via ABC press release:

ABC Wins Premiere Week in Adults 18-49, its 5th Consecutive Year

At No. 1 and the Longest Winning Streak for Any Network in 10 Years

[about 47 sub headlines snipped, for readability. the info is below]

WEEK No. 1:

ABC won the opening week of the 2009-10 TV Season (w/o 9/21/09) among Adults 18-49 (3.3/9), outpacing second-place CBS by 3% (3.2/9), third-place Fox by 6% (3.1/9) and fourth-place NBC by 22% (2.7/8).  In fact ABC marked its 5th consecutive year to finish No. 1 during premiere week, representing the longest winning streak for any network in 10 years – since an NBC streak from 1995 through 1999.

  • ABC marked its strongest non-Oscar week in 1 year in Total Viewers (11.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.3/9) – since the week of 9/22/08.

Rankings:  ABC placed 6 of the Top 20 TV shows during premiere week in Adults 18-49, including the No. 1 scripted program with “Grey’s Anatomy” (tied w/”House”) and the Top 3 new non-spinoff series with “Cougar Town,” “Modern Family” and “FlashForward”:  “Grey’s Anatomy” – No. 2, “Desperate Housewives” – No. 7, “Cougar Town” – No. 10, “Modern Family” – No. 15, “Dancing with the Stars” – No. 16 and “FlashForward” – No. 18. In fact it was the 5th consecutive year for ABC to claim the No. 1 scripted TV show during premiere week in the key young adult sales demo.  The Net aired 4 of the Top 10 most-watched television shows for the week: “Dancing with the Stars” – No. 3, “Grey’s Anatomy” – No. 6, “Dancing w/the Stars – 9/22” – No. 9 and “Dancing w/Stars Result SP-9/23” – No. 10.  “Grey’s” also finished out premiere week as the No. 1 TV show among Adults 25-54 and across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).   In addition, the openers of ABC’s “Cougar Town” and “Modern Family” registered as TV’s highest-rated non-spinoff comedy debuts in nearly 2 years in the key young adult sales demo – since 10/15/07.

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 2007. 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.


“Dancing with the Stars” (8:00-10:01 p.m.)

Up against season premiere programming on each of the networks (CBS = 8:00-10:00 p.m. comedies/NBC = 2-hour “Heroes”/Fox = 2-hour “House”), ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” opened its 9th season as Monday’s most-watched TV show (17.8 million).  “DWTS” won its time period in Total Viewers, and among Adults 18-49 “Dancing” (4.1/10) outpaced CBS’ 8:00-10:00 p.m. comedy block (4.0/10) and overshadowed NBC’s 2-hour “Heroes” opener by 46% (2.8/7).

  • In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, “Dancing with the Stars” generated ABC’s best numbers in the time period since early May – since 5/11/09.

“Castle” (10:01-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite CBS’ “CSI: Miami” premiere in the 10 o’clock hour, the season opener of ABC’s “Castle” beat out NBC’s “Jay Leno” by 3.5 million viewers (9.3 million vs. 5.8 million) and by 28% in Adults 18-49 (2.3/6 vs. 1.8/5).

  • “Castle” improved its time period for ABC, bettering the Network’s averages last Fall with original scripted programming in the hour by 12% in Total Viewers and by 10% in Adults 18-49 (4th Quarter ’08 “Boston Legal” = 8.3 million and 2.1/5).


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

Facing stiff competition during its telecast from 8:00-10:00 p.m. (CBS = “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles”/NBC = 2-hour “Biggest Loser”/Fox = 2-hour “Hell’s Kitchen”), the second night of ABC’s 3-night “Dancing with the Stars” premiere event took second place to CBS with its “NCIS” block in Total Viewers (15.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.5/9).  In fact in its 2-hour slot, ABC’s “DWTS” outdrew its combined unscripted competition on NBC and Fox, surpassing “Biggest Loser” by 7.9 million viewers (7.5 million) and “Hell’s Kitchen” by 8.5 million viewers (6.9 million).  From 9:00-10:00 p.m., “DWTS” moved up to the No. 1 position in its second hour among key Women (W18-49/W25-54), topping CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

  • Dancing” generated ABC’s biggest overall audience with regular programming in the 2-hour time period in nearly 2 years and its highest Adult 18-49 number in 10 months – since 11/27/07 and 11/25/08, respectively.

“the forgotten” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC’s series debut of “the forgotten” earned second place in the 10:00 p.m. hour among Total Viewers (9.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.6/7), finishing 2.6 million viewers ahead of NBC’s “Jay Leno” (6.9 million and 2.5/7).

  • “the forgotten” improved the hour year to year for ABC by double digits in Total Viewers (+13%) and Adults 18-49 (+18%) over its year-ago opener in the time slot with “Eli Stone” (8.4 million and 2.2/6 on 10/14/08).
  • In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, “the forgotten” produced the Network’s highest numbers in the hour with a regular scripted series telecast in almost 1-1/2 years – since 4/22/08.


ABC finished in a virtual tie with CBS for No. 1 on the opening Wednesday of the ’09-10 TV Season in Adults 18-49, pacing within one-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share (3.5/10 vs. 3.6/10). In fact the openers of ABC’s “Cougar Town” and “Modern Family” registered as TV’s highest-rated non-spinoff comedy debuts in nearly 2 years in the key young adult sales demo – since 10/15/07.

  • Versus ABC’s Wednesday night roll-out last year (on 10/1/08), the Net was up by 4.7 million viewers (11.9 million vs. 7.2 million) and by 35% in Adults 18-49 (3.5/10 vs. 2.6/7).  ABC generated its most-watched Wednesday night in 10 months – since 11/12/08.

“Dancing with the Stars Results” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

On the third evening of its 3-night premiere event, ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” dominated the 8 o’clock hour in Total Viewers (15.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.3/10), topping second-place Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” by 32% in the key sales demo (2.5/8).  In a double-elimination, Macy Gray and Ashley Hamilton were the first two celebrity dancers to be eliminated from the contest this season.

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Surging 27% from its Adult 18-49 lead-in at 9:00 p.m. and becoming the first-ever comedy to build on “DWTS,” the series premiere of “Modern Family” ranked No. 1 in its half-hour among Adults 18-49 (4.2/11-tie).

  • “Modern Family” greatly improved the half-hour year to year for ABC, pacing ahead of the “Private Practice” (3.2/8) opener last season by 31% in Adults 18-49.
  • Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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