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ABC's Winter Finale of DESIGNATED SURVIVOR Surges by One Million Viewers

On a night of finale/premiere competition from FOX with the mid-season closer of "Empire" into the debut of "Star" and from CBS with the 3-hour season finale of "Survivor," ABC's Wednesday lineup delivered gains across the night. In fact, "The Goldbergs" (+13%), "Speechless" (+23%) and "black-ish" (+33%) scored double-digit Adult 18-49 growth week to week. The winter finale of "Designated Survivor" jumped by 1.0 million viewers week to week to the deliver show's biggest audience in 2 months.

Season to date, ABC is up on Wednesday over the same point last season in viewers, young adults and all key Men demos: Total Viewers (+16%), Adults 18-49 (+4%), Men 18-34 (+8%), Men 18-49 (+20%) and Men 25-54 (+19%). In fact, ABC is delivering 5-year highs on the night in Total Viewers and Men 25-54, and a 4-year high in Men 18-49 - since the first 12 weeks of Fall 2011 and 2012, respectively.

At 8:00 p.m., ABC's "The Goldbergs" increased week to week in Total Viewers (+13% - 6.1 million vs. 5.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (+13% - 1.7/6 vs. 1.5/6), drawing its largest audience in 4 weeks - since 11/16/16.

At 8:30 p.m., ABC's "Speechless" shot up from the prior week in Total Viewers (+17% - 5.4 million vs. 4.6 million) and Adults 18-49 (+23% - 1.6/6 vs. 1.3/5) to deliver its best numbers in 1 month - since 11/16/16.

At 9:00 p.m., ABC's "Modern Family" held even with its most recent original 2 weeks ago in Total Viewers (6.8 million) and grew 8% with Adults 18-34 (1.3/5 vs. 1.2/6), equaling a 9-week high on the latter measure - since 10/12/16.

In the 9:30 p.m. half-hour, ABC's "black-ish" spiked by more than 30% week to week in Total Viewers (+31% - 5.5 million vs. 4.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (+33% - 1.6/5 vs. 1.2/4) with its most watched telecast overall in 4 weeks - since 11/16/16.

At 10:00 p.m., the winter finale of ABC's "Designated Survivor" surged week to week by 1.0 million viewers (6.2 million vs. 5.2 million) and gained 9% among Adults 18-49 (1.2/4 vs. 1.1/4), marking the series' most watched telecast overall in 2 months - since 10/12/16. On average, "Designated Survivor" was TV's No. 1 gainer of Fall 2016 in Live + 7 Day TV Playback, spiking over its L+SD numbers by +7.1 million Total Viewers, emerging as the first-ever series to deliver a larger audience this season in the L+7 numbers than in L+SD (7.1 million vs. 7.0 million). In addition, the new ABC drama added +1.9 Adult 18-49 rating points in L+7, more than doubling its L+SD delivery (+119%).

Projections Rationale: Lifts vs. L+SD are based on 2015-16 season averages for originals (excluding the premiere). Returning shows: Profile based on same show (either premiere or averages for originals).
New Series: Based on similar series.

A note about DVR penetration: DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample is currently at 49% in U.S. TV Homes. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which are increasingly not reflected in the overnight Live + Same Day numbers. As a result, the Live + 7 Day ratings are the most accurate Nielsen measure to gauge the size of the TV audience.

Source: The Nielsen Company, Fast Affiliate Live + Same Ratings for 12/14/16.

Photo credit: ABC/Ben Mark Holzberg

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