ABC says it held strong against Idol


Up against the 2-hour season premiere of Fox’s American Idol, ABC posted a strong second-place finish on Wednesday night in Adults 18-49, beating out third-place CBS by 20% and fourth-place NBC by 100%.  

* The Net grew by double digits over the year-ago Wednesday against the Idol premiere (1/19/11) in both Total Viewers (+13%) and Adults 18-49 (+11%), registering its 3rd consecutive year of gains opposite the Idol opener on the evening.

At 8pm, ABC’s The Middle defeated its non-Idol competition by wide margins in Adults 18-49 and dominated its comedy competition.  The Middle outperformed NBC’s Whitney in the half-hour by 3.9 million viewers and by 63% with young adults.   

* The Middle equaled its highest-ever Adult 18-49 numbers against an American Idol telecast.

Like its lead-in, ABC’s Suburgatory finished as the dominant #1 scripted show at 8:30pm among Adults 18-49 and toppled its freshman comedy competition on NBC.  On their 2nd head-to-head matchup in the slot, Suburgatory widened its winning advantage over NBC’s Are You There, Chelsea?  to 63% in Total Viewers and 39% in Adults 18-49. 

* Suburgatory lifted its time period for ABC over the year-ago Wednesday against the Idol premiere by 9% in Total Viewers and by 19% in Adults 18-49.
Standing as the definitive #1 scripted TV program on Wednesday among Adults 18-49, ABC’s Modern Family doubled its lead-in against the third half-hour of Idol at 9pm, towering over its closest scripted competition in its time slot (+61% over CBS’ original Criminal Minds).  In fact the ABC comedy topped its combined CBS and NBC scripted competitors by 19% in the half-hour. 

* ABC’s Modern Family scored its best-ever results against an Idol telecast, building on its year-ago numbers in both Total Viewers (+8%) and Adults 18-49 (+9%).  In fact, Modern Family’s 5.0 Adult 18-49 rating is the biggest number in 6 years for any TV telecast against the Wednesday premiere of American Idol – since 1/18/06.
During the 9:30pm half hour against the tail-end of Idol, ABC’s Happy Endings earned second against its scripted competition in Adults 18-49, beating NBC’s Harry’s Law by 190%.  Happy Endings registered as the #1 scripted program in the hour with Adults 18-34, Men 18-34 and Women 18-34.

* Happy Endings delivered strong year-to-year gains for ABC, boosting the slot by 9% in Total Viewers and by 21% in Adults 18-49 from the same night last year.

* Despite facing Idol, Happy Endings retained 100% of its week-ago numbers with Adults 18-34 and across all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), while increasing 10% with hard-to-reach Men 18-34.  In fact, the comedy posted its best number since mid-November with Men 18-34 – since 11/16/11.

From 10-11pm, ABC freshman drama Revenge ran a strong second in its hour among Adults 18-49, while finishing #1 with Adults 18-34, Women 18-34 and Women 18-49.  

* Up over the prior week in Adults 18-49 (+4%), ABC’s Revenge matched a 9-week high – since 11/16/11.  Posting its 2nd straight week of growth with Adults 18-34, the show marked its best performance in nearly 3 months – since 11/2/11.

* Revenge delivered substantial year-over-year improvement for ABC in Wednesday’s 10 o’clock hour with Total Viewers (+31%) and Adults 18-49 (+19%), topping first-run programming on the year-ago evening (Off the Map).

(Source: ABC)