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Opposite AMERICAN IDOL, THE MIDDLE Hits Best Ratings Since November

Related: THE MIDDLE, AMERICAN IDOL, ABC

ABC ranked No. 2 on Wednesday night in Adults 18-49 (2.4/7-tie) to a 2-hour "Idol"-driven Fox. ABC's "Modern Family" was once again Wednesday's No. 1 scripted TV show across all key Adult demos (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54).

"The Middle" (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
At 8:00 p.m., ABC's "The Middle" grew week to week in Total Viewers (+4% - 8.5 million vs. 8.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (+9% - 2.5/7 vs. 2.3/7) to 10-week highs on both measures (since 11/14/12), and ranked as the No. 1 scripted show in its half-hour.

"The Neighbors" (8:30-9:00 p.m.)
At 8:30 p.m., "The Neighbors" built over the prior week in viewers (+3% - 6.3 million vs. 6.1 million) and young adults (+6% - 1.9/5 vs. 1.8/5) and was the top-rated scripted show in its slot among Adults 18-49.

"Modern Family" (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
Spiking over its lead-in at 9:00 p.m. (+116%), ABC's "Modern Family" led its nearest scripted competition in the half-hour by 37% in Adults 18-49 (4.1/11 vs. 3.0/8 for CBS' "Criminal Minds"). "Modern Family" was up week to week with Adults 18-34 (+3%).

"Suburgatory" (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
In the 9:30 p.m. half-hour, ABC's "Suburgatory" built its overall audience week to week (+3% - 6.3 million vs. 6.1 million) and held all of its Adult 18-49 number (2.3/6). Like its lead-in, "Suburgatory" was up over the prior week with Adults 18-34 (+13%).

"Nashville" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
During the 10 o'clock hour, ABC's "Nashville" took second to CBS' "CSI" in Total Viewers (5.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.8/5), while wining in The Hour with Women 18-34 for its 3rd straight telecast.

* Season to date, "Nashville" is one of the Top 5 biggest percentage gainers in TV playback and the top new show (tied w/"Revolution"), jumping by 63% in Adults 18-49 (+1.2 rating points - from a 1.9 L+SD rating to a 3.1 L+7 rating). The ABC freshman drama also adds on 2.8 million viewers to its preliminary L+SD tally in the L+7 finals (6.2 million to 9.0 million).

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 47% currently, from 43% at the same point in 2012. 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 Program Ratings), 01/23/13.

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