No Secret: ABC Family’s 'Secret Life' Scores Big With Nielsens

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The return of ABC Family’s acclaimed series The Secret Life of the American Teenager wasn’t a big secret.

The premiere of the second half of the acclaimed drama’s rookie season drew the network’s top marks ever for a debut with total viewers and in key demos.

The Jan. 5 installment averaged 4.4 million viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, according to Nielsen Media Research data, the show’s second-best performance behind the 4.5 million who tuned in its first-half concluder on Sept. 9, 2008.


ABC Family will run 12 installments, concluding on March 23, during the second half of the show's first season, bringing the campaign's total to 23.

In its first Monday telecast, Secret Life set ABC Family season-premiere marks with adults 18 to 34 (1.2 million of those watchers), adults 18 to 49 (1.9 million) and viewers 12 to 34 (2.8 million). Moreover, Monday’s opener ranked as the network’s most-watched telecast ever among females 12 to 34 (2.4 million), teens 12 to 17 (1.6 million) and females teens (1.4 million). The show had previously aired on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Compared to its July 1, 2008 series launch, Secret Life’s second-half start-up surpassed the series debut by 57% among total viewers (4.4 million vs. 2.8 million); 45% among adults 18 to 34 (1.2 million vs. 826,000); 57% among adults 18 to 49 (1.9 million vs. 1.2 million); and 65% against the 12-to-34 set (2.8 million vs. 1.7 million).

In its time period, Secret Life topped all cable competition, besting USA by 26% in total viewers (4.4 million vs. 3.5 million) and 19% among adults 18 to 49 (1.9 million vs. 1.6 million); TBS by 52% among adults 18 to 34 (1.2 million vs. 802,000); and Versus by 133% among viewers 12 to 34 (2.8 million vs. 1.2 million).

ABC Family officials also said Secret Life surpassed CW’s Gossip Girl by 47% among total viewers (4.4 million vs. 3.0 million); 10% among women 18 to 34 (966,000 vs. 881,000); 6% among adults 18 to 49 (1.9 million vs. 1.8 million); 71% among watchers 12 to 34 (2.8 million vs. 1.6 million); and females 12 to 34 (2.4 vs. 1.2 million). 

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