via press release:

ABC Turns in its Strongest Wednesday in Nearly 10 Months

“Modern Family” Opens as Wednesday’s No. 1 TV Show and

The Top-Rated Comedy of the New TV Season in Adults 18-49


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

With its season premiere Wednesday line-up, ABC turned in its strongest performance on the evening in nearly 10 months among Total Viewers (7.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.8/8) – since 12/9/09.

“The Middle” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

Shifting into the lead-off position for ABC’s Wednesday night comedy block, the sophomore season premiere of “The Middle” greatly improved the 8:00 p.m. half hour year to year among Adults 18-49 (+24% – 2.6/8 vs. 2.1/7 – “Hank”) and finished a solid No. 2 in the slot to CBS’ “Survivor: Nicaragua,” beating Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” premiere by 8% (2.4/8) and NBC’s “Undercovers” debut by 30% (2.0/6).

  • “The Middle” marked a series high with Total Viewers (8.8 million) and posted its top Adult 18-49 number since February – since 2/10/10.
  • The sophomore comedy generated ABC’s largest audience with series programming in the time period in nearly 3 years and marked its top Adult 18-49 number in the slot with a regular scripted show since Fall 2007 – since 10/24/07 and 11/14/07, respectively.

“Better with You” (8:30-9:30 p.m.)

Exhibiting impressive 96% lead-in retention at 8:30 p.m., the series debut of “Better with You” beat its freshman competition in the half-hour by 19% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 2.1/6), leading the second half of NBC’s “Undercovers” debut.

  • “Better with You” attracted ABC’s biggest audience (8.0 million) in the time period since the beginning of January and equaled its highest Adult 18-49 rating since February – since 1/6/10 and 2/10/10, respectively.

“Modern Family” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Wednesday’s definitive No. 1 TV show and the top-rated comedy of the new season, ABC’s Emmy Award-winning “Modern Family” opened its sophomore season by doubling its lead-in and posting a dominant victory at 9:00 p.m., beating its nearest competition (CBS’ “Criminal Minds”) by 28% in Adults 18-49 (5.0/14 vs. 3.9/10).

  • “Modern Family” achieved series highs across the board (Total Viewers and all key Adults), surging from its year-ago series debut by 19% with Adults 18-49 (5.0/14 vs. 4.2/11), which had the advantage of airing directly out of big “DWTS: The Results” lead-in.
  • The hit ABC comedy delivered the Net’s top Adult 18-49 rating in the slot with regular programming in over 1-1/2 years – since 2/18/09, with an episode of “Lost.”

“Cougar Town” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

At 9:30 p.m., the season opener of “Cougar Town” earned the No. 2 position in its time period among Adults 18-49 (3.3/9), beating the NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” premiere and the final half hour of Fox’s 2-hour “Hell’s Kitchen” premiere.  The ABC comedy finished No. 1 in its time slot in Adults 18-34 (3.0/9-tie).

  • “Cougar Town” opened its sophomore season with the series’ biggest audience since last September (3rd-largest-ever) and highest Adult 18-49 rating since January – since 9/30/09 and 1/20/10, respectively.

“The Whole Truth” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Up against stiff competition from the final hour of NBC’s 2-hour “L&O: SVU” opener and CBS’ highly-promoted debut of “The Defenders,” the debut of “The Whole Truth” produced ABC’s best results in the hour with regular scripted programming since April among Total Viewers (4.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.5/4)  – since 4/28/10.

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 38% currently, from 32% at the same point in 2009. 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 Program Ratings), 9/22/10.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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