[10/28/08 - 10:53 AM]
ABC Draws Its Biggest Audience Since Season Premiere Week and Ranks No. 1 in Key Women
ABC spins the numbers for the week of October 20-26.

[via press release from ABC]

Primetime Ratings Report For the week of October 20, 2008 (Based on National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)

Despite Facing World Series Coverage on 4 Nights of the Week, ABC Draws its Biggest Audience Since Season Premiere Week and Ranks No. 1 in Key Women

ABC's "Desperate Housewives" Registers as the Week's No. 1 TV Program In Adults 18-49, the Net's 4th Time in 5 Weeks to Claim the Top-Rated Show

The Network Places 3 of the Top 5 Most-Watched TV Shows of the Week

Growing Week to Week in Viewers and Young Adults, "Dancing with the Stars" Stands as Monday's Most-Watched TV Program for the 5th Week in a Row

For the 2nd Week in a Row, "Samantha Who?" Wins its Time Slot in Key Women

"Boston Legal" Tops "My Own Worst Enemy" by 2.4 Million Viewers in Monday's 10pm Hour, Outdrawing the High-Profile NBC Drama for the 2nd Consecutive Week

"Dancing with the Stars Results" Hits Season Highs in Viewers and Young Adults

ABC's "Eli Stone" Takes Second on Tuesday at 10pm in Adults 18-34, Beating CBS' "Without a Trace" and Growing from its Week-Ago Premiere with Young Women

Gaining Audience Week to Week in Adults 18-34 and Across All Key Men, "Pushing Daisies" Beats "Knight Rider" in Adults 18-34 for the First Time

Opposite the World Series Game 1, "Private Practice" is Up Over its Most Recent Telecast 2 Weeks Ago by 8% in Viewers and by 15% in Adults 18-49

"Ugly Betty" Posts Best-Since-Premiere Numbers in Viewers and Adults 18-49, Growing its Young Adult Audience for the 3rd Consecutive Week

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" Stands as Thursday's No. 1 TV Show in Adults 18-34

Thursday at 10pm, ABC's "Life on Mars" Leads CBS' "Eleventh Hour" in Adults 18-34

Marking its Best Saturday Numbers This Season, ABC Wins the Night, as "Saturday Night Football" Beats Fox's World Series Game 3 Coverage

"Housewives'" Attracts its Biggest Audience Since its Season Opener and Stands as Sunday Night's No. 1 TV Program in Adults 18-49 for the 5th Consecutive Week

The No. 1 Entertainment Show Sunday at 8pm in Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Attracts its Biggest Audience in 7 Months

WEEK No. 5:

With Fox carrying 4 games of the 2008 World Series during the week (w/o 10/20/08), ABC earned second place in young adults [AD18-34 (2.4/7)/AD18-49 (3.0/8-tie)], and for the 5th week in a row delivered the No. 1 position in Women 18-34 (3.1/9) and Women 18-49 (3.9/10).

� Despite facing World Series coverage on 4 nights of the week, ABC was up from the prior week by 9% in Total Viewers (10.0 million vs. 9.2 million) and by 7% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.8/8), attracting its biggest overall audience since season-premiere week and matching its top Adult 18-49 rating � since w/o 9/22/08.

Rankings: ABC delivered the week's No. 1 TV show in Adults 18-49, placing 2 of the Top 4 programs of the frame with "Desperate Housewives" (No. 1) and "Grey's Anatomy" (No. 4), respectively. In fact was the 4th time in the 5 weeks this season for ABC to claim the No. 1 TV series in the key young adult sales demo: The Net aired 3 Top 5 most-watched television shows overall in prime: "Dancing with the Stars" � No. 2, "DWTS Results" � No. 4 and "Desperate Housewives" � No. 5. "Grey's Anatomy" stood as the week's No. 1 TV program with Adults 18-34 and key Women (W18-34/W18-49).

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 28% currently, from 20% 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.


For the 5th week running, ABC registered as Monday's most-watched network, outdelivering second-placed CBS by 2.0 million viewers (13.7 million vs. 11.7 million).

"Dancing with the Stars" (8:00-9:32 p.m.)

Monday's most-watched program for the 5th time in 5 weeks this season, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" led its time period, towering over runner-up CBS by 7.4 million viewers (18.5 million vs. 11.1 million). "DWTS" also won its time period for the 5th time in as many weeks across each of the key women demos: Women 18-34 (3.6/9), Women 18-49 (5.6/13) and Women 25-54 (7.4/16). "Dancing with the Stars" saw the addition of four new dances to the competition: Hustle, Jitterbug, Salsa and West Coast Swing.

� "Dancing with the Stars" was up week to week in Total Viewers (18.5 million vs. 17.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.1/10 vs. 4.0/10).

"Samantha Who?" (9:32-10:02 p.m.)

For the 2nd straight week, ABC's "Samantha Who?" won its half-hour among key Women: W18-49/W25-54. The ABC sitcom continued to beat its comedy competition in the time-slot, CBS' "Worst Week," by solid margins across the across the Women demographics: W18-34 +25% (3.0/7 vs. 2.4/6), W18-49 +8% (4.0/9 vs. 3.7/8) and W25-54 +11% (4.9/10 vs. 4.4/9).

"Boston Legal" (10:02-11:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Boston Legal" outperformed NBC's "My Own Worst Enemy" by 2.4 million viewers (8.1 million vs. 5.7 million) for the 2nd consecutive week. In addition, the ABC drama beat the NBC series among Women 18-49 (2.7/6 vs. 2.3/6) and Adults 25-54 (2.7/7 vs. 2.6/6).


Excluding the night of the second Presidential Debate, ABC drew its largest audience (11.2 million) and highest Adults 18-49 performance (2.6/7) on the night since season premiere Tuesday � since 9/23/08.

"Dancing with the Stars Recap" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Dancing with the Stars Recap" saw increases in the hour over the previous week of 4.1 million (9.0 million vs. 5.2 million) and 54% in Adults 18-49 (2.0/5 vs. 1.3/4).

"Dancing with the Stars Results" (9:00-10:02 p.m.)

ABC's "Dancing with the Stars Results" hit season highs in both Total Viewers (16.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.8/10), growing week to week by 1.6 million viewers and by 15% among young adults (14.8 million & 3.3/8 on 10/14/08). In addition, "DWTS Results" led its time period in Total Viewers, Women 18-49 (5.3/12) and Women 25-54 (6.5/14), leading its time slot for the 4th consecutive telecast in both women demos. "DWTS Results" towered over its unscripted competition in the time period, NBC's second hour of "The Biggest Loser: Families," by a season-best of 8.6 million viewers and 19% in Adults 18-49 ("Loser" = 7.8 million & 3.2/8). R&B star and Broadway actress Toni Braxton was the fifth dancer to leave the competition this season.

"Eli Stone" (10:02-11:00 p.m.)

"Eli Stone" took second in the 10 o'clock hour, beating CBS' "Without a Trace" by 14% among Adults 18-34 (1.6/5 vs. 1.4/4) and by 28% among Women 18-34 (2.3/6 vs. 1.8/5).

� "Eli Stone" saw gains over its season premiere the prior week among Women 18-34 (2.3/6 vs. 2.1/6) and Women 18-49 (2.9/7 vs. 2.8/7).


ABC marked its highest-rated Wednesday in 3 weeks (since 10/1/08) among Adults 18-49 (2.3/6), while winning the evening for the 4th consecutive week among Women 18-34 (2.9/8).

"Pushing Daisies" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

During the 8 o'clock hour, ABC's "Pushing Daisies" for the first time defeated NBC's "Knight Rider" in Adults 18-34 (1.8/5 vs. 1.7/5) and, for 4th week in a row, beat out the NBC drama by double digits across the Women demos: W18-34 +57% (2.2/6 vs. 1.4/4), W18-49 +32% (2.5/7 vs. 1.9/5) and W25-54 +17% (2.8/7 vs. 2.4/6).

� Opposite Fox's World Series coverage in the hour, "Pushing Daisies" retained 100% of its Adult 18-49 audience week to week, while increasing its numbers among Adults 18-34 and across the board in the key Men demographics (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54).

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

Once again surging from its lead-in and gaining audience during the 9 o'clock hour, ABC's "Private Practice" ranked as the night's No. 1 non-sports program in Adults 18-34, beating CBS' "Criminal Minds" in the time period by 17% (2.8/8 vs. 2.4/7). The ABC sophomore drama stood as Wednesday's No. 1 TV show for its 3rd consecutive telecast among Women 18-34 (4.5/12).

� Despite competing against the World Series this week, "Private Practice" was up from its most recent airing 2 weeks ago by 8% in Total Viewers (8.0 million vs. 7.4 million) and by 15% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.6/7).

"Dirty Sexy Money" (10:02-11:00 p.m.)

In the final hour of the night opposite CBS' veteran drama "C.S.I.: NY," ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money" defeated its NBC sophomore drama competition, "Lipstick Jungle," for its 3rd consecutive telecast in both Total Viewers (+33% - 5.8 million vs. 4.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (+12% - 1.9/5 vs. 1.7/4).


Opposite Game 2 of Fox's "2008 World Series," ABC ranked No. 1 on the evening among Adults 18-34 (3.2/9), Women 18-49 (5.3/13-tied w/ CBS) and Women 18-34 (5.0/13). The Network has taken the top spot on the night with Women 18-34 in all 5 Thursdays this season.

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

ABC's "Ugly Betty" delivered a best since premiere performance in both Total Viewers (8.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.8/8). In fact, it was the 3rd straight week for "Ugly Betty" to post week-to-week increases in the key adult sales demo. Additionally, the program registered season highs among Teens 12-17 (1.4/5) and Kids 2-11 (1.2/4). The program towered over NBC's comedies by a season best 3.0 million viewers and by 17% in Adults 18-49 ("My Name is Earl"/"Kath & Kim" = 5.7 million & 2.4/6 in AD18-49). Besting its nearest competition in the hour by 18% in Women 18-34 (3.9/11 vs. 3.3/9 � CBS' "Survivor: Gabon"), "Betty" ranked No. 1 at 8 p.m. for the 5th straight week among young women.

"Grey's Anatomy" (9:00-10:01 p.m.)

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" took second in the 9 o'clock hour in Total Viewers (14.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (5.4/13), finishing in a virtual tie for first place, pacing within one-tenth of a rating point and tied in audience share with CBS' "C.S.I." (5.5/13). The ABC medical drama led the hour by 17% in Adults 18-34 over second-place NBC (5.4/14 vs. 4.6/12). "Grey's" outperformed third-place "C.S.I." by 59% in Adults 18-34 (5.4/14 vs. 3.4/9).

Please Note: In one of the most competitive time periods on television, with Game 2 of the World Series in the competitive mix this week, it's likely there was an even higher than normal amount of DVR recording occurring in the Thursday's 9 o'clock hour this week. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" will be a definite beneficiary once all the DVR playback is counted in the Live + 7 Day numbers, as the ABC medical drama is TV's most-recorded and played-back show. Season to date, "Grey's Anatomy" is the biggest actual gainer from the originally-reported numbers (Live + Same Day) to the finalized DVR playback numbers (Live + 7 Day), surging by +2.5 million viewers and gaining an additional +1.3 Adult 18-49 rating points (+19%).

� For the 2nd straight week, "Grey's" was the evening's No. 1 television program with Adults 18-34 and across all key Women demographics (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).

"Life on Mars" (10:01-11:00 p.m.)

ABC's freshman drama, "Life on Mars," beat CBS' freshman drama, "Eleventh Hour," among Adults 18-34 (1.9/5 vs. 1.8/5) and Women 18-34 (2.8/7 vs. 2.3/6), placing second in the hour among younger women.

� "Life on Mars" built on its week-ago telecast in Women 18-34 (2.8/7 vs. 2.6/7) and Women 18-49 (3.4/8 vs. 3.3/8).


"Supernanny" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Growing from its lead-in for its 4th telecast in a row, "Supernanny" finished 7% ahead of CBS' "The Ex-List" in Adults 18-49 (1.6/5 vs. 1.5/5), while beating NBC's "Crusoe" by 23% (1.3/4) in the key young adult sales demo.

"20/20" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC News' "20/20," saw week-to-week increases in Total Viewers (7.5 million vs. 6.9 million), Adults 18-49 (2.1/7 vs. 2.0/6) and Adults 25-54 (2.6/7 vs. 2.5/7). In fact, the ABC newsmagazine delivered season highs in viewers and in the Adult 25-54 news demo (tie). "20/20" finished second during the 10 o'clock hour, beating NBC's "Life" (5.6 million & 1.6/5 in Adults 18-49) by 1.9 million viewers and by 31% in Adults 18-49 for the 4th week in a row.

� "20/20" ranked No. 1 at 10:00 p.m. for the 2nd time in 3 weeks among Women 18-34 (2.1/7-tie) and Women 18-49 (2.9/8).


"Saturday Night Football: Penn State at Ohio State " (8:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC's "Saturday Night Football," with Penn State at Ohio State, made the Net No. 1 during prime, marking its strongest Saturday performance of the season in Total Viewers (10.1 million) and across each of the key adult demographics [Adults 18-34 (2.9/11), Adults 18-49 (3.5/11) and Adults 25-54 (4.0/12)].

� "Saturday Night Football" (8:06 - 11:13 p.m.) stood as the night's No. 1 TV program in both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, beating Fox's 2008 World Series Game 3 (9:57 - 1:47 a.m.) by 6% in Total Viewers (10.4 million vs. 9.8 million) and by 13% in Adults 18-49 (3.6/12 vs. 3.2/11), posting the franchise's second-highest numbers on ABC of the 2008 college football season.


Competing against Fox, with its big NFL primetime overrun (Giants-Steelers) leading into Game 4 of the 2008 World Series, ABC was the top non-sports network on Sunday in Total Viewers (11.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.9/10). For the 5th week in a row, ABC qualified as the No. 1 television network overall on Sunday night all key Women demos: W18-34 (4.1/11), W18-49 (5.2/13) and W25-54 (6.1/14).

� Opposite the World Series Game 4, ABC turned in its strongest Sunday in 3 weeks among viewers and young adults � since 10/3/08.

� For the 5th week running, ABC's "Desperate Housewives" qualified as Sunday Night's No. 1 TV program among Adults 18-49. In addition, the program was the most-watched show overall on the night for the 4th time in 5 weeks.

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

ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" was the top non-sports choice in the 7 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49 (2.5/7), outdelivering CBS' "60 Minutes" by 14% (2.2/6).

� Airing against Fox's NFL overrun, the venerable ABC video clip show improved its performance over the prior week by 10% in viewers (8.6 million vs. 7.8 million) and by 25% among young adults (2.5/7 vs. 2.0/6), posting best-since-season-premiere numbers on both counts. In addition, "AVF" tallied season-high ratings across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11.

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

Surging from its lead-in against the World Series, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" represented the top entertainment program in the 8 o'clock hour with Total Viewers (12.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.9/10). The show ranked No. 1 its time slot in each of the key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), while also registering as the night's highest-rated broadcast program with Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11.

� Hitting season highs in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (tie), "Home Edition" attracted its largest audience in 7 months � since 3/30/08.

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

Sunday evening's No. 1 TV program, ABC's "Desperate Housewives" won its 9 o'clock time in Adults 18-49 (5.8/13), beating the World Series by 7% (5.4/14). Also in the hour, "Housewives" towered over its CBS drama competition, "Cold Case," by 4.0 million viewers (16.0 million vs. 12.0 million) and by 115% in Adults 18-49 (5.8/13 vs. 2.7/6).

� Despite facing World Series competition, "Housewives" was up from the prior week in Total Viewers (16.0 million vs. 15.5 million), Adults 18-49 (5.8/13 vs. 5.7/13) and Adults 25-54 (6.8/14 vs. 6.5/14). In fact it was the show's biggest audience since its season premiere � since 9/28/08.

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

For the 5th consecutive week, ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" won Sunday's 10 o'clock hour across each of the key Women demographics: W18-34 (4.0/11), W18-49 (5.0/12) and W25-54 (5.8/13). The top non-sports show in the slot, "Brothers & Sisters" defeated its drama competition in the hour, CBS' "The Unit," by wide margins: +8% in Total Viewers (9.9 million vs. 9.2 million) and +36% in Adults 18-49 (3.4/8 vs. 2.5/6).

� "Brothers & Sisters increased its overall audience from the prior week (9.9 million vs. 9.8 million), while retaining 100% of its Adult 18-49 delivery (3.4/8).

Source: Nielsen Media Research (National Live+Same Day Program Ratings), week of 10/20/08, unless stated otherwise.

  [october 2008]  

· 20/20 (ABC)

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