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With 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,' ABC delivers its best season opening Tuesday in 3 years

by jmaloni

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Thu, Sep 26th 2013 11:30 am

With its Tuesday season premieres, ABC was up by 45 percent in Adults 18-49 over the year-ago night (2.9/8 vs. 2.0/6) to deliver its strongest performance on the opening Tuesday of a season in three years - since 9/21/10.

In the 8 p.m. hour, ABC's series debut of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." opened a strong No. 1 in the time period with Adults 18-49 (4.6/14), defeating NBC's Tuesday premiere of "The Voice" by 15 percent (4.0/12) and CBS' season premiere of "NCIS" by 35 percent (3.4/10), to qualify as TV's highest rated drama debut in nearly four years - since 11/3/09. It was also Tuesday's No. 1 TV show in Adults 18-49 (tie) and across all key Men demographics (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). And despite the strong competition, the self-starting ABC drama gained young adults from its first half-hour to its second half-hour.

On top of its big Live + Same Day numbers, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is expected to get a big lift from TV playback, considering its young-skewing audience. Well ahead of its debut this past weekend, the new show surpassed 1 million Facebook fans.

The season's No. 1 new comedy in Adults 18-49 and the top-rated comedy of the night, ABC's series premiere of "The Goldbergs" (3.2/9) at 9 p.m. beat Fox's "New Girl" by 52 percent (2.1/6) and topped last fall's premiere of "Happy Endings" in the half-hour hour by 78 percent (1.8/5 on 10/23/12). It ranked as TV's top-rated comedy debut in more than one year, and ABC's highest-rated in two years - since 9/11/12 and 10/11/11, respectively. In addition, "The Goldbergs" posted ABC's highest rating in the half-hour with entertainment programming since fall 2011 (11/22/11).

At 9:30 p.m. among Adults 18-49, the debut of ABC's "Trophy Wife" (2.3/6) defeated Fox's "The Mindy Project" by 53 percent (1.5/5) and outdelivered the year-ago fall premiere of "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23" by 35 percent (1.7/4 on 10/23/12).

During the 10 p.m. hour, ABC's debut of "Lucky 7" was up over the Net's most-recent drama premiere in the time period by 8 percent in Adults 18-49 (1.3/4 vs. 1.2/3 for "Body of Proof" on 2/19/13).

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 48 percent currently, from 45 percent 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 Ratings), 09/24/13.

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