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[09/27/11 - 02:18 PM]
The Premiere of "Dateline's" 20th Season Comes in at #1 Across the Board
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, September 23.

[via press release from NBC]

THE PREMIERE OF "DATELINE'S" 20TH SEASON COMES IN AT #1 ACROSS THE BOARD

Newsmagazine Launches New Season with Lester Holt as Principal Anchor and A Multi-Platform Branding Campaign #HowDoYouDateline

New York - NY - September 27, 2011 - The premiere of "Dateline's" 20th season, was the #1 program on Friday, September 23, 2011 for the time period among ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW in adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and other key categories. This marks the 12th week in a row and the 15th time in its last 16 telecasts that Friday's "Dateline" ranked #1 or tied for #1 in the slot among non-sports programs on those networks in adults 18-49 according to Nielsen Media Research.

Also on that night, Lester Holt made his debut as principal anchor of "Dateline" and the newsmagazine launched its multi-platform branding campaign, #HowDoYouDateline. The campaign, that appeared online and on-air, reflects how "Dateline's" viewers watch and engage in the show. A strong online community, Dateline has grown its Facebook audience organically from 47K to almost 178K users over the past 10 months. In that same time, its Twitterverse has grown from 14K to nearly 30K followers. Viewers use the hashtag #HowDoYouDateline to share what they do when they watch the show. Holt tweeted and a promo ran on-air and online about how he "datelines." An ongoing campaign that will evolve throughout the season, promos for correspondents Chris Hansen, Hoda Kotb, Josh Mankiewicz, Keith Morrison and Dennis Murphy will roll out in the coming weeks.

Following are some additional stats for the night:

· Versus its year-ago season premiere, "Dateline NBC" is up 25 percent in 18-49 rating (2.0 vs. 1.6). This is the top 18-49 rating for a Friday "Dateline" since December 11, 2009 and the biggest overall audience for a Friday "Dateline" since March 25, 2011.

· "Dateline NBC" tied for the #1 rating of the night in adults 18-49 (with CBS's season premiere of "Blue Bloods," which "Dateline" out-rated head to head from 10-11 p.m.). This marks the 14th time in 17 weeks that "Dateline NBC" has ranked #1 or tied for #1 among all non-sports Friday telecasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW.

· From its first half-hour to its fourth, "Dateline" grew by 50 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.4 from a 1.6) and by 40 percent or 2.3 million persons in total viewers (8.2 million vs. 5.9 million). For its second hour from 10-11 p.m., "Dateline NBC" was #1 among ABC, CBS and NBC in all key demographics -- adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

· In the 10:30 lead-in to local news, "Dateline NBC" delivered an 11 percent margin of victory in the key news demo of adults 25-54 (with a 3.1 rating vs. a 2.8 for CBS's second-place season premiere of "Blue Bloods"). "Dateline" was also #1 among ABC, CBS and NBC in the 10:30 half-hour in all other key demographics, pending updates.

· NBC is currently tied for #2 for the night among ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW in adults 18-49, just a tenth of a point out of first place, and is also tied for #1 in adults 18-34 and #1 outright in men 18-34.

· There were nearly 1,400 responses as viewers joined in on the discussion with Josh Mankiewicz's live Facebook chat

"Dateline" featured the following story on Friday, September 23, 2011:

Josh Mankiewicz told the story of Quinn Gray, the mother of 2 little girls who said she was kidnapped from her multi-million dollar oceanfront home in Ponte Vedra, Florida. A community in shock, over 150 investigators spent several harrowing days trying to save Gray's life. In a story straight out of a Hollywood movie, this high-stakes case has a shocking ending.

###

David Corvo is the senior executive producer and Liz Cole is the executive producer of "Dateline NBC" (Fridays at 9pm and Sundays at 7pm ET). Follow "Dateline" on Facebook and Twitter @datelinenbc.





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