ABC's "Last Man Standing" Opens as Top 8 PM Comedy Debut in Over 7 Years
With a big turn-out for the debut of "Last Man Standing," leading into "DWTS: The Results" and "Body of Proof," ABC marked its most competitive Tuesday this season with viewers and young adults. Finishing a strong No. 2 to CBS on the night, ABC (13.0 million and 2.9/7) beat out Fox's Major League Baseball playoff coverage (Detroit-Texas Game 3 = 7.9 million and 2.4/6) by 5.1 million viewers and 21% in Adults 18-49 and NBC's original lineup (2-hour "The Biggest Loser"/"Parenthood" = 5.4 million and 2.0/5) by 7.6 million viewers and by 45% in Adults 18-49.
* In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC marked Tuesday season highs.
* The Net was up over the same night last year (10.3 million and 2.5/7 on 10/12/10) by double-digit percentages with viewers (+26%) and young adults (+16%).
"Last Man Standing" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
Opening as TV's biggest 8pm comedy debut in more than 7 years, ABC's 1-hour premiere of "Last Man Standing" finished a strong No. 2 during the 8 o'clock hour among viewers (13.0 million) and young adults (3.5/10) to CBS' top-rated "NCIS," pacing well ahead of Fox's MLB ALCS playoffs and essentially doubling the opening hour of NBC's "The Biggest Loser 12." In addition, the freshman ABC comedy ran No. 1 in the hour and as Tuesday's top-rated show with Adults 18-34 and Women 18-34 (tied w/"Dancing"), while ranking as the night's highest-rated broadcast program with Kids 2-11. A good sign for future viewing, the new series saw its audience grow from its first half-hour to its second half-hour in both viewers (+4%- 12.7 million to 13.2 million) and young adults (+12% - 3.3/10 to 3.7/10).
* ABC's debut of "Last Man Standing" qualifies as TV's most-watched comedy series opener with an 8:00 p.m. start on any night of the week since September 2004, and as the top-rated among Adults 18-49 since September 2006 - since 9/9/04 and 9/18/06, respectively.
* "Last Man Standing" produced ABC's highest Adult 18-49 rating during Tuesday's 8 o'clock hour with regular programming in close to 2 years - since 11/10/09.
* Self starter "Last Man Standing" is the season's 2nd-most-watched new comedy debut, behind only CBS' "Two and a Half Men"-fueled premiere of "Two Broke Girls."
"Dancing with the Stars: The Results" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Taking advantage of its strong lead-in, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars: The Results" hit season highs and registered as the most-watched TV show (16.6 million) in the 9 o'clock hour for the 2nd week in a row. The broad-appealing ABC unscripted program also ranked No. 1 in its slot in Adults 18-34, Adults 25-54 and across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54). In addition, "Dancing" made ABC the No. 1 broadcaster in the hour with Kids 2-11. It was the No. 1 TV show of the night with Women 18-34. Singer Chynna Phillips was the fourth celebrity contestant to leave the ABC dance competition this season.
* Building its overall audience for the 2nd week running, "DWTS: The Results" posted its highest numbers this season with viewers (16.6 million) and young adults (3.2/8). In addition, ABC's "The Results" drew a bigger overall audience than on the same night last year (16.1 million on 10/12/10).
"Body of Proof" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC's "Body of Proof" ranked as the 2nd-most-watched TV show in the 10 o'clock hour for the 4th week in a row, outdrawing NBC's Parenthood by 4.1 million viewers (9.4 million vs. 5.3 million).
* Once again exhibiting much stronger lead-in retention for ABC in the hour year to year, "Body of Proof" improved its time period over the same night last year by strong margins in Total Viewers (+34% - 9.4 million vs. 7.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (+12% - 1.9/5 vs. 1.7/5).
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 42% currently, from 38% at the same point in 2010. 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), 10/11/11.