Tuesday, September 16, 2008
ABC Television Network
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WEEKLY PRIMETIME RATINGS (WK OF 9/8)
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Primetime Ratings Report
For the week of September 8, 2008
(Based on National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)
ABC Grows by 1.0 Million Viewers and by 17% in Adults 18-49 Over The Same Week Last Year, Marking its Best Weekly Results in 3 Months

ABC Airs 3 of the Top 10 TV Shows of the Week in Adults 18-49, With "Saturday Night Football" and Two Installments of "Wipeout"  

One of the Top-Rated Programs of the Week, "Saturday Night Football" Tallies The ABC College Football Franchise's Highest Numbers Since November 2006   

Up Against Fox's Highly-Promoted Series Debut of "Fringe," ABC Turns in its Strongest Tuesday in 6 Weeks, Tying Fox For No. 1 from 8-10pm in Adults 18-49

Despite Increased Competition in its Time Slot, "Wipeout" is Up from its Most Recent Original Airing Two Weeks Ago by 16% in Total Viewers and by 26% in Adults 18-49

Beating Fox's Premieres, ABC "Wipeout" Wins Tuesday's 9pm Hour in Young Adults

ABC News' "Primetime: Medical Mysteries" Tops Tuesday at 10pm in Adults 18-49, Increasing by 2.3 Million Viewers and 47% in Adults 18-49 Over Show's Last Telecast

Generating the Net's Strongest Results since July in Wednesday's 10pm Hour, ABC News' "20/20: They're Not Like Us" Ranks No. 1 in its Time Slot with Adults 25-54

"20/20" - "The Interview: Sarah Palin with Charles Gibson" Surges from its Lead-in, Dominates its Slot and Qualifies as Friday's No. 1 TV Show in Viewers and Key Adults

ABC News' "20/20" Registers its Biggest Friday Audience in Over 6 Months, The Program's Second-Most-Watched Broadcast on the Evening Since March 2007

ABC Wins Saturday for the 2nd Time in 3 Weeks with "Saturday Night Football," Generating the Top Non-Olympic Numbers for Any Net on the Night Since March

Opposite NFL Competition on Sunday, ABC's "Funniest Home Videos" and "Home Edition" Garner Their Best Repeat Numbers in 5 Months in Viewers and Young Adults  
WEEK No. 51:
During the week of September 8, 2008, ABC's delivery jumped sharply over the prior week, up by 2.2 million viewers (6.3 million vs. 4.1 million) and by 62% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 1.3/3) and marking the Network's best weekly results in 3 months on both counts - since w/o 6/9/08.

* ABC grew from the same week last year by 1.0 million viewers and by 17% in Adults 18-49 (w/o 9/10/07 = 5.3 million & 1.8/5).

Rankings:  ABC claimed 3 of the week's Top 10 TV shows in Adults 18-49:  "Saturday Night Football" - No. 3, "Wipeout SP-9/9" - No. 6 and "Wipeout" - No. 9. In addition, ranking as one of the top-rated programs of the week across key adults and men, the "Saturday Night Football" contest between Ohio State and USC represented the franchise's top numbers among viewers and young adults in nearly 2 years (since 11/25/06) and the 3rd highest in its history.    

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating trends based on the Live + Same Day data stream may be somewhat distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped from 19% at the same point in 2007, up to nearly 27% currently. 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.

Tuesday
Up against Fox's highly-promoted, limited-commercial debut of "Fringe," ABC took a strong second on Tuesday night in Adults 18-49 (2.7/7) and tied Fox for No. 1 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. in the key young adult sales demo (2.9/8).  In fact from 8:00-10:00 p.m., ABC defeated Fox's 2-hour primetime block in Adults 18-34 (2.4/7 vs. 2.3/7), which included the series debut of "Fringe" and another preview of "Hole in the Wall."  

* In Total Viewers (7.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.7/7), ABC marked its strongest Tuesday in 6 weeks - since 7/29/08.    

"Wipeout" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
ABC's 8 o'clock installment of "Wipeout" earned a strong second place in Adults 18-49 (2.9/8) to the first hour of Fox's series debut of "Fringe."  ABC's "Wipeout" defeated the opening hour of NBC's 2-hour "America's Got Talent" by 26% in the key young adult sales demo (2.9/8 vs. 2.3/7).

* Despite the increased  competition in the hour from the Fox debut and CW's second episode of "90210," "Wipeout" was up from its most recent original telecast two weeks ago (8/26/08) by 16% in Total Viewers (7.3 million vs. 6.3 million) and by 26% in Adults 18-49 (2.9/8 vs. 2.3/7).
It was ABC's top young adult delivery in the hour since the end of July (7/29/08).   

"Wipeout" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
On its second airing of the night, "Wipeout" moved ABC up into first place in the 9 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49 (3.0/8), besting the second hour of NBC's "America's Got Talent" (2.9/7) and Fox's combo of "Fringe" and "Hole in the Wall" (2.7/7).

* "Wipeout" generated ABC's best results in the time period in 12 weeks with Total Viewers (7.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.0/8) - since 6/24/08.

"Primetime: Medical Mysteries" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC News' "Primetime: Medical Mysteries" won the 10 o'clock hour in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6).  

* Versus its most recent installment three weeks ago (8/19/08), "Primetime: Medical Mysteries" jumped by 2.3 million viewers (6.7 million vs. 4.4 million) and 47% in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6 vs. 1.5/4).

Wednesday
"20/20: They're Not Like Us" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Building on its lead-in during the final hour of the night, a special edition of ABC News' "20/20: They're Not Like Us" drew the Net's best numbers in the hour in both Total Viewers (6.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.0/6) since July - since 7/30 and 7/23/08, respectively.  The ABC newsmagazine ranked No. 1 in the hour in the key Adults 25-54 news demographic (2.6/7 - tie).

Thursday
With repeat airings of "Ugly Betty," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" opposite season premieres on Fox and mostly original programming on CBS, ABC marked its strongest Thursday in both Total Viewers (4.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.5/4) in 3 months - since 6/12/08.

Friday
Surging from its lead-in by 4.6 million viewers and by 110% in Adults 18-49 and gaining audience throughout its broadcast, ABC News' "20/20" - "The Interview: Sarah Palin with Charles Gibson" dominated Friday's 10 o'clock hour.  In its time period, "20/20" topped its nearest competitors by 1.9 million viewers (8.1 million vs. 6.2 million - CBS) and by 24% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 1.7/5 - NBC).  In fact "20/20" overshadowed its newsmagazine competition in the slot, the final hour of NBC's 2-hour "Dateline," by 2.6 million viewers (8.1 million vs. 5.5 million) and by 33% in the Adult 25-54 news demographic (2.8/7 vs. 2.1/6).  The hour included more of Gibson's interviews with the Vice Presidential candidate from Fairbanks and Wasilla. Kate Snow reported on the personal and professional background of Governor Palin leading up to her nomination, and George Stephanopoulos moderated a live roundtable discussion.

* ABC News' "20/20" stood as Friday evening's No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.  In fact excluding only NBC's Olympic coverage, the ABC newsmagazine registered the highest Adult 25-54 rating for any Friday night telecast on any network in 4 months - since CBS' "Numb3rs" on 5/16/08.

* "20/20" attracted its biggest audience on the night in more than 6 months, representing its second-most-watched Friday telecast since March 2007 - since 2/22/08 and 3/16/07, respectively.

Saturday
"Saturday Night Football: Ohio at USC" (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
With "Saturday Night Football," ABC led the night in primetime in Total Viewers (12.1 million) and across each of the key adult demographics [Adults 18-34 (4.4/16), Adults 18-49 (4.7/15) and Adults 25-54 (5.0/14)] for the 2nd time in 3 weeks.  In addition, ABC delivered its largest audience and strongest young adult performance on the night in nearly 2 years - since 11/25/06.

_         ABC's "Saturday Night Football" (8:08 - 11:21 p.m.), featuring the USC Trojans and the Ohio State Buckeyes, posted the highest numbers for a "Saturday Night Football" game in Total Viewers (11.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.7/15) in nearly 2 years (since 11/25/06), and the 3rd best performance overall in the franchise in both measures.    

_        Excluding only 2008 Summer Olympics on NBC, ABC registered the best Saturday night performance on any net in viewers and young adults in over 5 months (since 4/5/08 with CBS' coverage of "NCAA Basketball").

 Sunday
"America's Funniest Home Videos" (7:00-8:00 p.m.)
Opposite NFL coverage on CBS and NBC, ABC's repeat "America's Funniest Home Videos" defeated its entertainment competition in the 7 o'clock hour on Fox (back-to-back "The Simpsons" repeats), by 4.1 million viewers (7.5 million vs. 3.4 million) and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 1.4/4).

* In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, "Videos" logged its strongest replay numbers in over 5 months - since 3/30/08.


"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
During the 8 o'clock hour, ABC's repeat "Home Edition" outdrew Fox's replay of the high-profile "Fringe" by 25% in Total Viewers (7.1 million vs. 5.7 million).  The two programs tied in the hour among Adults 18-49 (2.3/6).

* "Home Edition" tallied its top repeat numbers with viewers and young adults in 5 months - since 4/6/08.

WEEK NO. 51:  ADULTS 18-49        TOTAL VIEWERS


              No.1  NBC 2.6   No.1 NBC    8,350,000


              No.2  FOX 2.3   No.2 CBS    7,410,000


              No.3  ABC 2.1   No.3 ABC    6,270,000


              No.3  CBS 2.1   No.4 FOX    6,190,000


              No.5  CW  1.2   No.5 CW     2,720,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research (National Live+Same Day Program Ratings), week of 9/8/08, unless stated otherwise.
ABC Media Relations Contact:
Jeff Lindsey (818) 460-5095 jeffrey.s.lindsey@disney.com / Pons Rongavilla (818) 460-5615 ponciano.rongavilla@disney.com / Susan Sewell (212) 456-1508 susan.l.sewell@disney.com