Monday, November 30, 2009

November Sweeps 2009 Week Four, Recap


Different day comparisons
Important to note for this week that the Wednesday result is the dreaded day-before-thanksgiving, which makes the "vs. W" comparisons more favorable than they usually would be.

Private Practice (Th. vs. W) +72%

The Mentalist (Th vs. T) even

Bones (Th vs. W) even
Fringe (Th vs. T) -41%

Law & Order (F vs. W) -18%

Smallville (F vs. Th) -35%

Top 5 Timeslot Gainers
1. House vs. Terminator: SCC (FOX, Monday 8pm) +156%
2. The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now? vs. Rosie Live/Deal or No Deal (NBC, Wednesday 8-10pm) +93%
3. Dateline vs. Crusoe (NBC, Friday 9pm) +67%
4. BBT vs. Worst Week (CBS, Monday 9:30pm) +63%
5. Smallville vs. Everybody Hates Chris/The Game (CW, Friday 8pm) +57%

Most of these are old hat. House wins this category by a landslide for the third straight week. Crusoe is on the wrong side of this list for the fourth straight week. BBT is on the list for the third time, and just barely missed the top 5 the other time. Smallville is the only show to appear on the right side of the list all four weeks. The only new blood is the Biggest Loser special on Wednesday, which was a considerably better option for NBC on Thanksgiving Eve than Rosie O'Donnell's epic fail of a variety show. (Remember that one? I didn't think so.)

Top 5 Timeslot Losers
1. Eastwick vs. Barbara Walters Special (ABC, Wednesday 10pm) -63%
2. Gossip Girl (R) vs. One Tree Hill (CW, Monday 9pm) -55%
3. The Jay Leno Show vs. ER (NBC, Thursday 10pm) -53%
4. SYTYCD vs. House/Fringe (FOX, Tuesday 8-10pm) -52%
5. Trauma vs. Heroes (NBC, Monday 9pm) -51%

Leno, Trauma, and Dance have plenty of history on this list (but to Leno's credit, perennial favorite Leno vs. SVU dodges the list for the first time when there's been a valid comparison, tying for 6th). Eastwick, despite being one of the biggest bombs of 2009-10, has dodged these lists since its comparisons have been to previous flop Dirty Sexy Money. But Barbara Walters' Thanksgiving Eve interview with the Obamas put the witches at the top of the list this week. A Gossip Girl rerun which had the misfortune of dealing with an OTH original joins Eastwick atop the list for this final week.

Top 5 Show Gainers
1. Private Practice (Th10pm vs. W9pm) +72%
2. The Amazing Race +37%
3. The Biggest Loser +35%
4. The Big Bang Theory (M9:30pm vs. M8pm) +33%
t-5. NCIS +22%
t-5. 60 Minutes +22%

60 Minutes becomes the first show to appear both on the show gainers and show losers lists, which just goes to show how fickle the NFL overrun and inherent variance of newsmagazines can be. Private Practice, which has greatly benefited from its change in timeslot, is the shining star on this list for the second straight week. Reality efforts The Amazing Race and The Biggest Loser have been healthy all year but had well above average weeks, and TBBT and NCIS continue to be tentpoles on this list.

Top 5 Show Losers
1. Fringe (Th9pm vs. T9pm) -41%
2. Smallville (F8pm vs. Th8pm) -35%
3. Heroes (M8pm vs. M9pm) -34%
4. Numb3rs -32%
5. CSI -30%

Usual suspect Ugly Betty had no valid comparison this week, and Cold Case benefited somewhat from its move to 9pm. So while the top 3 are familiar faces on this list, this week we get to see a couple same show, same timeslot first timers in Numb3rs, which has had a rough year on Friday, while CSI's drops are becoming more pronounced as the year-ago show nears the end of the William Petersen era.

And that's the fourth and final week! I may try to write a little something about the sweeps in general, assuming I can think of anything. If not, I'll be blargging again shortly, as I have a couple other ideas in mind. Till then.

Demos Year to Year, Wednesday 11/25/09


Last of these till February sweeps! For those posts, I will be comparing to last year's March sweeps. I'll do a week 4 recap a little later this evening and probably another post with a few notes on sweeps as a whole.

(Modern Family (R)/The Middle vs. Pushing Daisies) +33%
(Modern Family/Cougar Town vs. Private Practice) +22%
(Eastwick vs. Barbara Walters Special) -63%

Old Christine -15%
Gary Unmarried -18%
Criminal Minds -6%
CSI: NY -10%

(SYTYCD vs. Bones) -41%
(Glee vs. House (R)) +47%

(The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now? vs. Rosie Live/Deal or No Deal) +93%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order) -6%

(Gracie (R) vs. Stylista (R)/Stylista) even

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Tuesday 11/24/09


NCIS and TBL have been up for the entire sweeps, but these increases are even greater than usual.

(V vs. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving) -9%
Dancing with the Stars (2-hour finale) -16%

NCIS +22%
(NCIS: LA vs. The Mentalist) +16%
(The Good Wife vs. Without a Trace) +12%

(So You Think You Can Dance vs. House/Fringe) -52%

The Biggest Loser +35%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order: SVU) -41%

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Monday 11/23/09


Dancing with the Stars -15%
(Find My Family vs. Samantha Who?) even
(Castle vs. Boston Legal) +29%

I said on the Twitter that FMF's Dancing retention looked similar to that of Samantha Who's from last fall, but this paints a better picture for FMF... however, I think Sam posted similar numbers for most of the rest of the fall, and Dancing was usually weaker (on non-finale weeks). May have to check into that. Meanwhile, Castle's up big while the lead-in's identical, some of the best news it's gotten in awhile, and finally some ratings that are interesting enough to remotely live up to all the talking about them.

(How I Met Your Mother vs. The Big Bang Theory) -5%
(Accidentally on Purpose vs. How I Met Your Mother) -28%
2.5 Men -11%
(The Big Bang Theory vs. Worst Week) +63%
CSI: Miami -5%
HIMYM (8pm vs. 8:30pm) -16%
BBT (9:30pm vs. 8pm) +33%

(House vs. Terminator: SCC) +156%... And this number declines for the 2nd straight week. ;-)
(Lie to Me vs. Prison Break) +29%

(Heroes vs. Chuck) -4%
(Trauma vs. Heroes) -51%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. My Own Worst Enemy) -18%
Heroes (8pm vs. 9pm) -34%

One Tree Hill (R) -17%
(Gossip Girl (R) vs. One Tree Hill (original)) -55%

Demos Year to Year, Sunday 11/22/09


Again, the overrun is switched... CBS had it this year (and it was about 30 minutes even) and FOX last year. Again, the striking thing on this night is how healthy The Amazing Race is and then how steeply the rest of the evening falls.

(NASCAR/AFHV vs. AMA Red Carpet Live) -14%
American Music Awards +8%

60 Minutes +22%
The Amazing Race +37%
Cold Case -19%
(Three Rivers vs. The Unit) -32%

(The Simpsons vs. 24: Redemption 8-8:30pm) -25%
(The Cleveland Show vs. 24: Redemption 8:30-9pm) -20%
(Family Guy vs. 24: Redemption 9-9:30pm) +3%
(American Dad vs. 24: Redemption 9:30-10pm) -30%

Demos Year to Year, Friday 11/20/09


(Shrek the Third (R) vs. Wife Swap/Supernanny) +12%
20/20 -28%

Ghost Whisperer -26%
(Medium vs. The Mentalist (R)) -21%
Numb3rs -32%

(House (R) vs. 5th Grader) -15%
(Bones (R) vs. Don't Forget the Lyrics!) -31%

(Law & Order vs. Deal or No Deal) +17%
(Dateline vs. Crusoe) +67%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. Lipstick Jungle) +8%

(Smallville vs. Everybody Hates Chris/The Game) +57%
America's Next Top Model (R) -20%

Friday, November 20, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Thursday 11/19/09


We begin the fourth and final week.

(Flashforward vs. Ugly Betty) -4%
Grey's Anatomy -18%
(Private Practice vs. Life on Mars) +24%

Survivor -5%
CSI -30%
(The Mentalist vs. Eleventh Hour) +32%

(Community vs. My Name is Earl) -23%
(Parks & Recreation vs. Kath & Kim) -13%
The Office -14%
30 Rock -18%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. ER) -53%

(Bones vs. Kitchen Nightmares) +35%
(Fringe vs. Kitchen Nightmares (R)) +11%

(The Vampire Diaries vs. Smallville) -6%
Supernatural -14%

November Sweeps 2009 Week Three, Recap


Different day comparisons
Ugly Betty (F vs. Th) -52%
Private Practice (Th vs. W) +63%

The Mentalist (Th vs. T) +3%

House (M vs. T) -11%
Bones (Th vs. W) -9%
Fringe (Th vs. T) -46%

Law & Order: SVU (W vs. T) -30%
Law & Order (F vs. W) -27%

Smallville (F vs. Th) -14%

Top 5 Timeslot Gainers
1. House vs. Terminator: SCC (Fox, Monday 8pm) +163%
2. Smallville vs. Everybody Hates Chris/The Game (CW, Friday 8pm) +71%
3. Dateline vs. Crusoe (NBC, Friday 9pm) +70%
t-4. Modern Family vs. Private Practice (ABC, Wednesday 9pm) +57%
t-4. Glee vs. House (R) (Fox, Wednesday 9pm) +57%

Four of five nets represented, and three of the five timeslots that made the list last week are back this time, with a fourth of last week's representatives in BBT vs. Worst Week missing the top 5 by the thinnest of margins. As V's improvement relative to year-ago Dancing recaps continues to shrink, it's Modern Family that joins the list for ABC, making a huge improvement on Private Practice, which was fast-tanking on Wednesday last year but has found some new life on Thursdays. Private Practice becomes the first show to survive to this day despite airing an original last year that was a victim of a top 5 gain - and for a double whammy of numbers geekery, PP itself nearly made the top 5 gainers list, with its Thursday episode building on year-ago Life on Mars by 50%.

Top 5 Timeslot Losers
1. 60 Minutes (CBS, Sunday 7pm) -65%
2. The Jay Leno Show vs. ER (NBC, Thursday 10pm) -57%
t-3. SYTYCD vs. House/Fringe (FOX, Tuesday 8-10pm) -50%
t-3. Trauma vs. Heroes (NBC, Monday 9pm) -50%
5. The Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order: SVU (NBC, Tuesday 10pm) -49%

60 Minutes becomes the first same show, same timeslot situation to make any of the top 5 timeslot lists. But don't let that fool you, as its situations were very different; it had football overrun last year and took place in the immediate aftermath of the presidential election. This year's 60 Minutes did not. Otherwise, usual suspects. Dance, Trauma, and a double-dose of Jay (with a third Jay, the Wednesday hour, part of a three-way tie for sixth at -36%).

Top 5 Show Gainers
1. Private Practice (Th10pm vs. W9pm) +63%
2. The Big Bang Theory (M9:30pm vs. M8pm) +32%
3. NCIS +17%
4. The Biggest Loser (T8:30-10pm vs. T8-10pm) +16%
5. The Simpsons +10%

Big Bang and NCIS are the only two incumbents on the show gainer list this week. Private Practice has a much better timeslot and finally gets an applicable comparison. Biggest Loser has been healthy year-to-year in general, but it looked particularly good this week because it didn't have to air in the 8pm half-hour thanks to a Madagascar Christmas special. The Simpsons benefits from a football lead-in this year but not last (and 60 Minutes, see above, had the opposite to deal with).

Top 5 Show Losers
1. 60 Minutes -65%
2. Ugly Betty (F9pm vs. Th8pm) -52%
3. Fringe (Th9pm vs. T9pm) -46%
4. Heroes (M8pm vs. M9pm) -39%
5. Ghost Whisperer -31%

Again, for the first time, we have shows that aired in the same timeslot both years. 60 Minutes has a decent excuse, above. Ghost Whisperer really doesn't. It's way down. The show had considerable momentum at this time last year and has squandered a very large chunk of it. Betty, Fringe, and Heroes are usual suspects on this list.

Demos Year to Year, Wednesday 11/18/09


In general, the push to revive Wednesday TV in the fall has been a successful one. ABC, Fox, and NBC all have timeslots where they've made real progress, and none of the drops are too bad except for Top Model's declines and SYTYCD's replacement of Bones.

(Modern Family (R) vs. Pushing Daisies 8-8:30pm) +3%
(The Middle vs. Pushing Daisies 8:30-9pm) +45%
(Modern Family vs. Private Practice 9-9:30pm) +57%
(Cougar Town vs. Private Practice 9:30-10pm) +28%
(Robin Roberts vs. Dirty Sexy Money) +35%

Old Christine -8%
Gary Unmarried -11%
Criminal Minds -12%
CSI: NY -16%

(SYTYCD vs. Bones) -34%
(Glee vs. House (R)) +57%

(Mercy vs. Knight Rider) +33%
(Law & Order: SVU vs. Life) +53%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order) -36%

America's Next Top Model -22%
(ANTM Clip Show vs. Stylista) -20%

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Tuesday 11/17/09


V vs. DWTS recap +29%
DWTS: Results -20%
(The Forgotten vs. Eli Stone) +13%

NCIS +17%
(NCIS: LA vs. The Mentalist) -3%
(The Good Wife vs. Without a Trace) even

(SYTYCD vs. House/Fringe) -50%

The Biggest Loser (8:30-10pm vs. 8-10pm) +16%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order: SVU) -49%

90210 -27%
(Melrose Place vs. Privileged) even

Demos Year to Year, Monday 11/16/09


Dancing with the Stars (8-10pm vs. 8-9:30 pm) -9%
(Castle vs. Boston Legal) +19%

(HIMYM vs. BBT) -11%
(Accidentally on Purpose vs. HIMYM) -36%
2.5 Men -11%
(BBT vs. Worst Week) +56%
CSI: Miami -12%
HIMYM (8pm vs. 8:30pm) -23%
BBT (9:30pm vs. 8pm) +32%

(House vs. Terminator: SCC) +163%, down from last week's +165% ;-)
(Lie to Me vs. Prison Break) +23%

(Heroes vs. Chuck) -15%
(Trauma vs. Heroes) -50%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. My Own Worst Enemy) -22%
Heroes (8pm vs. 9pm) -39%

(One Tree Hill vs. Gossip Girl) -14%
(Gossip Girl vs. One Tree Hill) -8%
One Tree Hill (8pm vs. 9pm) -8%
Gossip Girl (9pm vs. 8pm) -14%

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Sunday 11/15/09


Note: the football overrun was on a CBS on the year-ago evening and FOX this year, which probably has the biggest impact on 60 Minutes and The Simpsons. But credit The Amazing Race for turning that 65% difference in lead-ins year to year to just a 3% difference for its own program.

(AFHV vs. NASCAR) +10%
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition +6%
Desperate Housewives -19%
Brothers & Sisters -11%

60 Minutes -65%
The Amazing Race -3%
(Three Rivers vs. Cold Case) -36%
(Cold Case vs. The Unit) -22%
Cold Case (10pm vs. 9pm) -25%

The Simpsons +10%
(The Cleveland Show vs. King of the Hill) +3%
Family Guy even
American Dad -6%

The Long Shadow of "Lost"


Before ABC aired the extremely expensive pilot of a new show called "Lost" in September 2004, a lot of people were skeptical. But the ratings were really big. ABC had found one of its three shows that year that would start off its resurrection, they had tapped into an audience teeming with tough-to-reach young males, and they wanted more. And boy, have they tried.

There have been a lot of articles written about the failures of other shows created in the Lost vein. There were the Lost lead-outs, like Invasion, The Nine, and Life on Mars. People blamed the fact that "everybody goes on the Internet to discuss Lost after it's over." But it's not like the lead-outs that tried to go in a highly different direction (Eyes, The Evidence, The Unusuals) fared any better.

This year, ABC's churned out two more such shows from the Lost factory in Flashforward and V. They're both still on the air, so it's too early to call their fates either way, but I think they're both headed for the trash heap pretty quickly in TV terms. Flashforward is pulling mid-2 demos, while V has taken substantial drops in weeks 2 and 3. They may give a second season to one of the two as some sort of face-saving measure, but I don't see a sustained run as a big hit in the cards for either. ABC deserves some credit for not attaching these shows to Lost in a programming sense, for trying to create new audiences from scratch, the way they so successfully did in 2004. But in watching the shows, and in watching the promos for the shows, the Lost attachment is still clearly there.

First, it's the concept behind these shows, and this thread has run throughout the five years since Lost. Flashforward and V are what I like to call "aftermath shows." The pilot contains a big-ass incident and the series that follows it is about the aftermath of said incident. A plane crashes. The entire world blacks out for two minutes and sixteen seconds. They arriVe. That can be said of plenty of other Lost clones in recent years. Invasion began with an alien invasion. The Nine began with the end of a bank robbery. CBS' Jericho began with a mushroom cloud. It's become a formula for manufacturing genre television, and it's not necessarily the best formula. Plenty of people have held up The Nine as the banner show for "great pilot, but nothing interesting happened afterwards," but it's a problem inherent in this kind of show. How do you top the arrival of aliens or a worldwide apocalypse? Compared to most of this stuff, Lost's measly plane crash is small potatoes. That was something from which to build, not from which you have no choice but to downshift.

Second, the more blatant Lost connections. Flashforward isn't exactly named after an important term in the Lost mythology (the novel on which the series is based came out in 1999), but it may as well be. FF brought in an iconic Lost actor in a rather transparent attempt to get that audience interested. V, meanwhile, casts an iconic Lost actor in the lead role, and her friend and confidant (and maybe more?!) has the exact same name, Jack. (OK, maybe that wasn't really an attempt to evoke Lost, but it sure did for me when I heard Elizabeth Mitchell call Joel Gretsch "Jack" last night)

Does this stuff really work? Is the Lost audience so fanboyish that they will simply follow the actors that they know to their new shows and keep watching them over and over again? I like to think that Lost fans (hell, any fans) are a little more sophisticated than that, and it seems to be playing out that way. The number of Hollywood actors capable of "opening a movie" on their name alone is quite small at any given time, and on the TV front, it's probably also that way. But even if these concepts and these actors can open (and FF and V both premiered solidly), TV isn't just about opening. You've got to sustain, over a much longer period of time.

Personally, I think the Lost connections have actually backfired. It's not a connection that people who aren't big fans of Lost can make. But I am, so here goes. The Lost fanbase doesn't watch Lost for Dominic Monaghan, or Elizabeth Mitchell, or because it has time travel or because of what the show is "about." They watch because the show is a satisfying TV experience. In my opinion, it's one of the best TV dramas of the decade. So if you're saying in less-than-subtle terms that "this is the next Lost!" then that carries with it a certain expectation. I've enjoyed some of these shows a lot; I consider Invasion one of the more underrated shows of the decade, and I'm still liking V. But none of them are Lost, and none of them have met that inherent expectation.

So what does ABC need to do if they want to be in the genre business? They need to forget about Lost. That individual show has been a really successful hour for its network, but it's also taken over their development. Think a little more broadly. How about a less serialized SF show, maybe something along the lines of Fringe or The X-Files or Warehouse 13? Maybe the demo isn't there for this, but how about a Star Trek or Stargate type of space opera? (A less half-assed one than Defying Gravity, which was a co-production and too obsessed with mirroring Grey's Anatomy as well.) Don't base your promotions around your Lost alums. Truly start from scratch. My list of suggestions isn't great, but I think if they really want the young male audience they've loved having with Lost, they have to try something else. Maybe there will be some more failures, but they can't be but so much worse. Because "big incident, then nothing that interesting ever happens again" is a formula that is wearing out its welcome.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Friday 11/13/09


Supernanny +8%
(Ugly Betty vs. Super-Manny) -20%
20/20 -9%

Ghost Whisperer -31%
(Medium vs. Price is Right) +25%
Numb3rs -19%

(House (R) vs. 5th Grader) -17%
(Bones (R) vs. Don't Forget the Lyrics!) -25%

(Law & Order vs. Deal or No Deal) +33%
(Dateline vs. Crusoe) +70%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. Lipstick Jungle) -14%

(Smallville vs. Everybody Hates Chris/The Game) +71%
America's Next Top Model (R) even

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Thursday 11/12/09


(Flashforward vs. Ugly Betty) +4%
Grey's Anatomy -2%
(Private Practice vs. Life on Mars) +50%

Survivor even
CSI -20%
(The Mentalist vs. Eleventh Hour) +16%

(Bones vs. Kitchen Nightmares 8pm) +38%
(Fringe vs. Kitchen Nightmares 9pm) -4%

(Community vs. My Name Is Earl) -25%
(Parks & Recreation vs. Kath & Kim) even
The Office +2%
30 Rock -17%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. ER) -57%

(The Vampire Diaries vs. Smallville) +36%
Supernatural +8%

November Sweeps 2009 Week Two, Recap


Different day comparisons
Ugly Betty (F vs. Th) -56%

The Mentalist (Th vs. T) -10%

House (M vs. T) -4%
Bones (Th vs. W) -26%
Fringe (Th vs. T) -55%

Law & Order: SVU (W vs. T) -22%
Law & Order (F8pm vs. W) -23%

Smallville (F vs. Th) -37%

TOP 5 TIMESLOT GAINERS
1. House vs. Terminator: SCC (FOX, Monday 8pm) +165%
2. V vs. DWTS recap (ABC, Tuesday 8pm) +81%
3. Law & Order vs. Crusoe (NBC, Friday 9pm) +80%
4. Smallville vs. Everybody Hates Chris/The Game (CW, Friday 8pm) +71%
5. The Big Bang Theory vs. Worst Week (CBS, Monday 9:30pm) +68%

Here's a neat quirk: all five networks are represented in this top 5! Smallville and Law & Order return to the list this week as Friday saviors (with the 8pm edition of Law & Order narrowly missing the top 5). The Big Bang Theory is also back, throttling the performance of year-ago comedy flop Worst Week. Speaking of throttling a year-ago flop, House has singlehandedly made this network relevant on Monday night, even though the timeslot is tough. And though there wasn't a lot of good news for week 2 of V, which took the largest week 2 tumble by a drama this season, it can at least say it did a whole lot better than a DWTS recap. Suffice to say, that's a necessity.

TOP 5 TIMESLOT LOSERS
1. So You Think You Can Dance vs. House/Fringe (Fox, Tuesday 8-10pm) -51%
2. The Jay Leno Show vs. ER (NBC, Thursday 10pm) -50%
3. Trauma vs. Heroes (NBC, Monday 9pm) -50%
4. The Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order: SVU (NBC, Tuesday 10pm) -47%
5. Three Rivers vs. Cold Case (CBS, Sunday 9pm) -42%

The heights of this list aren't quite as bad as last week, but there are still a couple doses of Leno. (And Jay's down 30%+ on two other nights not seen above. The only night where he's competitive year-to-year is on Friday relative to Lipstick Jungle.) CBS Sunday has become a complete disaster courtesy of Three Rivers. Trauma and SYTYCD, while not strong performers in their own rights, do have the misfortune of replacing strong shows from last year that got moved elsewhere.

TOP 5 SHOW GAINERS
1. CSI: NY +27%
2. 20/20 +27%
3. The Big Bang Theory (9:30pm vs. 8pm) +21%
4. Gary Unmarried +14%
5. NCIS +10%

It was a somewhat healthy week for a lot of shows. 4 of these 5 are on CBS. CSI:NY, which has not been trending well for most of this season, flipped the script this week and can thank the "CSI trilogy" stunt. 20/20 owes its spike to an extremely highly publicized interview with Rihanna. BBT's move to 9:30 has been very beneficial for the show and the network, Gary had a nice uptick this week from recent results with ABC comedy out of the hour, and NCIS just plain has positive momentum for about the last year now.

TOP 5 SHOW LOSERS
1. Ugly Betty (F9pm vs. Th8pm) -56%
2. Fringe (Th9pm vs. T9pm) -55%
3. Cold Case (Su10pm vs. Su9pm) -45%
4. Smallville (F8pm vs. Th8pm) -37%
5. Heroes (M8pm vs. M9pm) -36%

Three shows return to this list after being on it last week, Friday movers Ugly Betty and Smallville and doomed-to-Sunday-at-10 Cold Case, while Fringe and Heroes join the fun after not having applicable comparisons last week. Fringe had a big House lead-in and not a lot of compatible competition last year, and certainly enjoys neither of those perks in its brutal Thursday timeslot. Heroes' move to 8 certainly did not inherently help the show, and it's done plenty of its own declining to boot.

Same show, same timeslot is a much longer list this week, so I'll hold off on that. We'll revisit that toward the end of sweeps.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Wednesday 11/11/09


The CMA Awards +6%

Old Christine +5%
Garry Unmarried +14%
Criminal Minds -11%
CSI: NY +27%

(So You Think You Can Dance vs. Bones) -37%
(Glee vs. House (R)) +42%

(Mercy vs. Knight Rider) +13%
(Law & Order: SVU vs. Life) +56%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order) -36%

America's Next Top Model -21%
(Vampire Diaries (R) vs. Stylista) -44%

Demos Year to Year, Tuesday 11/10/09


NCIS was one of the biggest year-to-year gainers when I did these comparisons in May and continues to be so this season, even apart from The Mentalist, which I thought had helped with its momentum last year.

(V vs. DWTS recap) +81%
Dancing with the Stars: The Results -3%
(In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts vs. Eli Stone) +28%

NCIS +10%
(NCIS: LA vs. The Mentalist) -8%
(The Good Wife vs. Without a Trace) even

(SYTYCD vs. House/Fringe 8-10pm) -51%

The Biggest Loser +9%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order: SVU) -47%

90210 -14%
(Melrose Place vs. Privileged) -22%

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First Two Weeks, V


V (ABC)
Sampling: The largest demo for a series premiere to date this season. 5.2 demo. That's right up there with regular episodes of House and Grey's Anatomy. Lots of things were written about its historical significance; largest premiere for an ABC drama since Private Practice in 2007. Largest for an 8:00 drama since Lost in 2004. A big, big start.
Retention: The dropoff was expected, and maybe even more than expected. At a 27% decline, it's the largest A18-49 week 2 fall for a drama this season, and second among all shows only to Community. (The 31% drop for Melrose below is in W18-34; Melrose fell "only" 23% in A18-49.) The drop is very much on par with the week 2 drop for NBC's 2007 remake of The Bionic Woman, which was 28% (5.7 -> 4.1)
Prognosis: There's almost nothing harder to predict than something that premieres huge and drops huge. If it stays at its week 2 3.8 demo, it's a big success for ABC, but that just doesn't seem likely to happen to me. Huge premiere + huge drop = borderline by the below system, and that's about right. Could really go any way, but when the drop is this big, that's what I focus on. I'm saying this finds a way to not get to season 2. We shall see.


SAMPLING

The Vampire Diaries 6.3*
V 5.2
The Cleveland Show 4.9
NCIS: LA 4.4
Cougar Town 4.4
Modern Family 4.2
Flashforward 4.0

Melrose Place 3.9*
Community 3.8
Glee 3.5
Accidentally on Purpose 3.3
The Good Wife 3.1
Eastwick 3.0
The Middle 2.6

The Forgotten 2.6
Mercy 2.3
Trauma 2.2
Hank 2.1
Three Rivers 1.9
The Beautiful Life: TBL 1.8*
Brothers 1.0

*-Although A18-49 isn't necessarily the "CW demo," in an attempt to put them on a level playing field with the big 4, I've taken the A18-49 premiere number for the CW shows and multiplied it by 3.

RETENTION
The Good Wife +3%
Accidentally on Purpose -6%
NCIS:LA -7%
Flashforward -8%
Glee -9%
Mercy -9%
Modern Family -10%

The Cleveland Show -10%
Three Rivers -11%
Cougar Town -14%
The Vampire Diaries -16%
The Beautiful Life: TBL -18%
The Middle -19%
Brothers - 20%

Trauma -23%
Eastwick -23%
The Forgotten -23%
Hank -24%
V -27%
Community -29%
Melrose Place -31%

EXCELLENT (6 points) - NCIS: Los Angeles, Flashforward, Modern Family
GOOD ENOUGH (5 points) - The Vampire Diaries, Cougar Town, Accidentally on Purpose, Glee, The Cleveland Show, The Good Wife
BORDERLINE (4 points) - V, Mercy, The Middle
IN TROUBLE (2-3 points) - Community, Melrose Place, TBL:TBL, Eastwick, Three Rivers, Brothers (3 points), The Forgotten, Trauma, Hank (2 points)

If this is your first of my "First Two Weeks" posts, I encourage you to click the "new shows" label and scroll down to the bottom.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Monday 11/9/09


DWTS (8-10pm vs. 8-9:30pm) -19%
(Castle vs. Boston Legal) +9%

(How I Met Your Mother vs. Big Bang Theory) -10%
(Accidentally on Purpose vs. HIMYM) -31%
2.5 Men -6%
(BBT vs. Worst Week) +68%
CSI: Miami +8%
HIMYM (8pm vs. 8:30pm) -14%
BBT (9:30pm vs. 8pm) +21%

(Heroes vs. Chuck) -4%
(Trauma vs. Heroes) -50%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. My Own Worst Enemy) -33%
Heroes (8pm vs. 9pm) -36%

(House vs. Terminator: SCC) +165%
(Lie to Me vs. Prison Break) +36%

(One Tree Hill vs. Gossip Girl) -13%
(Gossip Girl vs. One Tree Hill) -19%
One Tree Hill (8pm vs. 9pm) -19%
Gossip Girl (9pm vs. 8pm) -13%

Demos Year to Year, Sunday 11/8/09


A couple notes: AFHV aired abbreviated editions both last Sunday and on the year-ago evening, and both were close to 30 minutes long, but not exactly. CBS' football overrun on this pair of evenings was 20 minutes in 2009 and 26 minutes in 2008.

America's Funniest Home Videos (7:30pm) +5%
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -14%
Desperate Housewives -25%
Brothers & Sisters -22%

60 Minutes -10%
The Amazing Race +3%
(Three Rivers vs. Cold Case) -42%
(Cold Case vs. The Unit) -35%
Cold Case (10pm vs. 9pm) -45%

(American Dad vs. The Simpsons (R)) -20%
(Family Guy 8pm vs. The Simpsons) -3%
(Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show vs. King of the Hill) +3%
Family Guy (9pm) -2%
(The Cleveland Show vs. American Dad) -3%

Monday, November 9, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Friday 11/6/09


Lots of big numbers in both directions on this evening. Law & Order seems to be making a real impact on this night.

(Supernanny vs. Wife Swap) -24%
(Ugly Betty vs. Supernanny) -37%
20/20 +27%
Supernanny (8pm vs. 9pm) -32%

Ghost Whisperer -32%
(Medium vs. NCIS (R)) -21%
Numb3rs -33%

(House (R) vs. 5th Grader) -25%
(Bones (R) vs. Don't Forget the Lyrics!) -25%

(Law & Order 8pm vs. Deal or No Deal) +64%
(Law & Order 9pm vs. Crusoe) +80%
(Jay Leno Show vs. Lipstick Jungle) even

(Smallville vs. Everybody Hates Chris/The Game) +71%
America's Next Top Model (R) -17%

Friday, November 6, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Thursday 10/5/09


No more World Series, no more elections, so let's dig into a much less sloppy week of year-to-year comparisons!

(Flashforward vs. Ugly Betty) -4%
Grey's Anatomy -15%
(Private Practice vs. Life on Mars) +17%

Survivor -3%
CSI -31%
(The Mentalist vs. Eleventh Hour) +16%

(Bones vs. Kitchen Nightmares 8pm) +30%
(Fringe vs. Kitchen Nightmares 9pm) -23%

(Community vs. My Name is Earl) -12%
(Parks & Recreation vs. Kath & Kim) -8%
The Office -5%
30 Rock -23%
(The Jay Leno Show vs. ER) -50%

(The Vampire Diaries vs. Smallville) even
Supernatural -14%

November Sweeps 2009 Week One, Recap


First a few different-day comparisons between 2009 and 2008.

Private Practice (Th vs. W) +16%
Ugly Betty (F vs. Th) -58%

Law & Order (F vs. W) -36%

Smallville (F vs. Th) -35%

Should be a lot more of these next week, as the World Series this year and election last year REALLY reduced the number of available comparisons.

Anyway, laziness is taking over this year and I'm not doing all those huge lists by network and by genre and by timeslot. I might do something like that at the end of sweeps but I don't think there's a whole lot of education to be gleaned from doing it every week. What I will do are a few top 5 lists.

First, the TOP 5 TIMESLOT GAINERS
1. Dateline vs. Crusoe (NBC, Friday 9pm) +100%
2. Smallville vs. Everybody Hates Chris/The Game (CW, Friday 8pm) +83%
3. The Big Bang Theory vs. Gary Unmarried (R) (CBS, Monday 9:30pm) +81%
4. Law & Order vs. Deal or No Deal (NBC, Friday 8pm) +56%
5. Private Practice vs. Life on Mars (ABC, Thursday 10pm) +38%

A couple things to note here... first, Friday in 2008 was Halloween night, so numbers were depressed relative to the norm. But the real quirk here is that shows like Smallville and L&O are among the biggest show decliners but have made some of the heftiest timeslot improvements. They've been brought in to help their nights, and they've succeeded, but they've certainly taken one for the team to do it.

TOP 5 TIMESLOT LOSERS
1. The Jay Leno Show vs. SNL Presidential Bash (NBC, Monday 10pm) -78%
2. Trauma vs. SNL Presidential Bash (NBC, Monday 9pm) -67%
3. The Jay Leno Show vs. ER (NBC, Thursday 10pm) -56%
4. Hank/The Middle vs. DWTS Results (ABC, Wednesday 8pm) -52%
t-5. Three Rivers vs. Cold Case (CBS, Sunday 9pm) -38%
t-5. Gossip Girl vs. One Tree Hill (CW, Monday 9pm) -38%

The election is responsible for three of the huge numbers in the top 4, the two Presidential Bash hours and the Hank/Middle declines, which are a result of DWTS results being shipped to Wednesday. We'll see more normal results next week, but there will still be a lot of Leno vs. SVU and Leno vs. ER, I'm predicting.

TOP 5 SHOW LOSERS
1. Ugly Betty (F vs. Th) -58%
2. Gossip Girl (M9pm vs. M8pm) -38%
3. Law & Order (F vs. W) -36%
t-4. Smallville (F vs. Th) -35%
t-4. Cold Case (Su10pm vs. Su9pm) -35%

I'm not even doing a "top 5 show gainers" because there aren't 5 of them. Maybe next week. But I thought this list was notable because of a couple points. Moving to Friday hurts shows, even if those shows still make big improvements in their timeslots year-to-year. The three veterans to move to Friday are all on the list. Cold Case, which headed to Sunday at 10, probably an even worse death sentence than Friday on CBS, also makes the list. And then there's Gossip Girl, which swapped places with One Tree Hill, and frankly it's hurt both shows a ton. (GG more, but OTH is down 31% itself)

One more list: a complete roster of the same show, same timeslot comparisons. AKA the "no excuses list." :-P May as well list 'em all, because especially with Leno there aren't a whole lot.

SAME SHOW, SAME TIMESLOT
Amazing Race +14%
Old Christine +5%
CSI: Miami even
20/20 even
Criminal Minds -3%
Brothers & Sisters -3%
2.5 Men -4%
Gary Unmarried -5%
Supernatural -7%
Ghost Whisperer -9%
Grey's Anatomy -9%
Survivor -10%
The Office -13%
Desperate Housewives -14%
CSI: NY -15%
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -15%
America's Next Top Model -15%
60 Minutes -19%
30 Rock -24%
Numb3rs -26%
90210 -29%
CSI -29%

Demos Year to Year, 11/3/09 & 11/4/09


Lots of election coverage on Tuesday night so I'm including only the CW's comparisons for Tuesday:

90210 -29%
(Melrose Place vs. Privileged) -11%

Now Wednesday (with Fox out due to baseball):

(Hank/The Middle vs. DWTS Results) -52%
(Modern Family/Cougar Town vs. Private Practice) +3%
(Eastwick vs. Dirty Sexy Money) -25%

Old Christine +5%
Gary Unmarried -5%
Criminal Minds -3%
CSI: NY -15%

(Mercy vs. Knight Rider) +6%
(Law & Order: SVU vs. Life) +20%
(Jay Leno Show vs. Law & Order) -36%

America's Next Top Model -15%
(Vampire Diaries (R) vs. Stylista) -22%

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Monday 11/2/09


DWTS (8-10 vs. 8-9:30) -13%
(Castle vs. Boston Legal) +33%

(HIMYM vs. BBT) -5%
(AOP vs. HIMYM) -24%
2.5 Men -4%
(BBT vs. Gary Unmarried (R)) +81%
CSI: Miami even
BBT (9:30pm vs. 8pm) +27%

(Heroes vs. Deal or No Deal) +25%
(Trauma vs. SNL Presidential Bash 9-10pm) -67%
(Jay Leno Show vs. SNL Presidential Bash 10-11pm) -78%

(One Tree Hill vs. Gossip Girl 8pm) -31%
(Gossip Girl vs. One Tree Hill 9pm) -38%
One Tree Hill (8pm vs. 9pm) -31%
Gossip Girl (9pm vs. 8pm) -38%

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Demos Year to Year, Sunday 11/1/09


Not including Fox and NBC due to very different programming. Fox had World Series this year, animation last year. NBC had National Treasure this year, football last year.

AFHV (30 mins. vs. year-ago 60 mins) -5%
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -15%
Desperate Housewives -14%
Brothers & Sisters -3%

60 Minutes -19%
Amazing Race +14%
(Three Rivers vs. Cold Case) -38%
(Cold Case vs. The Unit) -26%
Cold Case (10pm vs. 9pm) -35%

Demos Year to Year, Friday 10/30/09


Worth noting: the year-ago evening was Halloween!

(Supernanny vs. Wife Swap) +18%
(Ugly Betty vs. Supernanny) -15%
20/20 even
(Supernanny) even

Ghost Whisperer -9%
(Medium vs. NCIS repeat) -14%
Numb3rs -26%

(House (R) vs. 5th Grader/Lyrics) even

(Law & Order vs. Deal or No Deal) +56%
(Dateline vs. Crusoe) +100%
(Jay Leno Show vs. Lipstick Jungle) +20%

(Smallville vs. Everybody Hates Chris/The Game) +83%
America's Next Top Model (R) even

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