'MISSING' DEBUTS WITH ABC'S BIGGEST AUDIENCE IN 14 MONTHS DURING THURSDAY'S 8PM HOUR - Soap Opera Network
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Bob D'Amico/ABC

DEBUTS WITH ABC’S BIGGEST AUDIENCE IN 14 MONTHS DURING THURSDAY’S 8PM HOUR

Quick Take for Thursday, March 15, 2012
(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)

Finishing a Strong No. 2, ABC Posts its Most-Watched Thursday in 11 Weeks

“Missing” Debuts with ABC’s Biggest Audience in the Time Period in 14 Months and As TV’s Most-Watched Drama Debut in the Opening Hour of Prime in 1-1/2 Years

“Grey’s” Dominates the 9 O’clock Hour with its Biggest Audience in 5 Weeks

Up Over its Most-Recent Original in Viewers and Young Adults, ABC’s “” Wins the 10pm Hour with its 2nd-Biggest Audience in Over 2 Months

Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
With the series debut of “Missing,” plus “” and “Private Practice,” ABC earned second place on Thursday night to an “Idol”-led Fox in Total Viewers (9.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.4/7).

* ABC marked its most-watched Thursday in 11 weeks and equaled its top Adult 18-49 number on the night since early February – since 1/5/12 and 2/9/12.

“Missing” (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
From 8:00-9:00 p.m., opposite Fox’s “American Idol,” ABC’s “Missing” opened a strong No. 2, more than doubling the audience (+136% – 10.6 million vs. 4.5 million) of NBC’s original comedy block (“Community” return/”30 Rock” slot premiere). The ABC drama premiere also took second place in the hour in Adults 25-54 and key Women (W18-49/W25-54). The show gained audience from its first half-hour to its second half-hour (10.4 million to 10.7 million).

* Despite airing on the first Thursday after the change to Daylight Savings time, as overall TV usage levels declined, “Missing” delivered ABC’s biggest audience in the time period in 14 months – since 1/13/11. In fact it was TV’s most-watched drama debut during the opening hour of primetime on any night in 1-1/2 years – since 9/28/10.

* “Missing” represented a big improvement for ABC in the hour, boosting its time period by 4.7 million viewers (10.6 million vs. 5.9 million) and by 25% in Adults 18-49 (2.0/6 vs. 1.6/4) over the Net’s season average with regular original programming.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” moved up to a dominant No. 1 in the 9 o’clock hour, leading its nearest competition (Fox) by 1.0 million viewers (9.7 million vs. 8.7 million) and by 36% in Adults 18-49 (3.0/8 vs. 2.2/6).

* Up by 7% in viewers over its last original telecast, “Grey’s” generated its biggest audience in 5 weeks – since 2/9/12.

“Private Practice” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC’s “Private Practice” finished as the most-watched TV show in the 10 o’clock hour, defeating NBC’s “Awake” by 37% in Total Viewers (7.0 million vs. 5.1 million) and by 38% in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6 vs. 1.6/4).

* Gaining 11% in Total Viewers and 5% in Adults 18-49 over its last original three weeks ago, “Private Practice” drew its 2nd-largest audience in more than 2 months – since 1/5/12.

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 43% currently, from 40% at the same point in 2011. 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: The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 03/15/12.

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