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via press release:

Quick Take for Thursday, October 1, 2009

(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)

ABC Wins 2nd Straight Thursday in Adults 18-49 by Wide Margins

“FlashForward” Delivers Strong Retention of its Big Week-Ago Series Debut

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

ABC won its 2nd Thursday in a row among Adults 18-49 (4.7/13), beating out runner-up CBS by 24% (3.8/11), third-place Fox by 88% (2.5/7) and fourth-place NBC by 114% (2.2/6).  In fact ABC ranked No. 1 in each half-hour of the night in the key young adult sales demo.  The Net also won on the evening for the 2nd week running with Adults 18-34 and Adults 25-54.

“FlashForward” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

From 8:00-9:00 p.m., ABC’s second telecast of “FlashForward” ran neck-and-neck with CBS veteran “Survivor” among Adults 18-49, tying for the No. 1 position (3.7/11).  However, the demographic difference in the slot came among Adults 18-34, where “FlashForward” won the hour by 52% over “Survivor: Samoa” (3.2/11 vs. 2.1/7).  From its first half-hour to its second half-hour, the ABC freshman drama gained Viewers (+5%) and Adults 18-49 (+11%) throughout its telecast.

  • “FlashForward” showed strong retention of its high profile week-ago series debut telecast in Total Viewers (86%) and Adults 18-49 (93%).
  • “FlashForward” drastically improved the hour year to year for ABC, up by 2.5 million viewers (10.8 million vs. 8.3 million) and by 48% in Adults 18-49 (3.7/11 vs. 2.5/7) over an original “Ugly Betty” on the same night last year.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Thursday’s #1 TV program for the 2nd consecutive week in Adults 18-49, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (6.0/15) towered over its time slot, surpassing second-place CBS’ “CSI” by 50% (4.0/10) in the key young adult sales demo.

  • In adults 18-49, it was the highest-rated 1-hour telecast of “Grey’s” since last November – since 11/20/08.  And despite a significant year-to-year increase in Household DVR penetration (up to 33% from 27% a year ago), the 6th-year ABC drama was up over its second telecast last season in both Total Viewers (+4% -15.4 million vs. 14.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (+7% – 6.0/15 vs. 5.6/13).

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Taking full control of the 10 o’clock hour in Adults 18-49, the third-season premiere of ABC’s “Private Practice” (4.5/13) outpaced CBS’ “The Mentalist” by 22% (3.7/10) and NBC’s “Jay Leno” by 181% (1.6/4 – tying its lowest-rated telecast to date).   “Private Practice” stood as the No. 2 TV show on Thursday in Adults 18-49, trailing only “Grey’s Anatomy.”

  • In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, “Private Practice” marked its best numbers since last February – since 2/12/09, which was a cross-over episode with “Grey’s Anatomy.”
  • “Private Practice” posted its strongest-ever non-crossover retention of its “Grey’s” lead-in among Total Viewers (75%) and Adults 18-49 (75%).
  • The “Private Practice” Season 3 opener (11.5 million & 4.5/13) topped every benchmark comparison for the show and the network.  “Private Practice” was up over its year-ago season premiere (8.2 million & 3.3/8 on 10/1/08) by 3.3 million viewers and by 36% in Adults 18-49.   The compatible “Grey’s Anatomy” lead-out was also up from ABC’s year-ago series premiere of “Life on Mars” in the time period (11.3 million & 3.7/10 on 10/9/08) and even bettered its sophomore season finale during the ’09 May Sweep (9.7 million and 3.5/10 on 4/30/09).  It was also up from its Thursday night premiere in January (9.0 million & 3.3/8 on 1/8/09).

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 33% currently, from 27% at the same point in 2008. 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: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 10/1/09.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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