[03/24/09 - 12:49 PM]
For the 2nd Week in a Row, ABC Delivers 3 of the Week's Top 5 TV Shows in Adults 18-49
ABC spins the numbers for the week of March 16-22.

[via press release from ABC]

Primetime Ratings Report For the week of March 16, 2009 (Based on National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)

For the 2nd Week in a Row, ABC Delivers 3 of the Week's Top 5 TV Shows in Adults 18-49, Including the Top 2 Scripted Programs

Up Week to Week in Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC Attracts Its Biggest Non-Oscar Weekly Audience in Nearly 4 Months

"Dancing" Marks its Closest-Ever Finish to "Idol" During a Nielsen Week

ABC's Monday Lineup of "DWTS" and "Castle" Drive the Net to No. 1 In Viewers and Adults 18-49, Winning the Evening for the 3rd Straight Week

For the 2nd Week in a Row, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Stands as Monday's No. 1 TV Show in Viewers and Young Adults

ABC's "Castle" Grows its Audience from Week-Earlier Series Debut, Substantially Improving its Monday 10pm Slot in Viewers and Young Adults

Despite Facing Lower TV Usage Levels on St. Patrick's Day, the Opener of "DWTS Results" Pulls ABC's Biggest Audience in the Time Slot in Nearly 4 Months

ABC News' "Primetime: What Would You Do?" Generates the Series' Biggest Audience This Season and Marks its Top Adult 25-54 Number Since January

With Strong Retention of its Lead-in, the Debut of "Better Off Ted" Produces ABC's Top Numbers in the Slot with Regular Programming in Nearly 5 Months

Dominating its Wednesday 9pm Drama Competition, "Lost" Marks its 8th Straight Original Airing as the Night's No. 1 Scripted TV Show in Adults 18-49

"Ugly Betty" Generates its Most-Watched Telecast Since Mid-February

Standing as Thursday's No. 1 TV Show in Both Total Viewers and Young Adults, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" Increases its Overall Audience by 7% Week to Week

With its Best Non-Crossover Performance This Season, ABC's "Private Practice" is Most-Watched in Thursday's 10pm Hour, Beating "ER" in Viewers and Adults 18-49

ABC's "Home Edition" Grows Week to Week in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49

Towering Over Sunday's 9pm Hour in Viewers and Young Adults, "Housewives" Is Up for the 2nd Straight Week with its Most-Watched Episode in Over 3 Months

Topping Sunday's 10p Hour Across the Adult Demos, "Brothers & Sisters" Finishes No. 1 in its Time Slot for the 4th Consecutive Week in Adults 18-49

WEEK No. 26:

ABC took second place to Fox during the week of March 16, 2009 across each of the key Women demographics: W18-34 (3.0/9), W18-49 (3.7/10), W25-54 (4.3/11).

� ABC's primetime results climbed week to week by nearly 1 million viewers (9.2 million vs. 8.3 million) and by 8% in Adults 18-49 (2.7/8 vs. 2.5/7). In fact ABC attracted its biggest non-Oscar weekly audience in nearly 4 months � since w/o 11/24/08.

Rankings: For the 2nd week in a row, ABC delivered 3 of the Top 5 highest-rated TV programs in Adults 18-49, including the Top 2 scripted programs with "Grey's" and "Housewives," which were tied for the No. 1 scripted position in the current weekly ratings: "Dancing with the Stars" � No. 3, while "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives" tied at No. 4 and as the No. 1 scripted program of the week. The Network claimed TV's No. 1 scripted show in the key young adult sales demo for the 5th time in 6 weeks. In addition, the Net aired 3 of the Top 10 most-watched TV shows overall for the week: "Dancing with the Stars" � No. 3, "Desperate Housewives" � No. 7 and "Grey's Anatomy" � No. 8. In fact, "DWTS" marked the franchise's closest-ever finish to "American Idol" during a Nielsen week � representing the smallest-ever Total Viewer difference between the shows. ABC aired 5 of the Top 10 shows in Women 18-34 for the 2nd straight week: "Grey's" � No. 3, "DWTS" � No. 4, "Housewives" � No. 5, "Private Practice" and "Lost" tied at No. 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 over 30% currently, from 23% at the same point in 2008. 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.


ABC's lineup of "Dancing with the Stars" and "Castle" took the Net to the No. 1 position on Monday for the 3rd week running in Total Viewers (17.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.6/12). The Network topped second-place Fox on the night by 5.6 million viewers and by 7% in Adults 18-49 (12.3 million & 4.3/11).

� ABC was up over the same night last year, improving by 2.9 million viewers and 5% in Adults 18-49 (15.0 million & 4.4/12 on 3/17/08).

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

ABC's broad appealing "Dancing with the Stars" attracted 21.2 million viewers and a 5.3 rating, 14 share in Adults 18-49, qualifying as Monday's No. 1 TV program in viewers and young adults for the 2nd straight week. "Dancing with the Stars" outdrew second-place Fox in its 2-hour time period by 8.9 million viewers and by 23% in Adults 18-49 (12.3 million & 4.3/11).

� "Dancing with the Stars" is up over its Week 2 performance last year by 3% in both Total Viewers and by 4% in Adults 18-49 (20.5 million & 5.1/13 on 3/24/08).

"Castle" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Holding strong with its week-ago series debut and delivering improved retention of its lead-in, ABC's "Castle" took second in the 10 o'clock hour in Total Viewers (11.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.9/8) to CBS' veteran "C.S.I.: Miami."

� "Castle" built on its series debut telecast the prior week in Total Viewers (11.0 million vs. 10.8 million) and retained 97% in Adults 18-49 (2.9/8 vs. 3.0/8).

� Compared to the Net's performance in the hour this season with series programming, "Castle" on average has improved the time period for ABC by 2.2 million viewers (10.9 million vs. 8.7 million) and by 7% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.8/7).


On an ultra-competitive Tuesday night, facing Fox's expanded 2-hour installment of "American Idol," CBS' original drama lineup ("NCIS"/"The Mentalist"/"Without a Trace") and originals on NBC (2-hour "Biggest Loser"/"L&O: SVU"), ABC attracted its biggest audience (9.4 million) on the evening in 2 months � since 1/20/09.

Please note: Due to the St. Patrick's Day holiday, overall primetime TV usage levels were down notably among Adults 18-49 from the prior Tuesday (36.2% vs. 37.6%). In fact the 18-49 usage levels were the 3rd-lowest for any Tuesday this season, above only the two weeks containing the Christmas and New Year's holidays on 12/23/08 and 12/30/08.

"Dancing with the Stars Results" (9:00-10:03 p.m.)

In the 9 o'clock hour opposite the second halves of Fox's "Idol" and NBC's "Loser" as well as CBS' "The Mentalist," ABC's "DWTS Results" surged from its lead-in by 4.7 million viewers and by 65% in Adults 18-49, while gaining audience throughout its telecast. On its season opener, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars Results" outdrew the second hour of NBC's time-slot regular, "Biggest Loser," by 4.0 million viewers (12.7 million vs. 8.7 million) and defeated CBS' hit-drama "The Mentalist" across the younger demos: +10% in Adults 18-34 (2.2/7 vs. 2.0/6), +29% in Women 18-34 (3.1/8 vs. 2.4/6) and +8% in Teens 12-17 (1.4/5 vs. 1.3/4). With Kids 2-11 (1.5/6) ABC's broad-appealing unscripted dance competition beat out both "Biggest Loser" and "The Mentalist," trailing only Fox's "American Idol" in the time slot among its network competition. Singer Belinda Carlisle was the first celebrity dancer eliminated from the competition this season.

� "DWTS Results" generated ABC's biggest audience (12.7 million) in the slot in nearly 4 months and its best Adult 18-49 number (2.8/7) with regular programming in more than 2 months - since 11/25/08 and 1/6/09, respectively.

"Primetime: What Would You Do?" (10:03-11:00 p.m.)

During the 10 o'clock hour against NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" and CBS' "Without a Trace," ABC News' "Primetime: What Would You Do?" topped its CBS competitor by 14% among Adults 18-34 (1.6/5 vs. 1.4/4) and by 22% among Women 18-34 (2.2/6 vs. 1.8/5).

� "What Would You Do?" garnered the series' biggest audience (7.3 million) this season and hit its top Adult 25-54 number (2.7/7) since January � since 1/27/09.


ABC finished in a near-tie for No. 2 on Wednesday night among Adults 18-49 (2.8/8), pacing within one-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share with CBS (2.9/8). The Network took a strong second on the evening in Adults 18-34 (2.5/8), beating third-place CBS by 39% (1.8/6) and fourth-place NBC by 108% (1.2/4).

� Continuing to post year-to-year gains on the night, ABC's Wednesday results were up from the same night last year (3/19/08) by 13% in Total Viewers (6.7 million vs. 6.2 million) and by 33% in Adults 18-49 (2.8/8 vs. 2.1/6). The Network has finished up from the year-ago Wednesday on 6 of the past 7 weeks in the key young adult sales demo.

"Scrubs" (8:00-8:30 p.m.)

At 8:00 p.m., ABC's "Scrubs" earned second place in the half-hour among Adults 18-49 (2.2/7), beating out CBS' competing comedy, "Old Christine" (2.1/7). "Scrubs" delivered the No. 1 position in its time period with Men 18-34 (2.2/9).

� "Scrubs" drew its biggest audience (5.6 million) and equaled its highest Adult 18-49 rating (2.2/7) in more than 2 months � since 1/6/09, the series' debut night on ABC.

"Better Off Ted" (8:30-9:00 p.m.)

Retaining nearly all of its "Scrubs" lead-in among viewers and young adults, ABC's series debut of "Better Off Ted" beat its established CBS' comedy competition in the half-hour ("Gary Unmarried") by 54% among Adults 18-34 (2.0/7 vs. 1.3/4). Also in the half-hour, the new ABC show topped the second week of NBC's "Chopping Block" by 2.2 million viewers (5.5 million vs. 3.3 million) and by 62% in Adults 18-49 (2.1/6 vs. 1.3/4).

� In addition to holding nearly all of its lead-in with Total Viewers (98%) and Adults 18-49 (95%), "Better Off Ted" built on its "Scrubs" lead-in across the key Women demographics (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).

� In Total Viewers (5.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.1/6), "Better Off Ted" generated ABC's best numbers with regular programming in the time period in nearly 5 months � since 10/29/08.

"Lost" (9:00-10:02 p.m.)

Surging from its lead-in opposite Fox's "American Idol" and gaining audience throughout its broadcast, "Lost" dominated its drama competition in the 9 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49. In its time period, ABC's "Lost" (4.3/11) defeated CBS' "Criminal Minds" by 30% (3.3/8) and NBC's "Life" by 187% (1.5/4).

� ABC's "Lost" tallied its 8th straight original telecast as Wednesday's No. 1 scripted TV show in Adults 18-49. The ABC drama was also the evening's highest-rated scripted show in the other two key Adult demos: Adults 18-34 (4.1/11) and Adults 25-54 (4.7/10).

"Life on Mars" (10:02-11:00 p.m.)

"Life on Mars" was up week to week by 11% in Total Viewers (5.0 million vs. 4.5 million) and by 29% in Adult 18-49 (1.8/5 vs. 1.4/4).


ABC ranked No. 1 on Thursday night in Total Viewers (10.6 million), Adults 25-54 (4.1/10) and across each of the key Women demos: W18-34 (4.6/13), W18-49 (5.2/14) and W25-54 (5.9/14). The Net finished a strong second in Adults 18-49, pacing just one-tenth of a rating point out of a tie for first place with CBS' NCAA Basketball Tournament coverage (3.5/10 vs. 3.6/10).

� The Network was up from the same night last year by 2.2 million viewers and by 17% in Adults 18-49 (8.4 million and 3.0/9 on 3/20/08). Growing its overall audience from the prior week, ABC generated its most-watched Thursday since mid-February � since 2/19/09.

"Ugly Betty" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Ugly Betty" outdrew its NBC comedy competition in the 8 o'clock hour ("My Name is Earl"/"The Office") by 1.9 million viewers (7.6 million vs. 5.5 million). "Betty" finished No. 1 in the slot with Women 18-34 (2.9/9 - tie) and held second place in the in the other two Women demos: W18-49 (3.0/9) and W25-54 (3.6/10).

� Increasing its overall audience for the 2nd week in a row, "Ugly Betty" attracted its biggest audience in 4 weeks � since 2/19/09.

"Grey's Anatomy" (9:00-10:02 p.m.)

Thursday's No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (14.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (5.0/13), ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" topped its nearest competition in the 9 o'clock hour by over 4 million viewers and by 32% in Adults 18-49 (CBS' NCAA Basketball Tournament coverage = 10.5 million and 3.8/11). "Grey's" marked the 12th time in its last 13 original airings to stand as Thursday's No. 1 entertainment telecast with Adults 18-49, and the 12th time in as many original airings among Adults 18-34.

� "Grey's" increased its overall audience by 7% week to week (14.6 million vs. 13.6 million).

"Private Practice" (10:02-11:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Private Practice" qualified as the most-watched program in the 10 o'clock hour, topping NBC's veteran "ER" in Total Viewers (9.7 million vs. 9.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.5/9 vs. 3.2/9). In fact the ABC sophomore drama defeated NBC's veteran "ER" in both Total Viewers and Adults18-49 on 7 of 8 head-to-head original telecasts in the time period. "Private Practice" placed as the No. 1 entertainment program in the hour in Adults 18-49 for the 4th time in its last 5 original airings, while standing as the top entertainment broadcast with Adults 18-34 on all 9 original telecasts in the time slot. Trailing only "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice" stood as Thursday's No. 2 TV show among Women 18-49 (5.1/13) and Women 25-54 (5.7/14).

� Growing its overall audience week to week by 1.1 million viewers (9.7 million vs. 8.6 million), "Private Practice" turned in its most-watched non-crossover episode this season. In both viewers and young adults, "Private Practice" generated its best non-crossover lead-in retention to date coming out of an original "Grey's Anatomy."


ABC finished a strong No. 2 on Sunday evening in Adults 18-49, pacing within two-tenth of a rating point of NCAA Basketball-powered CBS (3.4/9 vs. 3.6/10). CBS received a substantial boost to its prime averages from a 52-minute highly-rated overrun of NCAA Basketball Tournament coverage into the 7 o'clock hour leading into big numbers for "60 Minutes" and its well-promoted interview with President Obama. ABC delivered a dominant victory on Sunday across each of the key Women demographics: W18-34 (3.6/10), W18-49 (4.6/12), W25-54 (5.3/13).

� ABC was up over the same Sunday last year (3/23/08) by 1.5 million viewers (10.5 million vs. 9.0 million) and 10% in Adults 18-49 (3.4/9 vs. 3.1/9).

� "Desperate Housewives" registered as Sunday's No. 1 TV show among Adults 18-49. "Housewives" logged its 17th time in 18 original broadcasts this season to qualify as the Sunday's top entertainment series with viewers and young adults.

"America's Funniest Home Videos" (7:00-8:00 p.m.)

Opposite CBS' "March Madness" overrun/"60 Minutes," ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" took second place during the 7 o'clock hour, leading NBC's third-place "Dateline" by 6% in Total Viewers (7.1 million vs. 6.7 million) and by 27% in Adults 18-49 (1.9/6 vs. 1.5/5).

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

Building on its lead-in at 8:00 p.m. against "60 Minutes," ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" earned a strong second place during its hour among Total Viewers (9.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.2/9), while ranking No. 1 in the time period with Women 18-49 (4.1/11) and Women 18-34 (3.3/10). The ABC unscripted series has delivered the No. 1 position in the hour with Women 18-49 for 5 consecutive weeks and been tops with Women 18-34 on 4 of the last 5 weeks.

� Despite facing stiffer competition, ABC's "Home Edition" was up from the prior week in both Total Viewers (9.9 million vs. 9.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.2/9 vs. 3.0/8).

"Desperate Housewives" (9:00-10:01 p.m.)

Sunday's No. 1 TV program with young adults, ABC's "Desperate Housewives" towered over the 9 o'clock hour, outpacing second-place CBS ("Amazing Race"/"Cold Case") by 2.8 million viewers (14.8 million vs. 12.0 million) and by 43% in Adults 18-49 (5.0/12 vs. 3.5/8).

� Growing week to week in Total Viewers and key Women (W18-34/W18-49), "Housewives" increased its overall audience for the 2nd straight week, registering the series' most-watched telecast in more than 3 months � since 12/7/08.

"Brothers & Sisters" (10:01-11:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" topped its time period across the key Adult demos (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54), delivering the No. 1 position in Adults 18-49 (3.4/9-tie) for the 4th week in a row.

Source: Nielsen Media Research (National Live+Same Day Program Ratings), week of 3/16/09, unless stated otherwise.

  [march 2009]  

· ER (NBC)

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