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September 30, 2008

ABC wins broadcast premiere week

GreysUPDATED: For the fourth year in a row, ABC has won the broadcast television premiere week.

ABC led the week ending Sept. 28 fueled by the return of the two top-rated dramas on television, "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives." ABC won among adults 18-49 and total viewers (12.2 million, 3.8 preliminary adults 18 to 49 rating and 10 share), breaking NBC's post-Olympics winning streak in the demo.

NBC (8.3 million, 3.3/9) placed second, powered by NFL football and the return of "Heroes." CBS (11.3 million, 3.1/8) was powered by the return of its Monday night comedies and "CSI: Miami." Fox (7.5 million, 3.0/8) had the ongoing strength of "House" and new thriller "Fringe." The CW (2.9 million, 1.3/3) was led by "America's Next Top Model" and "Smallville."

The numbers that networks often watch the closest, however, are the percentage changes from last year. Three out of five broadcast networks had lower ratings during premiere week compared to last season.

Going off same-day totals, the CW posted a significant gain, up 18% from last year thanks to "90210" and  "Gossip Girl" improving their respective time periods. Fox also showed growth, up 11%. ABC was down just a bit, 3%. Though several CBS shows came backs stronger this year, the network is down 9% overall since it delayed debuting its top-rated drama "CSI" and an original lead-out companion (new drama "Eleventh Hour").  NBC is down 15% (or down 11%, depending how you calculate its ongoing troublesome "Heroes" repeat last year), but notes it has yet to premiere its cornerstone new fall drama "My Own Worst Enemy," and some other returning shows such as "Chuck."

An important backdrop to all these figures is that same-day-ratings-eroding DVR penetration has increased significantly since last year -- from 20% marketplace penetration during premiere week in 2007 to 28% last week. All that time-shifted viewing will be included in the Live Plus 7 Day ratings, which tend to improve broadcast viewership overall while not typically altering the overall standings between competing shows and networks.

Top shows listed after the jump...

PREMIERE WEEK TOP SHOWS

1 GREY'S ANATOMY 7.4 
2  DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES  7.1
3   NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL 6.9
4  DANCING WITH THE STARS  5.3 [tie] TWO AND A HALF MEN 5.3
6   CSI: MIAMI 5.2                                                                                 
7   HOUSE 5.1                                                                                  
8   HEROES 5.0                                                   
9   OFFICE 4.9  [tie] OT, THE 4.9                                    
11 DANCING W/STARS SP-9/23 4.7   [tie] CRIMINAL MINDS   4.7
13 BROTHERS & SISTERS  4.6                                                                
14   SURVIVOR: GABON  4.5  [tie] FAMILY GUY 4.5   [tie] SIMPSONS 4.5 
18   FRINGE 4.1                                           
19   HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 4.0  [tie]  CSI: NY 4.0

NEW SHOWS

1. FRINGE 4.1
2 WORST WEEK 3.8
3. THE MENTALIST 3.5
4 KNIGHT RIDER 2.5
5 GARY UNMARRIED 2.4
6 OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS 1.8
7 90210 1.5

 

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