Thursday, September 24, 2009
ABC Television Network
PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - ENTERTAINMENT -
OVERNIGHT ABC RATINGS (9/23)
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Quick Take for Wednesday, September 23, 2009
(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)
ABC Ranks No. 1 on Wednesday and Claims the Top Shows in Adults 18-49, as "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" Are TV's Best Comedy Debuts in 2 Years

"Dancing with the Stars" Wins the 8 O'clock Hour in Viewers and Young Adults

Delivering Strong Time Slot Improvement Year to Year, "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" Demonstrate Impressive Compatibility for ABC from 9-10pm

ABC's "Eastwick" Defeats Leno at 10pm by Wide Margins, Bringing Strong Increases to the Time Period for ABC in Viewers and Young Adults
Wednesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC finished No.1 on the opening Wednesday of the '09-10 TV Season in Adults 18-49 (3.5/10-tied w/CBS), claiming the Top 2 TV shows of the night in the key young adult sales demo with its 9:00-10:00 p.m. comedy debuts.  In fact "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" tied as the No. 1 show of the night and finished as TV's highest rated comedy debuts in nearly 2 years - 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 (15.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.2/10), topping second-place Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" by 28% 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 34% 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" won its half-hour among Adults 18-49 (4.3/12) to qualify as Wednesday's No. 1 TV show.  

* "Modern Family" greatly improved its half-hour year to year for ABC, pacing ahead of the "Private Practice" (3.2/8) opener last season by 34% in Adults 18-49.
 
* "Modern Family" drew ABC's biggest overall audience (12.7 million) in the half-hour with regular programming in 2 years - since 9/26/07.  

"Cougar Town" (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
Exhibiting impressive compatibility for ABC in the time slot, ABC's "Cougar Town" debuted with 100% retention of its "Modern Family" lead-in among Adults 18-49 (4.3/11) to finish tied as Wednesday's top-rated show.  In fact "Cougar Town" built on "Modern Family" in Adults 18-34 and all key Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).
 
* Like its lead-in, "Cougar Town" substantially grew its time period year to year for ABC, topping the second half-hour of the year-ago "Private Practice" opener (3.4/8) by 26% in Adults 18-49.

"Eastwick" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Opposite CBS' season opener of time-period veteran "CSI: NY," ABC's series debut of  "Eastwick" earned second place in the 10 o'clock hour, beating out NBC's "Jay Leno" by over 2 million viewers (8.5 million vs. 6.4 million) and by 50% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.0/5).

* "Eastwick" finished well ahead of the "Dirty Sexy Money" premiere in the hour last season, boosting the time period for ABC year to year by 1.5 million viewers and by 25% in Adults 18-49 ("DSM" = 7.0 million and 2.4/7 on 10/1/08).

* Excluding only "Lost" premieres and finales, "Eastwick" produced ABC's highest viewer and young adult numbers in the time period with regular programming in almost 2 years - since 10/17/07 and 10/24/07, respectively.

Episodic Art:

"Dancing with the Stars"
Click here for last night's "Dancing with the Stars" photography

"Modern Family"
Click here for last night's "Modern Family" photography

"Cougar Town"
Click here for last night's "Cougar Town" photography

"Eastwick"
Click here for last night's "Eastwick" photography

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.

Source: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 9/23/09.

Contacts:  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