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[01/14/10 - 08:48 AM]
ABC's Wednesday Comedies Hold Strong Against Idol Premiere
ABC spins the numbers for Wednesday, January 13.

[via press release from ABC]

ABC's Wednesday Comedies Hold Strong Against Idol Premiere

Some early points on ABC's Wednesday, ahead of the regular ratings release.

ABC's Strongest 8-10pm Delivery Against a Wednesday Idol Premiere in 4 Years: Up against Fox's Wednesday season premiere of American Idol, ABC's 8-10pm comedies (repeat Modern Family and originals of The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town) delivered sharp year-to-year improvement for the Network. Versus the year-ago night, the Net's delivery in the 2-hour time period jumped by +2.3 million viewers (6.7 million vs. 4.4 million) and by +56% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 1.6/4). In fact it represented ABC's best performance in the time period on the night of a Wednesday Idol premiere in 4 years � since 2006, when Lost was in the time period.

Outpacing Season Averages: Despite the heightened competition, all 3 ABC comedies held up phenomenally with each show performing at or above its season average in the Live + Same Day numbers. The Middle retained 100% (2.1/6 vs. 2.1/6) of its Adult 18-49 overnight season norm, while Modern Family (+3% - 3.2/8 vs. 3.1/8) and Cougar Town (+11% - 3.1/8 vs. 2.8/7) were up. Also worth noting, Cougar Town retained an impressive 97% of its Adult 18-49 lead-in from Modern Family.

The Middle Beats Veteran Gary Unmarried: Building sharply on its lead-in for ABC at 8:30pm opposite Idol, ABC freshman The Middle finished as the #1 scripted show in its slot and defeated CBS' veteran comedy Gary Unmarried in the half-hour in both Total Viewers (+5% - 6.1 million vs. 5.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (+11% - 2.1/6 vs. 1.9/5).

Ugly Betty Holds Even with Week-Ago Premiere: In the 10 o'clock hour, ABC's Ugly Betty held 100% of Adult 18-49 audience from its week-earlier premiere in the time period (1.6/5), continuing to deliver ABC's strongest performance with series programming in the slot since October � since 10/28/09.

DVR Playback Note: Please keep in mind that each of ABC's Wednesday night programs see solid gains this season through DVR playback, from the first-reported Live + Same Day numbers to the Live + 7 Day DVR finals. With the addition of American Idol to the competitive mix, it's anticipated that the DVR gains will be even bigger against the Fox juggernaut.

Season to date DVR Playback Growth (actual change from L+SD to L+7):

The Middle: +600k viewers and +2-tenths in Adults 18-49

Modern Family: +1.4 million viewers and +7-tenths in Adults 18-49

Cougar Town: +1.1 million viewers and +5-tenths in Adults 18-49

Ugly Betty: +800k viewers and +3-tenths in Adults 18-49

Quick Take for Wednesday, January 13, 2010 (Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)

ABC's Comedy Block is Up by 2.3 Million and by 56% in Adults 18-49 Over Year-Ago Night, the Net's Best Performance in 4 Years Opposite Fox's Wednesday "Idol" Debut

ABC's "The Middle" Tops CBS' "Gary Unmarried" in Viewers and Young Adults

"Modern Family" Takes Second at 9p in Adults and Women 18-34 and Key Men

"Cougar Town" Holds 100% Retention from its Week-Ago Performance in Adults 18-34 and Builds Across All Key Women

"Ugly Betty" Takes Second at 10pm Among Adults 18-34 and All Key Women Demos

Wednesday Night (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Up against Fox's Wednesday season premiere of "American Idol," ABC's 8:00-10:00pm comedies (repeat "Modern Family" and originals of "The Middle," "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town") delivered sharp year-to-year improvement for the Network. Versus the year-ago night (1/14/09), the Net's delivery in the 2-hour time period jumped by +2.3 million viewers (6.7 million vs. 4.4 million) and by +56% in Adults 18-49 (2.5/7 vs. 1.6/4). In fact it represented ABC's best performance in the time period on the night of a Wednesday Idol premiere in 4 years � since 2006, when "Lost" was in the time period.

� Despite the heightened competition, all 3 ABC comedies held up phenomenally, with each show performing at or above its season average in the Live + Same Day numbers. "The Middle" retained 100% (2.1/6 vs. 2.1/6) of its Adult 18-49 overnight season norm, while "Modern Family" (+3% - 3.2/8 vs. 3.1/8) and "Cougar Town" (+11% - 3.1/8 vs. 2.8/7) were up. Also worth noting, "Cougar Town" retained an impressive 97% of its Adult 18-49 lead-in from "Modern Family."

"The Middle" (8:30-9:00 p.m.)

Building sharply on its lead-in for ABC at 8:30pm opposite "Idol," ABC freshman "The Middle" finished as the No. 1 scripted show in its slot and defeated CBS' comedy, "Gary Unmarried," in the half-hour in both Total Viewers (+5% - 6.1 million vs. 5.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (+11% - 2.1/6 vs. 1.9/5).

� "The Middle" is posting significant gains over its first-reported numbers through DVR playback, picking up 600,000 viewers and an additional 2-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point from the initially reported Live + Same Day Numbers to the Live + 7 Day DVR finals.

"Modern Family" (9:00-9:30 p.m.)

Growing on its lead-in, ABC's Modern Family took second in its time-slot among Adults 18-34 (2.9/8), Women 18-34 (3.4/9) and key Men: Men 18-34 (2.5/8) and Men 18-49 (2.8/7).

� "Modern Family" is exhibiting big increases over its first-reported numbers through DVR playback, jumping by 1.4 million viewers and by an additional 7-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point from the initially reported Live + Same Day Numbers to the Live + 7 Day DVR finals.

"Cougar Town" (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

Holding retention of 95% in Total Viewer and 97% in Adults 18-49 from its week-ago performance, ABC's "Cougar Town" saw 100% retention among Adults 18-34 (2.7/8), while building on its performance across all key Women demographics: Women 18-34 (3.5/10 vs. 3.3/9), Women 18-49 (3.9/9 vs. 3.8/9) and Women 25-54 (4.2/9 vs. 4.1/9). In fact, "Cougar Town" matched its highest rating among Women 18-34 and Women 18-49 in nearly 4 months � since 9/30/09.

� ABC's "Cougar Town" built on its "Modern Family" lead-in across each of the key Women demographics: Women 18-34 (3.5/10 vs. 3.4/9), Women 18-49 (3.9/9 vs. 3.7/8) and Women 25-54 (4.2/9 vs. 4.0/9).

� Like its lead-in, "Cougar Town" is producing gains over its first-reported numbers through DVR playback, increasing by 1.1 million viewers and by an additional 5-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point from the initially reported Live + Same Day Numbers to the Live + 7 Day DVR finals.

"Ugly Betty" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Ugly Betty" took second in the 10 o'clock hour to CBS' veteran drama "CSI: New York" among Adults 18-34 (1.4/5) and across all key Women demographics: Women 18-34 (1.9/6), Women 18-49 (2.2/6) and Women 25-54 (2.4/6).

� "Ugly Betty" is seeing bumps from first-reported numbers through DVR playback, growing by 800,000 viewers and by an additional 3-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point from the initially reported Live + Same Day Numbers to the Live + 7 Day DVR finals.

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 34% currently, from 29% at the same point in 2009. 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), 1/13/10.





  [january 2010]  
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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)
· COUGAR TOWN (TBS)
· CSI: NEW YORK (CBS)
· GARY UNMARRIED (CBS)
· LOST (ABC)
· MIDDLE, THE (ABC)
· MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
· UGLY BETTY (ABC)





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