Ratings Report for ABC News’ “Nightline”

By Coordinator

May 29, 2009 5:04pm

For the 2008/ 2009 Primetime Season, 2009 May Sweep & Week of May 18

NIGHTLINE IS #2 FOR THE PRIMETIME SEASON AMONG TOTAL VIEWERS AND ADULTS 18-49 – FIRST TIME IN 6 YEARS AMONG TOTAL VIEWERS AND FIRST TIME IN 9 YEARS IN ADULTS 18-49

 FOR THE 2008-2009 PRIMETIME SEASON, “NIGHTLINE” GROWS THE MOST AMONG TOTAL VIEWERS, 14% VS. LAST SEASON

FOR THE MAY SWEEP, “NIGHTLINE” IS #2 AMONG TOTAL VIEWERS AND A18-49 AND CUTS GAP AMONG A25-54 WITH “LENO” TO SMALLEST IN 14 YEARS & SMALLEST TOTAL VIEWING GAP IN A DECADE 

FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 19, ABC IS #2 IN TOTAL VIEWERS, ADULTS 25-54 AND ADULTS 18-49

For the just completed 2008/2009 broadcast season, ABC News “Nightline” placed second, outperforming CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 according to Nielsen Media Research. This marks the first time since the 2002/2003 season, during which the Iraq War began, “Nightline” beat “Letterman” among Total Viewers and since the 1999/ 2000 season among Adults 18-49.  Among Adults 25-54, “Nightline” and “Letterman” are tied for the primetime season; however for the Broadcast News season-to-date (9/22/08 – 5/22/09), “Nightline” is ahead.

Compared to the 2007/2008 season, “Nightline” grew 12% among Total Viewers. Also for the prime season, “Nightline” closed the total viewing gap with NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to the smallest margin in 10 years and to the smallest in 14 years among Adults 25-54. 

For the 2009 May Sweep, “Nightline” placed second among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, posting its best total viewer delivery for a May sweep in five years and marking the first time “Nightline” has outperformed “Letterman” in a May sweep since 2003.  Additionally, "Nightline” shrunk the total viewing gap with “Leno” for a May sweep to its smallest in 10 years.  Among Adults 25-54, the program cut the gap with “Leno” to its smallest in 14 years—since May 1995. “Nightline” also closed the Adults 25-54 gap with “Letterman” by 88% versus last May—marking the smallest CBS demo lead since May 2000 which is when ABC beat CBS.

For the week of May 19, “Nightline” placed second for the week among Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49. Additionally, “Nightline” outperformed “Letterman” originals by 390,000 Total Viewers and 130,000 Adults 25-54. This marks the 8th week in a row “Nightline” has beaten “Letterman” among Total Viewers. 

ABC News’ “Nightline” is anchored by Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Martin Bashir. John Donvan and Vicki Mabrey are correspondents. James Goldston is the executive producer. The program airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network.

(Average for 08/09 Season)  
 
                   TOTAL VIEWERS   A25-54(000)/ Rtg    A18-49(000)/ Rtg
ABC “Nightline”         3,890,000     1,710,000/ 1.4   1,430,000/ 1.1
CBS “Late Show”         3,840,000     1,710,000/ 1.4   1,420,000/ 1.1
NBC “Tonight”           5,150,000     2,190,000/ 1.8   1,850,000/ 1.4

(May 2009 Sweep)  
 
                   TOTAL VIEWERS   A25-54(000)/ Rtg    A18-49(000)/ Rtg
ABC “Nightline”         3,790,000     1,600,000/ 1.3   1,350,000/ 1.0
CBS “Late Show”         3,640,000     1,610,000/ 1.3   1,310,000/ 1.0
NBC “Tonight”           5,000,000     2,170,000/ 1.7   1,820,000/ 1.4

(Week of May 18, 2009)  
 
                   TOTAL VIEWERS   A25-54(000)/ Rtg    A18-49(000)/ Rtg
ABC “Nightline”         3,630,000     1,570,000/ 1.3   1,300,000/ 1.0
CBS “Late Show”         3,240,000     1,440,000/ 1.2   1,150,000/ .9
NBC “Tonight”           5,120,000     2,210,000/ 1.8   1,860,000/ 1.4

Source: NTI

– ABC –

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