Alphabet led 10 o'clock hour in key demos

It was a pretty good night for “The Days” Sunday, as ABC’s new family drama launched with promising results.

Taking advantage of a powerful lead-in from a special firstrun seg of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” the Alphabet drama led the 10 o’clock hour in key young-adult demos.

“The Days” is the first project stemming from ABC and MindShare’s programming partnership since the companies joined forces last December. MindShare and Tollin/Robbins (“Smallville”) teamed up to produce the skein, with the media-buying giant deficit-financing the program.

Basically, ABC is giving up ad time, but it gets a full-fledged primetime drama on the cheap, thanks in part to a smaller budget and lesser-known cast.

On Sunday, the first of a six-episode order of “The Days” averaged 6.8 million viewers overall and a slot-leading 3.1/8 in adults 18-49, according to prelim Nielsen nationals, edging out a repeat of NBC’s “Crossing Jordan” in the demo (3.0/8). Those numbers are good enough to make the “Days” premiere the top-rated new drama bow of the summer in 18-49, besting USA’s limited-run skein “The 4400″ (2.8/8) and Fox’s “North Shore” (2.3/7).

Young-skewing “Days,” which chronicles the life of a two-career couple and their three kids as seen through the eyes of the cynical 15-year-old, led with ease in adults 18-34 (2.9/9) and also topped all broadcast networks for the hour in teens (2.2/8).

In a good sign for a 10 o’clock program, it built on the half-hour in key ratings categories.

“Days” enjoyed a strong boost from lead-in “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (prelim 4.5/12 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall), the night’s No. 1 program in 18-49.

In upcoming weeks, repeats of “Home Edition” will serve as the “Days” lead-in.

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