Primetime Ratings Report
For the week of August 31, 2009
(Based on National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)
ABC Wins the Final Week of Summer '09 Among Adults 18-49,
Claiming 4 of the Top 15 Television Programs During the Week
In Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC Marks its Strongest Results in 3 Months
The Only Net to Gain Year to Year on Both Counts, ABC Surges from
The Year-Ago Week by 15% in Viewers and by 15% in Adults 18-49
"CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" Boosts ABC Ahead of CBS, NBC
And Fox on Monday, with the Net's 2nd-Biggest Audience on the Night This Summer
ABC's "CMA Music Festival" Broadcast Jumps Year to Year by 2.5 Million
Viewers and by 43% in Adults 18-49, Marking Show's Biggest Audience in 4 Years
ABC Wins Wednesday in Adults 18-49, Posting its Strongest Results
On the Evening in Nearly 3 Months with Viewers and Young Adults
ABC is Up Year to Year on Wednesday for 13 Consecutive Weeks
ABC's "Wipeout" Wins the 8pm Hour in Viewers and Young Adults, Matching
NBC's "America's Got Talent" as Wednesday's No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-49
Showing Strong Retention of its Week-Ago Series Debut, "Crash Course"
Continues to Substantially Improve its Time Period Year to Year for ABC
"Primetime: Crime" is No. 1 on Wednesday at 10pm in Viewers and Key Adults, the Net's Top Summer Draw in Slot in 3 Years and the Show's 2nd-Biggest-Ever Audience
ABC Dominates with the Opener of "Saturday Night Football," Marking
The Strongest Start for the ABC College Football Franchise Since 2006
Sunday at 9pm, ABC's "Shark Tank" Defeats its Freshman Unscripted Competition, Beating CBS' "Neighborhood" for the 4th Week in a Row in Viewers and Adults 18-49
WEEK No. 50:
ABC won the final week of Summer '09 (w/o 8/31/09) among Adults 18-49 (1.5/5), finishing 7% ahead of its nearest competition (CBS, NBC and Fox tied at a 1.4 rating).
� In Total Viewers (4.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.5/5), ABC marked its strongest week in 3 months � since w/o 6/8/09 with coverage of the 2009 NBA Finals. In addition, ABC surged over the same week last year (w/o 9/1/08) by 15% in Total Viewers (4.7 million vs. 4.1 million) and by 15% in Adults 18-49 (1.5/5 vs. 1.3/3), the only network to grow year to year on both Nielsen measures.
Rankings: ABC claimed 4 of the Top 15 TV shows for the week in Adults 18-49, including 2 of the Top 5: "Wipeout" and "Saturday Night Football" tied at No. 4, "Primetime: Crime" � No. 11 and "CMA Music Festival" � No. 12. ABC News' "Primetime: Crime" on Wednesday stood as TV's No. 1 newsmagazine with Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.
Boosted by "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock," ABC (7.4 million) outdrew its broadcast rivals on Monday in Total Viewers, topping CBS by 6% (7.0 million), NBC by 32% (5.6 million) and Fox by 85% (4.0 million). ABC and CBS tied in Adults 18-49 (2.0/6), beating both NBC and Fox by 43% (1.4/4 � NBC and Fox tied). With the broad-appealing special, ABC finished No. 1 on the night in key Women (W18-49/W25-54) and was the top-rated broadcast net with Teens 12-17.
� In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC marked its strongest Monday results in 5 weeks � since the night of "The Bachelorette" finale on 7/27/09. In fact it was the Net's second-biggest Monday audience this summer (tie).
"CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC's "CMA Music Festival" broadcast (7.4 million and 2.0/6) posted impressive increases year to year, jumping by 2.5 million viewers and by 43% over its year-ago telecast (4.9 million and 1.4/3 on Monday, 9/8/08). In fact the show generated its biggest audience in 4 years and tallied its highest Adult 18-49 rating in 3 years � since 2005 and 2006, respectively.
"Shaq VS" (9:00-10:001p.m.)
Shooting up from its lead-in and surging from start to finish, "Shaq VS" continued to drive strong tune in for ABC in Tuesday's 9 o'clock hour against established unscripted time-period competition on both NBC ("America's Got Talent") and CBS ("Big Brother"). On the show's third episode, Shaquille O'Neal challenged two-time NL MVP and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols in a home run derby contest.
� Coming out of a rebroadcast airing of "Crash Course" from 8:00-9:00 p.m., "Shaq VS" surged from its lead-in by its biggest margin yet, jumping by 63% in Adults 18-49 (1.3/4 vs. 0.8/3). In fact the show's Adult 18-49 build on lead-in has increased on each of the series 3 telecasts, up from 31% on its debut and from 55% on its second airing.
� "Shaq VS" also posted its largest-to-date gains from start to finish. Despite airing opposite stiff unscripted competition in the hour, "Shaq VS" grew by 17% in Viewers (3.0 million to 3.5 million) and by 36% in Adults 18-49 (1.1/3 to 1.5/4) from its first half-hour to its second half-hour.
"Primetime: The Outsiders" (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
Building on its overall lead-in and gaining viewers from start to finish, ABC News' "Primetime: The Outsiders" grew its numbers week to week by 16% in Total Viewers (3.7 million vs. 3.2 million) and by 9% in Adults 18-49 (1.2/3 vs. 1.1/3).
ABC won Wednesday night among Adults 18-49 (2.2/7), beating out NBC by 16% (1.9/6), Fox by 22% (1.8/6) and CBS by 57% (1.4/4). ABC was also No. 1 on the evening across all key Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).
� Rising sharply week to week in viewers and young adults, ABC generated its strongest Wednesday numbers in nearly 3 months (since 6/10/09) and its second-highest of Summer '09.
� For the 13th consecutive week this summer, ABC grew its Wednesday audience year to year, soaring by 2.4 million viewers (6.4 million vs. 4.0 million) and by 57% in Adults 18-49 (2.2/7 vs. 1.4/4) over the year-ago night (9/3/08).
"Wipeout" (8:00-9:02 p.m.)
For the 2nd straight week, ABC's "Wipeout" won Wednesday's 8 o'clock hour, beating out its nearest competitors by 9% in Total Viewers (7.6 million vs. 7.0 million � NBC's "Talent Recap Show") and 42% in Adults 18-49 (2.7/9 vs. 1.9/6 � Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" special). It was the 9th consecutive original airing for "Wipeout" to place No. 1 in the hour with Total Viewers, the 6th consecutive in Adults 18-49 and the 10th consecutive across all key Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).
� Despite its earlier time period with lower overall TV usage levels, "Wipeout" registered as the night's No. 1 TV show in Adults 18-49, matching NBC's "Talent" in the 9 o'clock hour. It was also the evening's highest-rated TV show for the 2nd week in a row in key Men (M18-34/M18-49).
� "Wipeout" was up week to week across all key Adult demographics (A18-34/A18-49/A25-54).
"Crash Course" (9:02-10:01 p.m.)
Showing strong retention of its week-ago series debut numbers, for the 2nd week in a row "Crash Course" grew ABC's performance in the hour year to year. On average, "Crash Course" is improving its time slot by 1.4 million viewers (4.6 million vs. 3.2 million) and by 38% in Adults 18-49 (1.8/5 vs. 1.3/3), over ABC's averages in the hour on the same nights last summer.
� "Crash Course" exhibited strong retention of its week-earlier series debut in viewers and young adults, holding 94% in Total Viewers (4.5 million vs. 4.8 million), 89% in Adults 18-49 (1.7/5 vs. 1.9/5) and 94% in Adults 18-34 (1.5/5 vs. 1.6/5).
"Primetime: Crime" (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
Building on its lead-in, ABC News' "Primetime: Crime" finished No. 1 in the 10 o'clock hour with a season-high performance among Total Viewers (7.0 million), Adults 18-49 (2.1/6) and Adults 25-54 (2.6/7). In fact it was the newsmagazine's second-largest-ever audience in its 3 seasons on the air.
� "Primetime: Crime" drew ABC's biggest summer audience in the hour in 3 years � since 8/30/06.
The fourth-season premiere of "Saturday Night Football," featuring Alabama vs. Virginia Tech, took ABC to a dominant No. 1 on Saturday evening in Total Viewers (6.8 million) and across each of the key adult demographics: Adults 18-34 (2.5/10), Adults 18-49 (2.5/9) and Adults 25-54 (2.5/8). In fact ABC generated the biggest Saturday prime numbers for any network in 4 months � since 5/23/09.
� Jumping by 1.5 million viewers and by 42% in Adults 18-49 over the year-ago opener (7.1 million vs. 5.6 million & 2.7/10 vs. 1.9/7 on 8/30/08), ABC turned in its strongest season premiere of "Saturday Night Football" since the franchise debuted on the Network 3 years ago in 2006.
"Shark Tank" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Despite CBS' substantial lead-in advantage coming into the 9 o'clock hour from an original "Big Brother 11," ABC's "Shark Tank" defeated its CBS freshman unscripted competition ("There Goes the Neighborhood") in the hour for the 4th straight week among viewers and young adults. "Shark Tank" stood as the No. 2 entertainment show of the night in Adults 18-49 (tied w/"AFV"), behind only CBS' veteran "Big Brother."
� Building on its lead-in for the 4th consecutive telecast in Adults 18-49, "Shark Tank" produced a 38% increase among Adults 18-49 for ABC from 9:00-10:00 p.m. (1.1/3 vs. 0.8/3). Additionally, the new ABC unscripted show gained 20% among young adults from its first half-hour to its second half-hour (1.0/3 to 1.2/4).
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 32% currently, from 26% 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.
Source: Nielsen Media Research (National Live+Same Day Program Ratings), week of 8/31/09, unless stated otherwise.