ABC Ranks No. 2 to Fox in the 2012 May Sweep in Adults 18-49, Claiming 3 of the Top 10 Shows

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

May 22nd, 2012

via press release:

ABC Ranks No. 2 to Fox in the 2012 May Sweep in Adults 18-49, Claiming 3 of the

Top 10 Shows, with the No. 1 Comedy, the No. 1 Drama and the No. 1 New Show


ABC is the Only Net Up this Season in the Monday-Friday 10pm Hour in Adults 25-54


The Net Marks Big Year-Over-Year Gains with Key Returning Series and New Series


ABC Delivers 8 of the Season’s Top 25 Series with High-Income Young Adults


ABC is Home to the Top 2 TV Shows on the Major Nets for “Family Coviewing”

2012 May Sweep (4/26-5/21/12 – 26 of 28 nights)

ABC is on track to finish No. 2 during the 2012 May Sweep among Adults 18-49 to an “Idol”-fueled Fox.  It is the 3rd straight year and the 5th time in 6 years for ABC to post the No. 2 position in May in the key young adult sales demo.  Dominating NBC on all 4 weeks during the sweep, and in fact leading on each of the last 10 weeks of the season, ABC currently leads NBC during May by a margin of 22% (2.2/7 vs. 1.8/5).  In addition, the Network is poised to rank No. 1 for the month with Women 18-49.


  • Highest-Rated Series in May:  ABC aired 3 of the Top 10 TV series during May 2012 with Adults 18-49, including the No. 1 scripted show/comedy (“Modern Family”), the No. 1 drama (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and the No. 1 freshman series (“Once Upon a Time”).   In addition, ABC’s “Modern Family” qualified as May’s No. 1 TV show with Adults 18-34, while “Modern” and “Grey’s” registered as the sweep’s Top 2 shows with Women 18-34, respectively. ABC’s “DWTS” was the 3rd-most-watched show overall for the month, behind only “NCIS” and “Idol-Wed,” respectively.


2010-11 TV Season (9/19/11-5/20/12 – 35 Complete Weeks)

  • ABC is the Only Net Up in the 10pm Hour: On Monday-Friday from 10:00-11:00 p.m. as a lead-in to affiliates’ late-local news, ABC is delivering solid year-to-year improvement in Total Viewers (+6%) and Adults 25-54 (+7%). In fact, ABC is up the most in Total Viewers and is the only net up in the key Adult 25-54 news demographic.


  • ABC’s Scores Strong Gains Over Last Season with Returning and New Shows: ABC claims some of TV’s fastest-growing returning series this season in Adults 18-49: “The Middle” (+4% - best-ever season), “Modern Family” (+17% - best-ever season), “Happy Endings” (+43% over Season 1), “Private Practice” (+7%) and “Shark Tank” (+29% - best-ever season). And some of the Net’s key new programs are substantially improving their time slots: “Last Man Standing” (+37%), “Suburgatory” (+25%), “Revenge” (+45%), “Scandal” (+14%), “Once Upon a Time” (+71%).


  • ABC Claims Some of the Season’s Highest-Rated TV Series: ABC claims the season’s No. 1 scripted series/comedy (“Modern Family”), the No. 1 drama (“Grey’s”) and the No. 1 freshman drama (“Once Upon a Time” – TV’s top rated new drama series in 4 years). In fact, it is the 2nd straight season for “Modern Family“ to stand as TV’s highest rated scripted show, as ABC has delivered TV’s No. 1 scripted series in 6 of the last 8 television seasons. Led by “Once Upon a Time,” the Net claims 10 of the Top 20 new series this season in Adults 18-49, the most for any network.


  • ABC’s Wednesday Night Comedy Block Grows for the 2nd Year in a Row: For the 2nd year in a row, ABC’s Wednesday 8:00-10:00 p.m. comedy block is growing year over year with Total Viewers (+2%) and Adults 18-49 (+6%).  In fact on average, the Net marked its most-watched and highest-rated Wednesday night in 5 seasons – since 2006-07.


  • ABC is a Strong Draw with Upscale Young Adults: Among Adults 18-49 in homes with $100K+ Annual Income in the non-sports numbers, ABC ranks No. 2 this season, just behind Fox, while beating CBS (+4%) and NBC (+23%). ABC claims 8 of the Top 25 TV series this season among high-income young adults (the most for any network), including the No. 1 entertainment series overall with “Modern Family.”


  • ABC is Home to the Top Broadcast Series for “Family Coviewing”: ABC is home to 7 of the Top 15 programs on the major networks this season in “Family Coviewing.” “Wipeout” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” are the Top 2 shows overall, “Once Upon a Time” (the most coviewed drama in the last decade) is the No. 1 drama and “The Middle” is the No. 1 live-action comedy.


·         ABC Series Rank Among the Most Popularly Recorded and Played Back: ABC series are once again among the most popularly recorded and played back TV shows, as “Modern Family” is picking up a record-setting 2.5 Adult 18-49 rating points from the L+SD to the L+7 numbers. With a significant rise in DVR penetration year to year (41% to 44%), a total of 8 of ABC’s series add 2.0 million viewers or more on average from their initially reported totals via time-shifted viewing. In fact, “Modern” is TV’s biggest overall gainer, picking up 4.8 million viewers via playback after its initial day of air.

  • Nick

    If Wipeout is one of the most family-friendly shows, why move it to 9 pm? Stupid move.

  • GDfriends

    Whoever spins the numbers for ABC really should get a raise…

    ABC is Home to the Top Broadcast Series for “Family Coviewing”
    ABC Claims Some of the Season’s Highest-Rated TV Series
    The Net Marks Big Year-Over-Year Gains with Key Returning Series and New Series

    BRAVO!!! This is how you spin something out of nothing. ;)

  • JBS

    How can ABC be number 2 for the month when they are always #3 in the weekly averages?

  • Ben Thompson

    Your still the fourth rated network ABC.

  • ragincajun

    ABC is only second for May sweeps because CBS took a pass on the last week of the season. Oh, and I love their “Idol-fueled” dig when they devote so much of their schedule is that dancing crap and sensationalistic “news” magazines.

  • Bob

    I find ABC the second best network after CBS. Fox has slid to 3rd, NBC is dead.

  • Lane


    Fourth? They’re number 3.

  • Christian

    @Lane Nope. As much as it pains me to say it, NBC has beat ABC for 3rd for the season. They can take the superbowl for that since that is the only week NBC beat ABC this season!

  • hubertwentland5

    isnt tbbt the highest rated comedy? of course it is, its ratings are brilliant this season.

  • Raykov

    I love ABC, because it airs so various shows. They have strong med dramas – Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Young viewers comedies like Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B. Family friendly comedies like The Middle and Last Man Standing. Fantasy drama for all fans of Disney [age doesn’t matter ;) ] – Once Upon A Time. A highly serialized show like Revenge. Procedural shows like Castle and Body of Proof. Adult oriented drama like Scandal and adult everyday comedy – Modern Family. They take risks and that is their gimmick.

  • Lucas’

    @hubertwentland5 The Modern Family average is better then TBBT.

  • alexjones

    i’ll admit some of this is spinning but some of this they do have a right to brag about, like having the no 1 drama and the no 1 freshman seires, and they do have improvement in their 10PM hour unlike the other networks.

  • alexjones

    about the family coviewing, I know it dosen’t mean much but it’s still pretty impressive that OUAT was the most coviewed drama in an entire decade! hopefully it continues to be as successful.

  • Mi

    ABC is my favorite network so congrats to them

  • wichitahusker

    Without the Super Bowl (which abc will never air b/c it’s NFL coverage is on ESPN, not broadcast like the other big 4 networks), abc’s ratings were substantially over NBC’s. Take out the Super Bowl “bounce” that shows like “The Voice” and “Smash” received, and the gap is even wider (a month after the Super Bowl, those shows were down by huge margins and they both continued to slide all season). If you were to look merely at scripted (non sports, non reality) shows like this website does, abc’s ratings are a solid second place behind only CBS.

  • Ana

    Take American Idol from Fox and it will fall behind NBC. Take football from NBC and it will fall to just above the CW. CBS beats in just about every count just by the strength of its scripted programming. ABC is stronger with the demo and offers greater variety. With a few exceptions, my tv is always on ABC. They offer gems like Castle and the under-watched but phenomenal series Scandal. I hope more people will re-discover ABC.

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