Thursday, October 01, 2009
ABC Television Network
PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - ENTERTAINMENT -
ABC OVERNIGHT RATINGS (9/30)
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Quick Take for Wednesday, September 30, 2009
(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Ratings)
 
Showing Impressive Compatibility Throughout, ABC's 8-10pm Freshman
Comedy Block Improves Each Half-Hour for the Network Year to Year

The Most-Watched TV Show at 8pm, "Hank" Opens with ABC's
Biggest Audience in the Slot with a Series Telecast in Nearly 2 Years

The Most-Watched Show at 8:30pm, "The Middle" Boosts its Time Slot for ABC
By 2.7 Million Viewers and by 25% in Adults 18-49 Over the Year-ago Night

Wednesday's No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49, "Modern Family" Surges
From its Lead-in to Earn First Place at 9pm for the 2nd Straight Week

With Near-Perfect Lead-in Retention, "Cougar Town" is the Night's No. 2 Show
In Adults 18-49 and the Top Comedy in Women 18-34 for the 2nd Straight Week

ABC's "Eastwick" Beats "Leno" at 10pm for the 2nd Week in a Row and Grows
Over its Week-Ago Debut in Women 18-34 to Lead its Competition in the Hour

Wednesday Night Freshman Comedy Block (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC's 2-hour Wednesday comedy block exhibited impressive compatibility and audience flow, surging a substantial 64% from start to finish in Adults 18-49 (2.2/7 to 3.6/9) against fierce established competition on the other nets.  ABC ranked No. 1 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. (3.0/9), tied with Fox.

* The Wednesday comedy block registered year-to-year improvements for ABC of 1.8 million viewers (9.0 million vs. 7.2 million) and 11% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/9 vs. 2.7/7) over the Net's performance in the 2-hour time period on the same night last year with season premiere programming ("Pushing Daisies"/"Private Practice").  In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC was up in all 4 half-hours over the same night last year.  
 
"Hank" (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
Debuting as the most-watched TV show at 8:00 p.m. (8.5 million), ABC's "Hank" also stood as the No. 1 comedy in its half-hour among Adults 18-49 (2.2/7), beating CBS' time period veteran "Old Christine" (7.2 million and 2.0/6) by 1.3 million viewers and by 10% in young adults.  The new ABC comedy also delivered first place in the slot with Adults 25-54 and Men 18-49.  

* "Hank" generated ABC's largest overall audience in the half-hour with series programming in nearly 2 years - since 11/14/07.

"The Middle (8:30-9:30 p.m.)
Jumping from its lead-in by 14% in young adults (2.5/7), ABC's "The Middle" also debuted as the most-watched television program overall (8.6 million) in its time slot and as the No. 1 comedy, outpacing CBS' veteran sit-com, "Gary Unmarried," by solid margins. Like its lead-in, "The Middle" also took top honors in its half-hour with Adults 25-54 and Men 18-49.  

* "The Middle" substantially boosted its time slot year to year for the Network, topping the year-ago "Pushing Daisies" premiere by 2.7 million viewers (8.6 million vs. 5.9 million) and by 25% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 2.0/6).
 
"Modern Family" (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
Building on "The Middle" at 9:00 p.m. by 48% in Adults 18-49, the second week of "Modern Family" delivered strong retention of its big week-ago series debut in Adults 18-34 (97%) and Adults 18-49 (88%).  "Modern Family" won its half-hour over "Criminal Minds" (finishing No. 1 in the slot for the 2nd week in a row) to stand as Wednesday's No. 1 show in the key young adult sales demo (3.7/10).  

* The ABC freshman comedy also won its slot across all key Men (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54) to stand as the evening's top-rated show with Men 18-49 and Men 18-34.     
 
"Cougar Town" (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
Retaining 97% of its Adult 18-49 lead-in, ABC's "Cougar Town" finished a strong No. 2 to CBS' veteran "Criminal Minds" at 9:30 p.m. in Total Viewers (9.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.6/9), while holding the No. 1 position with Men 18-34 for the 2nd straight week.  

* "Cougar Town" tied "Criminal Minds" as Wednesday's No. 2 TV show in Adults 18-49, while registering as the night's top-rated half-hour comedy in Women 18-34 for the 2nd straight week.  

"Eastwick" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Opposite CBS' time-period veteran "CSI: NY," ABC's freshman "Eastwick" earned second place in the 10 o'clock hour, defeating NBC's "Jay Leno" for the 2nd week in a row in both Total Viewers (+10% - 6.6 million vs. 6.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (+26% - 2.4/7 vs. 1.9/5).

* Growing from its week-ago series debut by 8%, "Eastwick" won its time period among Women 18-34, beating "CSI: NY" in the hour by 12% (2.8/8 vs. 2.5/8).


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), 9/30/09.


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