audience through its broadcast to finish a dominant No. 1 against its non-sports-driven competition on NBC and Fox.  Sunday’s No. 1 entertainment show in Adults 18-49, ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” (3.7/8) beat out the second hour of NBC’s 2-hour “Dateline” by 147% (1.5/4) and Fox’s first-run animated comedies (“The Simpsons”/”The Cleveland Show”) by 68% (2.2/5) from 8:00-9:00 p.m..


  • TV’s No. 1 new drama this season with young adults, “Once Upon a Time” continued to produce impressive year-over-year time-period improvement for ABC, improving over original programming on the year-ago night (“Home Edition” on 1/9/11) by 11% in Total Viewers (10.3 million vs. 9.3 million) and by 37% in Adults 18-49 (3.7/8 vs. 2.7/7).


  • Returning to original for the first time 4 weeks, “Once Upon a Time” was up by double digits over its last first-run broadcast (8.9 million and 2.9/7 on 12/11/11) in Total Viewers (+16%) and Adults 18-49 (+28%), marking its best results since November on both counts – since 11/27/11 and 11/13/11, respectively.  In addition, the Disney-owned drama hit a series high with Teens 12-17 (2.9/9), shooting up by 53% over its last original telecast.


“Desperate Housewives” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Ranking No. 1 against its non-sports-fueled competition at 9:00 p.m., ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” towered over the opening hour of NBC’s “The Firm” by 2.0 million viewers (8.8 million vs. 6.8 million) and by 100% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/7 vs. 1.5/3).


  • On its first airing since the beginning of December, “Housewives” built by 7% in viewers and by 11% in Adults 18-49 from its last telecast (8.2 million and 2.7/6 on 12/4/11), equaling its highest young adult rating since October – since 10/30/11.


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 2011.  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), 01/08/12.

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