ABC is the Top Broadcaster in Total Viewers on First Night of TV Season

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

September 25th, 2012

via press release:


ABC is the Top Broadcaster in Total Viewers on First Night of TV Season,

Opening the Season as the Most-Watched Broadcast Net for the 5th Time in 6 Years


Season Opener of “DWTS: All-Stars” Makes ABC Most-Watched Net from 8-10pm,

Outdrawing NBC’s “The Voice” by 2.7 Million Viewers


ABC’s “Castle” Premieres its 5th Season as the Most-Watched Drama at 10pm,

While Posting its Top Adults 18-49 Performance in Nearly 1 Year



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

Despite facing NBC’s “The Voice” for the first time ever on the opening night of a TV season, ABC (13.5 million) finished as the top broadcaster on season premiere Monday with the openers of “DWTS: All-Stars” and “Castle,” outdrawing NBC by 2.5 million viewers (11.0 million – “The Voice”/”Revolution”), CBS by 5.1 million viewers (8.4 million – “HIMYM”/”Partners”/”2 Broke Girls”/”Mike & Molly”/”Hawaii Five-0”) and Fox by 7.9 million viewers (5.6 million – “Bones”/”The Mob Doctor”). In fact, it was ABC’s 5th time in the last 6 years to open as the most-watched broadcaster on the first Monday of the season.  In addition, ABC (2.6/7) finished in a virtual tie with CBS among Adults 18-49 (2.7/7) and beat out Fox’s prime by 53% (1.7/5).


  • In Adults 18-49, ABC equaled its highest rated Monday in 5 months – since 4/23/12.


“Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Building its audience from its first hour to its second hour opposite stiff competition, the 15th season opener of “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” made ABC the most-watched net in its time slot (14.6 million), outdrawing NBC’s The Voice by 2.7 million viewers (11.9 million) in head-to-head competition from 8:00-10:00 p.m.  In addition, the ABC unscripted series beat out Fox’s dramas in the 2-hour time period by 59% in Adults 18-49 (2.7/7 vs. 1.7/5) and CBS’ comedy premieres among Adults 25-54 (3.8/9 vs. 3.7/9).


  • “DWTS: All-Stars” attracted ABC’s biggest audience in the time period since early May and its top young adult number since April – since 5/7/12 and 4/30/12, respectively


“Castle” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

TV’s most-watched series during the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s 5th season opener of “Castle” outdrew NBC’s “Revolution” by 2.1 million viewers (11.4 million vs. 9.3 million), while defeating CBS’ opener of “Hawaii Five-0” by more than 3.0 million viewers (11.4 million vs. 8.0 million) and by double digits in both Adults 18-49 (+32% - 2.5/6 vs. 1.9/5) and Adults 25-54 (+32% - 3.3/8 vs. 2.5/6).   


  • ABC’s Castle scored its best Adult 18-49 rating in nearly 1-yearsince 10/31/11.


DVR Playback Notes (based on originals during the 2011-12 TV Season):


  • Last season “DWTS” saw gains over its first-reported numbers of 1.1 million viewers and 4-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point (+13%) from the initially reported Live + Same Day ratings to the Live + 7 Day playback finals.


  • One of TV’s biggest gainers in the 10 o’clock hour last season, “Castle” generated substantial increases over its first-reported numbers, picking up an average of 3.0 million viewers and an additional 9-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point (+39%) from the L+SD to the L+7 numbers.


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 45% currently, from 42% 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.


  • AustinGriffith

    ABC gets a whole lot of viewers, just not great 18-49 ratings.

  • Andrea

    At least they are getting viewers…unlike CBS which kind of tanked last night. ABC should be pleased that DWTS and Castle both held their own against newer/new shows.


    I still don’t understand why the cut-off age of 49 is so important.
    I am 64 and spend a lot of money. So do my friends who are all over 49.

  • Factor Flop Pigney

    The Voice won ;)

  • Hillbilly

    The return of press releases from ABC. :roll:

  • eridapo

    I’m going to be lambaste here, but the 18-49 demo is a relic of the 60s MadMen era of advertising.

    Given current census data, America is getting older and the people between 40-60 are the more affluent. They are also not as brand loyal as people seem to think. They shop around like any other consumer and will drop a product as quickly as younger people.

    The idea that you must hit the younger demo because they haven’t developed any brand loyalty is as antiquated as Nielsen.

  • Matthew

    I wish Networks wouldn’t just look at 18-49 year olds. Castle is my favorite show on broadcast Tv and it keeps winning it’s time slot but it looks like it will be canceled just because it doesn’t get the 18-49 year olds. I am 27 and I find it to be the best written and acted crime drama in decades and so do all my friends. My mom and dad also love the show but just because she is 52 and he is 54 they don’t count to the networks,and yet they buy stuff they see in adds on TV too. Why are networks so agest? I mean my mom once she started watching the show couldn’t stop and had to buy the boxsets to watch the episodes over. In this day and age shouldn’t that count for something? Older viewers are after all less likely to download the show off of the internet and more likely to watch it live and buy the boxsets if they want to see it again,you would think networks would want more older viewers because of this.

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