ABC is Monday's Most-Watched TV Network for 9 Weeks Running

ABC was most-watched TV network for the 9th consecutive week and 3rd straight Monday of the May Sweep. ABC built its overall Monday audience from the year-ago night for the 8th time in 9 weeks.

For the 9th week running, ABC's Dancing with the Stars ranked #1 in its time period among both Total Viewers (18.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.0/11), beating out all-original competition on the other nets including second-place Fox's season finale of House leading into the series' penultimate episode of 24 (10.3 million and 3.8/11) . The ABC dancing performance show qualified as Monday's most-watched television series for the 9th consecutive week. Opposite facing stiff sweep competition in its time period on CBS (How I Met Your Mother/Rules of Engagement/Two and a Half Men/Big Bang Theory) and Fox (House/24), the ABC unscripted series grew in each half-hour, gaining 3.2 million viewers and 25% in Adults 18-49 from start to finish. DWTS was up in its 90-minute time period week to week in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.

In the 9:30pm half hour, ABC's Romantically Challenged took second place among key Women (W18-49/W25-54).

Building on its lead-in by 1.4 million viewers and by 14% in Adults 18-49, ABC's second-season finale of Castle finished a strong #2 to CBS' veteran CSI: Miami in the 10 o'clock hour in Total Viewers (10.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.4/7). Despite having the advantage of a direct Dancing with the Stars lead-in for its year-ago finale (5/11/09), Castle was up over last year's season ender in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and across all key Men (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54), while retaining 100% of its Adult 18-49 audience year to year.

Quick Take for Monday, May 17, 2010 (Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Program Ratings)

ABC is No. 1 in Viewers on the Night for the 9th Consecutive Week, While Standing as the Most-Watched Net for the 3rd Straight Monday in May

ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Wins its Time Slot and Stands as Monday's Most-Watched Television Series for the 9th Straight Week

"Romantically Challenged" Takes Second in Key Women Demos

Taking a Solid Second at 10pm in Viewers and Young Adults, "Castle" Tops its Year-Ago Finale in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and All Key Men

Monday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)

ABC was the most-watched TV network for the 9th consecutive week and 3rd straight Monday of the May Sweep (14.2 million). ABC built its overall Monday audience from the year-ago night for the 8th time in 9 weeks.

"Dancing with the Stars" (8:00-9:30 p.m.)

For the 9th week running, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" ranked No. 1 in its time period among both Total Viewers (18.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.0/11), beating out all-original competition on the other nets, including second-place Fox's season finale of "House" leading into the series' penultimate episode of "24" (10.3 million and 3.8/11) . The ABC dancing performance show qualified as Monday's most-watched television series for the 9th consecutive week. Opposite stiff sweep competition in its time period on CBS ("How I Met Your Mother"/"Rules of Engagement"/"Two and a Half Men"/"Big Bang Theory") and Fox ("House"/"24"), the ABC unscripted series grew in each half-hour, gaining 3.2 million viewers and 25% in Adults 18-49 from start to finish.

· "DWTS" was up in its 90-minute time period week to week in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.

"Romantically Challenged" (9:30-10:00 p.m.)

In the 9:30 p.m. half-hour, ABC's "Romantically Challenged" took second place among Women 18-49 (2.9/7) and Women 25-54 (4.1/9).

"Castle" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

Building on its lead-in by 1.4 million viewers and by 14% in Adults 18-49, ABC's second-season finale of "Castle" finished a strong No. 2 to CBS' veteran "CSI: Miami" in the 10 o'clock hour in Total Viewers (10.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.4/7). Despite having the advantage of a direct "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in for its year-ago finale (5/11/09), "Castle" was up over last year's season ender in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and across all key Men (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54), while retaining 100% of its Adult 18-49 audience year to year.

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 36% currently, from 31% at the same point in 2009. 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: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate Ratings, Live + Same Day Program Ratings), 5/17/10.

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