Friday, December 31, 2010

Midseason Matchups 2011, Friday


Winter: Supernanny (ABC) vs. The Defenders (CBS, 2/4) vs. Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC, 2/4) vs. Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, 1/21) vs. Smallville (The CW)

Spring: Supernanny (ABC) vs. Chaos (CBS, 4/1) vs. Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC) vs. Kitchen Nightmares (Fox) vs. Smallville (The CW)

Cable: WWE Smackdown! (Syfy)

Notes: Nightmares has aired on Friday before and figures to do decent business by the standards of the night, probably even better than lead-out Fringe. The ABC and NBC reality shows won't do much, and maybe Smallville will build as it nears the end of its decade-long run. The question mark is whether The Defenders can make the Friday transition respectably. It's tough to feel good about it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Midseason Matchups 2011, Thursday


Winter: Wipeout (ABC, 1/6) vs. The Big Bang Theory/$#*! My Dad Says (CBS) vs. Community/PERFECT COUPLES (NBC, 1/20) vs. American Idol (Fox, 1/20) vs. The Vampire Diaries (The CW)

Spring: TBA (ABC) vs. The Big Bang Theory/Rules of Engagement (CBS, 2/24) vs. Community/Perfect Couples (NBC) vs. American Idol (Fox) vs. The Vampire Diaries (The CW)

Notes: Idol will sort of take over the role that Survivor had for so long in this hour, the reality show that dominates a field of (mostly) scripted TV. It'll be a real test for The Big Bang Theory, but I feel it should hold up as well as Modern Family did last year. (Modern became the first regularly-scheduled show in years to frequently break a 4.0 demo against Idol competition.)

The Top 10 TV Ratings Moments of 2010, 5 to 1

Back with the top half of the top 10 TV ratings moments of 2010. The first half went up yesterday.

Let the controversy begin...! If there's any particularly notable ratings result I missed, let me know. I'm open to there being a truly cataclysmic event that I forgot about. Maybe if I do this next year, I'll have a nice archive of Five-Spots to look back on so I won't miss anything big. Here goes:

5. The Walking Dead premiere (October 31) - I talked about shattering the network's glass ceiling with Hot in Cleveland yesterday, and The Walking Dead did it in an even bigger way for AMC. Its 2.7 A18-49 premiere on Halloween night was triple the highest rating ever for either of AMC's Emmy-laden originals Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Perhaps even more amazing was that it held almost all of that number in subsequent weeks, then actually grew as high as a 3.0 for the finale.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Midseason Matchups 2011, Wednesday


Winter: The Middle/Better with You (ABC) vs. LIVE TO DANCE (CBS, 1/5) vs. Minute to Win It  (NBC, 1/5) vs. American Idol (Fox, 1/19) vs. America's Next Top Model (The CW, 2/23)

Spring: The Middle/Better with You (ABC) vs. Survivor (CBS, 2/16) vs. Minute to Win It (NBC) vs. American Idol (Fox) vs. America's Next Top Model (The CW)

Notes: Three years ago, there was a Drew Carey game show called Power of 10 that I really liked and that served as Carey's audition for the Price is Right job. It had an OK run in summer 2007, then CBS scheduled it in this hour in midseason 2008, where it got absolutely crushed against a reality gauntlet of Idol, Deal or No Deal, Wife Swap, and Top Model and was never seen again. If I were a fan of NBC's Minute to Win It, I think I'd be similarly worried. That show is a bit more established than Power of 10 was, but it's still one reality-heavy hour.

The Top 10 TV Ratings Moments of 2010, 10 to 6

I don't really like the practice of making top 10 best TV lists at the end of the calendar year, since most broadcast shows are still in the middle of their seasons. So I'll hold off on the creative side till the summer (and perhaps just post my 2009-10 top ten post, which is missing a lot of commentary, at some point in the future).

Since I'm mostly about ratings around here, I thought I'd take the year-end top 10 idea in a different direction: what were the ten most memorable/interesting/game-changing moments in the world of TV ratings? OK, all ten moments don't fit all three of those adjectives... but I think they all fit at least one really well! 10 thru 6 right now, the rest tomorrow!

10. Big Bang's Thursday debut (September 23) - The ballsiest move of upfront week 2010 was CBS moving TV's #1 scripted show of 2009-10 by placing The Big Bang Theory in the Thursday leadoff slot. On premiere night, it looked like the show may not miss a beat, as its 4.9 demo was actually up year-to-year from its 2009 premiere in the "cushier" Monday slot. Though Big Bang has dropped into the low 4s since then, that still makes the move a resounding success. Next step: rejuvenating the rest of Thursday.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Midseason Matchups 2011, Tuesday


Winter: No Ordinary Family (ABC) vs. NCIS (CBS) vs. The Biggest Loser (NBC) vs. Glee (Fox) vs. One Tree Hill (The CW)

Spring: (projected) No Ordinary Family (ABC) vs. NCIS (CBS) vs. The Biggest Loser (NBC) vs. Glee (Fox) vs. One Tree Hill (The CW)

Notes: This hour will look a lot like it did in the fall, but an important note for both this and the 9:00 hour is that we don't know for sure where ABC will put the DWTS results show. If anything, the move of American Idol to Wednesday/Thursday might give the net even more incentive to lead off the night with the results show. Then again, giving the best possible lead-in to Body of Proof might take top priority. For now, I'm lining it up the way they had it in the fall, but it's in pencil.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Midseason Matchups 2011, Monday


Winter: The Bachelor (ABC, 1/3) vs. How I Met Your Mother/Rules of Engagement (CBS) vs. Chuck (NBC) vs. House (Fox) vs. 90210 (CW)

Spring: Dancing with the Stars (ABC, 3/21) vs. How I Met Your Mother/MAD LOVE (CBS, 2/21) vs. Chuck (NBC) vs. House (Fox) vs. 90210 (CW)

Cable: Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 1/3)

Notes: This is one of primetime's most stable hours, but keep an eye on 90210. Not that it's had a particularly strong ratings season anyway (0.95 A18-49, 1.85 W18-34 averages to date), but in the winter it gets hit with the women 18-34 double-whammie of The Bachelor and Pretty Little Liars (which, by the second half of its initial run, was usually doing slightly better than 90210 has this season). Could get even uglier.

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 12/26/10 - CBS Midseason: Mad Love, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, The Defenders, Chaos, Blue Bloods

I decided to make this whole Five-Spot all about the only really significant news of the last week, CBS' midseason announcement. The only other notable developments were FX skedding the return of Justified for Wednesday, February 9 and a snowstorm moving NBC's Sunday Night Football game to Tuesday, making it the first Tuesday NFL game since 1946. It will be nationally televised.

Not sure about how the Five-Spots will be going down the next couple weeks with such a dearth of interesting TV and TV ratings running around this time of year. I might do a couple "extra" things this week and then take the week ending January 2 off completely. We'll see.

Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending December 26, 2010:

Mad Love - Many had pegged CBS' new midseason comedy as bound for Thursday night at 8:30 to relieve the could-be-better $#*! My Dad Says, but instead it goes to Monday at 8:30 for what seems like a more natural thematic pairing with How I Met Your Mother. Even if it's a pairing that makes sense, we may not have seen this particular piece of scheduling if not for the fact that Fox moved American Idol into that Thursday 8:00 hour, making it much more precarious to try to launch a new comedy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The War of 18-49, 2010-11 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2009-10 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2008-09 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2007-08 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2006-07 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2005-06 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2004-05 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2003-04 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2002-03 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2001-02 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 2000-01 Battlegrounds


The War of 18-49, 1999-2000 Battlegrounds


Thursday, December 23, 2010

The War of 18-49, Everybody Hates Chris


Why post this on Thursday? Everybody Hates Chris aired on four different nights during its four season run. Its highest-rated by far was the first one, on Thursday.

See (who saw) how it all began: The premiere of Everybody Hates Chris on 9/22/05 was the last of the really world-beating premieres for the "netlets," UPN and the WB, before their merge a year later. At 7.78 million viewers and a 3.2/9 among adults 18-49, it was the most-watched comedy episode in the history of the net. It plunged 25% to a 2.4 demo in week two, then another couple ticks to a 2.2, then rose back to a 2.5 in week four.

The best of times: Those first four weeks remain the four strongest demo performances in the history of the show. It continued hitting 2.0+ as late as episode 9 and still frequently finished in the upper half of the 1's as late as March 2006.

The worst of times: The weakest season of Chris by average was the final one, but that's mostly because the show still did pretty respectably early in season 3. Its weakest run of episodes was definitely in the second half of the third season, when it had an extremely tough time doing much of anything in the Sunday lead-off spot for the last hurrah of the CDub's two-hour comedy block. Even though it was one of the very few scripted shows to actually complete a full 22-episode season of TV during the WGA strike-hindered 2007-08 season, it still took a four-month hiatus along with the other comedies and was DOA when it came back. It got as low as a mere 0.4 demo on 4/6/08, 4/20/08, and 5/4/08. So bad was the performance of it and the other comedies that the network actually stopped programming Sundays in a traditional sense. And a year later, they stopped programming the night altogether!

Then vs. now: Like several other CW shows, including multiple shows I've covered on the War, Everybody Hates Chris was only in part (and maybe even only in small part) axed because of its adults 18-49 numbers. In the end, it and the other comedies didn't hit that demographic sweet spot of women 18-34 that the CW has seemingly been so obsessed with chasing, so it got moved to Friday (alongside a third season of The Game) in what was clearly the first step of a phasing out of the situation comedy genre. Its Friday run was arguably a fairly pleasant surprise ratings-wise, noticeably up from those 0.4 and 0.5 depths it so often hit late in season 3, but it didn't really matter. And Smallville has gone on to significantly improve on those comedies in the Friday 8:00 timeslot.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

Seas Year Timeslot Avg y2y Lo Hi Results Grade
12005-06Thursday 8:001.801.03.2

22006-07CW, Sun 8:00, Mon 8:001.15-36%0.91.4

32007-08Mon 8:00, Sun 8:000.71-39%0.41.1

42008-09Friday 8:000.64-10%0.50.8

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

Seas Year A18-49+ Label Now15 y2y Lo Hi Premiere Finale
12005-06 44 solid(CW)0.75 25 79 79 32
22006-07 31 marginal(CW)0.52 -31% 24 37 24 27
32007-08 21 flop0.36 -30% 12 33 30 15
42008-09 21 solid(CWFri)0.36 -1% 17 27 27 23

For more on The War of 18-49, my look at the history of primetime TV's veteran shows, see the Index.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

War of 18-49 Update, Survivor (fall 2010)

Let's take a look at the fall 2010 season (the twenty-first overall) of Survivor on CBS.

Fall 2010 adults 18-49 low/average/high: 3.2/3.68/4.1

Rating the Ratings: This was the lowest-rated season of Survivor ever, but not by much. It's down a mere 5% from the fall 2009 season (the show's previous weakest) and just 6% from the impressive Heroes vs. Villains campaign in the spring. The 4.1 for the season finale was also the lowest in the history of the show, but most recent finales have been in the low 4's. Once again, nothing to be concerned about. Usually I'd dole out about a B for a low single-digits drop (see The Amazing Race), but I'm knocking this one up a notch because the show took that small drop while moving nights, and its raw numbers are also a bit stronger than the Race. Overall, the show made the transition to Wednesday in fine form. Grade: B+.

Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for Survivor.

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 12/19/10 - Pawn Stars, Hell's Kitchen, Psych/Burn Notice/Leverage, Larry King Live, Perfect Couples

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending December 19, 2010:

Pawn Stars - You don't see a ton of series highs as things slow down in mid-December except for the odd fall finale, but I've gotta give a nod to one of my favorite reality shows, which tied a series high with a whooping 2.5 demo last Monday and hit a series high in total viewers with 6.38 million. That put the History show ahead of everything on the cable top 25 last week not named Monday Night Football. This show can really score at any time of the year; its other 2.5 demos came on 3/8/10 and 7/5/10.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The War of 18-49, Boston Legal


Why post this on Tuesday? Three of Boston Legal's five seasons aired on Tuesdays. Only the first (Sunday) and last (Monday) didn't.

See (who saw) how it all began: Boston Legal began as the first of what would eventually be three regularly-scheduled lead-outs of Desperate Housewives to run 5+ seasons. It premiered on the same night that the Housewives shocked the world with a massive 8.9 demo, and Boston Legal held 54% of that demo in premiering to a 4.8. It'd stay at a 4.8 the next week and spend its first few episodes in the upper 4's. That seems like an impressive hold, but lead-in Desperate Housewives was on the upswing big-time while Legal was holding steady.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 12/19/10 - Burn Notice, Survivor, The Next Survivor, Million Dollar Money Drop, Perfect Couples

Here's my Five-Spot of TV opinions for the week ending December 19, 2010 (or more like December 20):

Burn Notice - The two episodes that made up the finale on Thursday were both good, as a lot of villains of Burn Notice past came back to haunt Michael. And I have to say that I'm quite intrigued by the way the episode ended, with Michael Westen seemingly on his way back into the spy game. You'd think this won't be a long-term thing (or at least not a full-time thing) because they'd drop the other characters, but for now I'm still interested to see where it goes. And Dylan Baker is a great supporting actor get for the show.

Monday, December 20, 2010

War of 18-49 Update, The Biggest Loser (fall 2010)

Let's take a look at the fall 2010 season (the tenth overall) of The Biggest Loser on NBC.

Fall 2010 adults 18-49 low/average/high: 2.3/2.73/4.0

Rating the Ratings: Start with the good news: this season of The Biggest Loser certainly ended on a high note. After spending most of the season hovering around a 2.5 demo, it moved to 9pm (away from heavy competition like Glee and Dancing with the Stars) and posted a 2.9, 3.1, and 4.0 in its final three weeks. Did that save an otherwise awful season?  Not really. Despite the rally, the 2.9 and 3.1 were still more than 15% behind their corresponding eps in the fall 2009 season, and the 4.0 was still 20% behind last fall's 5.0 finale. Overall, the season finished down a whooping 27% from last fall and was a little over 15% lower than the show's weakest previous season (fall 2008). It was really the first major downturn for an otherwise fairly consistent show, and so it still deserves a bad grade. But I'll give it a little better one than the season as a whole likely deserves because of its late rally. Grade: D+.

Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for The Biggest Loser.

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 12/19/10 - Hellcats, Running Wilde, Perfect Couples, Stargate Universe, The Good Guys

Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending December 19, 2010:

CW Midseason - There isn't a whole lot of change going on at the CDub in midseason, but they will be moving drama newbie Hellcats from Wednesday to Tuesday, where it'll most likely have a weaker lead-in in One Tree Hill, but at least it doesn't have to go up against two-hour Idols on Wednesday. Meanwhile, reality newbie Shedding for the Wedding becomes the latest in a very long line of reality newbies to inherit the post-Top Model slot. Pretty much all the others have failed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

War of 18-49 Update, The Apprentice (fall 2010)

Let's take a look at the fall 2010 season (the show's tenth overall and seventh non-celebrity season) of The Apprentice on NBC.

Fall 2010 adults 18-49 high/average/low: 0.9/1.34/1.6

Rating the Ratings: I'm editing this out of the official War of 18-49 post, but I gotta preserve it somewhere, so I'll just remind us all once more that during the summer I prophetically asked, "But have we forgotten just how rapidly this show went down the tubes?" Then I went on to predict in a later post that this supposedly recession-friendly version would do pretty decently. Apparently I should've gone with my first instinct. This season was an embarrassment from the word go, down more than 50% from any previous season of the show, including the most recent celebrity season in early 2010 and the most recent "original recipe" season in early 2007. This show which once pulled a thirteen point six in the demo less than six years ago actually dropped below a 1.0 for a regular elimination ep on Thanksgiving night. Disaster. I actually gave some very brief consideration to upping this grade to a D- because of the "big" spike to a 1.6 for the finale, but then I remembered it also had a much larger than usual lead-in with The Office airing a one-hour episode. Since I'm not clever enough to be able to resist the easy joke, I gotta say it: original recipe Apprentice, y'fired. Grade: F.

Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for The Apprentice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

War of 18-49 Update, The Amazing Race (fall 2010)

Let's take a look at the fall 2010 season (the seventeenth overall) of The Amazing Race on CBS.

Fall 2010 adults 18-49 low/average/high: 2.6/3.32/3.8

Rating the Ratings: As usual, the fall ratings for the Race are a bit of an up-and-down affair on a week-to-week basis due to the wackiness of the football overruns. But at the end of the day, after spending the early part of the season up year-to-year, the show settled into the low 3's and then spiked to a 3.7 for Sunday's finale. That left the season average at a 3.32, down 2% from last fall's version but still the second-highest cycle by average in the last five. -2% is a fine number these days, and while the show's still not one of its strong network's standouts, it's the very definition of a solid player. Grade: B.

Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for The Amazing Race.

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 12/12/10 - The Sing-Off, American Country Awards, Eureka/Warehouse 13/Leverage, Sunday Night Football, Dexter

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending December 12, 2010:

The Sing-Off - In December 2009, the NBC holiday reality series was in "did nicely for December filler; let's bring it back next December" territory. This year, the show has taken the next step into "stronger than almost everything on our schedule" territory, including a 3.3 demo on Monday of the current week. That's gonna make it tough for NBC to resist upgrading it from the "filler" role, but most of the rest of the TV year is littered with singing and dancing competitions. We'll see just how lightly NBC treads.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

War of 18-49 Update, Dancing with the Stars (fall 2010)

Let's take a look at the fall 2010 season (the eleventh overall) of Dancing with the Stars on ABC.

Monday Fall 2010 adults 18-49 low/average/high: 4.0/4.33/5.1
Tuesday Fall 2010 adults 18-49 low/average high: 3.1/3.78/5.3

Rating the Ratings: Dancing has been up on a year-to-year basis pretty much throughout this fall season, though to be fair that fall 2009 season was by far the weakest in the history of the show. Even if you throw that season out, the show's about even with the fall cycle of two years ago, and in primetime these days that's an accomplishment. The Tuesday average was the show's best since fall 2008, and the finale number was the best since 2007. Though last spring's Monday average was higher, this fall's Monday performance was more consistent; the spring season started at a massive 6.4 and declined almost every week, while the fall stayed in the low 4's pretty much starting in the third week. Overall, another stout season turned in by this franchise. Grade: A-.

Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for Dancing with the Stars.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 12/12/10 - Men of a Certain Age, Glee, Community, The Office, Desperate Housewives

Here's a Five-Spot of TV opinions for the week ending December 12, 2010:

Men of a Certain Age - I'm not quite "of a certain age," but this is still one of the most enjoyable shows I watch, and I'm happy to have it back for one more run (probably the last run based on its ratings). Love the show's usually dry humor. It looked like they might be backpedaling on some of the things set up in last season's finale, but I'm happy they ultimately kept Terry working for Owen. I think that's got potential to make Bakula's character more interesting this season. (Haven't seen last night's ep 2 yet.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The War of 18-49, Deal or No Deal


Why Monday? Though Deal or No Deal's nearly 200 episodes were scheduled on literally almost every night of the week, the show always seemed to be at its strongest on Monday night. And Monday was the only night on which it was regularly scheduled during each of its four seasons on the air.

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 12/12/10 - Terriers, ABC 3-Hour Comedy, Lie to Me, The Hasselhoffs, The Closer

Man, why couldn't we have had some of this stuff a couple weeks back when even finding one or two good tidbits was a stretch? Left out of this edition: NBC's upcoming and probably doomed Love Bites sees its order trimmed, The Whole Truth is yanked from the schedule (again), and same with Running Wilde. On to the top 5!  Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending December 12, 2010:

Terriers Canceled - The FX drama, one of an absolute bevy of shows that I managed to stop watching right before it supposedly got amazingly good, will not be returning for a second season. One of the questions I always ask about a show's ratings is, "What could a replacement reasonably do?" It's hard to imagine a replacement drama doing much worse than the 0.28 demo average that Terriers posted, especially when fellow fall FX show Sons of Anarchy often did 5+ times as well.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Network Season Averages in the 2000s

This is another thing, like my recent cable syndication deals list, that seems like it should've been done somewhere already. It maybe/probably has and I just don't know about it. Anyway, here's my version. These are the adults 18-49 averages for each of the big four broadcast networks across the last ten regular seasons.

These averages include sporting events like the Olympics and Super Bowl which typically have noticeable effects on the averages. Ideally I'd love to get averages of just entertainment programming, but this is all I could find for now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

War of 18-49 Update, America's Next Top Model (fall 2010)

Let's take a look at the fall 2010 cycle (the fifteenth overall) of America's Next Top Model on the CW.

Fall 2010 adults 18-49 low/average/high: 1.1/1.30/1.5.

Rating the Ratings: C+. Top Model is still one of the CW's strongest shows, but the drops continue; it's down 14% from the 1.51 average posted in both the fall 2009 and spring 2010 cycles. That's not a bad drop for a show of this age, and it's the show's smallest year-to-year percentage drop in the fall since 2007.  It's been clearly eclipsed by sophomore The Vampire Diaries for the top spot on the CW totem pole; even that 1.5 high for the season finale trails the vast majority of TVD episodes to date this season. But I suppose it's good news for the CW that their top program is finally something actually developed in the CW era.

Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for Top Model.

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 12/5/10 - Holiday Specials, Sons of Anarchy/Terriers, Heat in Cleveland, The Walking Dead, Men of a Certain Age

Here's your Five-Spot of TV ratings news for the week ending December 5, 2010:

Holiday Specials - This is mostly a cable edition of the Ratings Five-Spot, as it was a fairly boring week in broadcast ratings. But of note were all the holiday specials, and here's a quick A18-49 ratings rundown: CMA Country Christmas (ABC) 1.4, How The Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC) 2.2, Shrek the Halls (ABC) 2.4, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS) 3.9, Xmas at Rockefeller Center (NBC) 1.9, Santa Claus is Comin' To Town (ABC) 2.3. Might list a few of the current week's in next week's edition.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The War of 18-49, The Unit


Why post this on Tuesday? Military drama The Unit aired its first three seasons on the night, then moved to Sunday for its final season.

See (who saw) how it all began: The Unit was a midseason replacement for CBS during the 2005-06 season, but its premiere was pretty strong: 18.50 million viewers and a 5.1/12 demo on March 3, 2006. It dropped just 4% to a 4.9 demo in week two, but from there most of its spring 2006 episodes would rate in the upper 3's and low 4's.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 12/5/10 - Survivor, Psych, Fringe, The Office

Here's my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending December 5, 2010:

Survivor - My goal was to not get too redundant with these, but here's Survivor for the fourth time in five Opinion Five-Spots. How can I not talk about DoubleQuitGate? Plenty have voiced their distress that Na'Onka and Purple Kelly are still on the jury after quitting, but what amazed me was how nobody on the show thought about the quitting in terms of alliances or game dynamics. It was all about the morality of quitting. I guess it just goes to show how little actual gameplay there has been in this rather subpar season.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The War of 18-49, Prison Break


Why post this on Monday? 75 of Prison Break's 81 total hours aired on Monday. The only ones that didn't were the last six, which aired on Fridays in 2009. The 2017 revival aired on Tuesday at 9/8c.

See (who saw) how it all began: In the first couple seasons, Prison Break was one of those shows that Fox would premiere several weeks early to make up for the inevitable baseball preemptions. Prison Break premiered on 8/29/05 to a fairly impressive 10.51 million viewers and a 4.6/12 in adults 18-49. It dropped to a 3.9 in week two but bounced right back up to a 4.5 demo in week three. The start of the traditional regular season hurt the show a bit initially, but it would creep back into the low 4's for much of the rest of season 1.

The best of times: Season 1 was when the show was at its strongest, particularly the 11/28/05 fall finale which scored 12.18 million viewers and a 5.5/12 demo. That number stood more than a half point ahead of any other airing, and the show had its five highest ratings ever in the fall half of that first season. But although I'd always heard that season 1 was the only time when the show was really any good, the drops were not realized immediately. Season 2 was down less than 10% and still a fairly impressively-rated season.

The worst of times: Even season 3 did all right for Prison Break, with almost every single episode falling in the low 3's. But by early season 4, it was clear the show was on its way out. Season 4 premiered to a still passable 2.7 but it dropped all the way to a 2.1 just four weeks later and spent most of the rest of its fall run at either a 2.1 or 2.2.  Then came the move to Friday, where it premiered in April 2009 to just a 1.2 demo and got as low as a 0.9 on 5/8/09. It hit new raw lows in the revival eight years later, but overall that short fifth season was stronger on a historical-adjusted basis than what Prison Break had been doing at the end of its original run.

Then vs. now: Prison Break was never really the massive hit in season 1 that I always sort of thought it was, and the aforementioned fall 2005 number was probably the only time it really even showed promise of becoming that. But it really epitomized what people talk about when they talk about a show having a 'core audience.' Within each of the last three seasons, you could count on the show settling at about the same rating almost every single week; look at how small the difference is between the season low and high in season 3, for example. But as with most serialized dramas, that core got smaller and smaller each season, and its significant drops in the opening weeks of season 4 finally put it below the threshold of acceptability. It was probably done for even if it hadn't completely bombed in its spring 2009 move to Friday.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

1Summer 2005-06Mon 8:00, Mon 9:
22006-07Monday 8:003.78-9%3.34.2detail
42008-09Monday 9:001.95-38%0.92.7detail
5Spring 2017Tuesday 9:000.960.71.5detailB+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

1Summer 2005-06103hit(sum)1.2684135113111
5Spring 201778marginal0.965712212273


The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.

The War of 18-49 Returns with All New Episodes!

Since December is a bit of a slow time in the TV season, I thought I'd help fill the gap and "order up" a few new midseason editions of The War of 18-49, my series that looks at the ratings history of veteran programs. There were a handful of eligible regular season shows that I either forgot about or didn't get around to last summer, and this seems like a good time to knock them out. The original plan was six "all new" posts and six "update" posts, in which I add the ratings for a recently completed season and do a brief ratings season-in-review. Sadly, I couldn't find enough info on one of those all new shows (King of the Hill) to really feel good about doing it, so there will only be five all new ones for now. But one for each network...!

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 12/5/10 - The Biggest Loser, Archer/Lights Out, Body of Proof, Dexter, Chase

Here's your Five-Spot of TV scheduling news for the week ending December 5, 2010:

The Biggest Loser Moves to 9/8c - This might not be "news" for this week, more likely back when the listings came out, but the reality show aired at 9/8c on Tuesday this week and will the next two weeks (led into by game show Minute to Win It). The show has taken a beating against DWTS and Glee all season, but things finally turned around on Tuesday as it got away from both and posted a 2.9 demo, tying the season high set for its premiere. That's way up from recent numbers which have oft been south of 2.5.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

#FringeFriday - Can it work?

The night that Fox released their midseason schedule, I did a big post on all of their moves in recent years that had led to the Monday to Thursday schedule, then at the end I threw in an offhand remark that I thought Fringe was dead on Friday night. I'll reiterate that I have loved this season and that I hope it isn't the case, but I thought I'd illuminate a little bit of the math I'm looking at and that this show will have to defy if it does indeed make it into another season.

The two issues here are What must Fringe rate? and What will Fringe rate? A recent Renew/Cancel index at TVByTheNumbers probably does as good a job with the first question as anyone could without knowing more of the money particulars, so I'll just briefly address that point and then move onto the other one, since I by no means "hesitate to predict future ratings." ;-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 11/28/10: DWTS, Skating with the Stars, Mike & Molly, Glee, Modern Family

Here's your TV Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending November 28, 2010:

Dancing with the Stars - The ABC competition reality program has had a very strong cycle throughout and ended on a particularly high note, with both the final Monday performance show and the two-hour Tuesday finale up 23% year-to-year. The 5.3 for the finale was the show's highest finale number since fall 2007. The year-to-year momentum will be tough to maintain this spring, since the fall cycle in 2009 was relatively weak, but it's certainly possible. Especially if the Lindsay Lohan rumors come to fruition.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 11/28/10 - Parenthood, Survivor, Modern Family, The Walking Dead, The Event

This week's edition (and there may be more like this through December) is closer to "the only five things I watched" than "the five notable things I watched." Here's hoping it'll be interesting. Now, my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending November 28, 2010:

Parenthood - This show, which last week I called the only Tuesday show I genuinely enjoy most weeks, was on top of its game for the Thanksgiving episode. It's amazing how much stuff is woven into one episode and how many different dynamics and relationships are touched upon, yet it never feels rushed. There's a lot of heart without being too sappy, and a lot of good drama without going over the top. This is a good show, and probably the best of the Thanksgiving eps I saw, even beating out HIMYM (discussed last week).

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2010 Week Four Recap

Top 5 year-to-year show losers
1. CSI: NY (F9pm vs. W10pm) -46%
t-2. One Tree Hill (R) (T8pm vs. M8pm) -40%
t-2. Gossip Girl (R) -40%
t-2. 90210 (R) (M8pm vs. T8pm) -40%
5. CSI: Miami (Su10pm vs. M10pm) -38%

The CW's repeats kind of clog up the list this week, but it begs the question; if all the repeats on this network full of viewers who don't watch repeats declined from 0.5 to 0.3 this year, does that mean they'll be at an 0.2 next year?  0.1 two years from now? The other two are CSI's, and I talked about the bad tidings in the CSI universe last week. Among those narrowly missing the list are Lie to Me  (-37%), The Biggest Loser's Where Are They Now? special (-37%), and the Survivor special (-35%).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 11/24/10

We wrap up another sweep of year-to-year comparisons with Thanksgiving Eve, not a particularly good evening for year-to-year comparisons since CBS was in repeats this year and originals last and the CDub ran a movie last year.  Recap of week four (and maybe the sweeps as a whole) will probably show up tomorrow.

Scheduling Five-Spot, Extra #1 - Last Year's Midseason Moves

I knew when I started these Five-Spots about a month ago that, with the holiday season looming, it might be tough to find five good scheduling stories per week. Here we are, kicking off just the fourth week of these things, and I've already run across a week where there's literally almost nothing worth reporting in terms of network scheduling tweaks. So I thought that since I've had midseason schedules on the brain lately, thanks to Fox and NBC making some big-time changes, I'd take a look back at some of the most notable midseason moves from this time last year and how they worked out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 11/23/10

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 11/21/10: Conan, Glory Daze, Human Target, AMAs, The Walking Dead

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending November 21, 2010:

Conan - Last week, we looked at Conan's week one ratings track, which started at pretty huge numbers and ended with a 1.0 demo on Thursday. The good news for week 2 of Conan is that it stayed right around that number, which (as I said last week) makes it quite competitive with the biggest broadcast late night shows. His week two adults 18-49 rating track was 1.0 -> 1.1 -> 1.0 -> 0.9. I still think it might ultimately settle at a lower number, but so far his performance has been pretty impressive for TBS.

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 11/22/10

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 11/21/10

List of Cable Syndication Deals

I'm sick of reading articles about shows getting sold into cable syndication and not really knowing whether I should be impressed with the money being dished out. I'm all about the context here, and I've never been able to find a big list like this, so I did some searching and found quite a few per-episode dollar figures for your perusal. "Year" is the year the deal was made. (I thought about including the year the show premiered in first-run, also. I might add that in later, as it's interesting how some of these shows were sold at very different points in their first-run life cycles.) I'll save the inevitable disclaimer for the bottom.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 11/21/10 - Tuesday TV, Glory Daze, Human Target, Fringe, HIMYM

Here's my TV opinions Five-Spot for the week ending November 21, 2010:

Tuesday doldrums - On Tuesdays, I'm recording more than any other night but one (Thursday), and yet I don't really even look forward to any of it, whereas on most other nights there are one or two shows I really do anticipate. Glee is inconsistent, No Ordinary Family is mediocre, Life Unexpected is repetitive. I do usually enjoy Parenthood, but even then I often don't watch the ep for several days. Maybe I ought to just quit TV on the night cold turkey? Been wanting to try The Good Wife and Detroit 1-8-7 again...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 11/19/10

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 11/21/10 - NBC midseason, Medium, Dark Blue, Caprica, Fox midseason

Here's your Five-Spot of TV scheduling news for the week ending November 21, 2010:

NBC Shakes Up Midseason - Everyone was talking about three-hour comedy after NBC's midseason announcement. Deservedly so. I mentioned it last week when it was still just a rumor. Also notable is NBC moving four dramas at midseason: Chase, Parenthood, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: LA. And that's not counting The Event, which goes on hiatus for awhile to make way for newbie The Cape. Will all these moves produce a positive net result? I'm quite skeptical. My tweets on NBC midseason.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fox Midseason: Monday to Thursday Two Years in the Making

Props to all the folks in the TV media who managed to provide full coverage of Fox's midseason sked announcement late on a Friday evening. This is much longer-winded than I intended, but I'll try not to repeat much of what they said. This is a more historical take than what most other folks are providing. Classic overthinking! Here we go.

Fox has been a pretty strong network for several years now, but I've always felt like they've had an ideal and a reality that have been at odds. The ideal is "year-round stability" rivaling that of the other nets, but the reality is "American Idol is seasonal, it leaves big holes on the schedule when it's off the air, but it's so freaking huge that we can't do much about that."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 11/18/10

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2010 Week Three Recap

Top 5 year-to-year show losers
1. CSI: NY (F9pm vs. W10pm) -47%
2. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -41%
3. America's Next Top Model -39%
4. CSI: Miami (Su10pm vs. M10pm) -38%
5. The Biggest Loser (T8-10pm vs. T8:30-10pm) -32%

It's starting to get ugly in CSI world. NY makes this unfortunate list for the third straight week and is in the "top" spot for the second time this sweep. Miami joins the party as well this week; as I wrote in the Ratings Five-Spot a couple days ago, the once promising CBS Sunday is beginning to crumble. Just barely missing the list is the original CSI (-32%), which has headed back south of the 3.0 plateau after a somewhat promising trend earlier in the season. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition remains TV's biggest same-timeslot dropper. Top Model has been down for most of the cycle, but the percentage drops are becoming more pronounced as the show fails to gain momentum leading up to the finale. And The Biggest Loser's problems continue.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 11/16/10

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 11/14/10: Conan, World Series of Poker, CMAs, Psych/Burn Notice, CBS Sunday

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending November 14, 2010:

Conan - The four-night adults 18-49 ratings track for the first week of Conan on TBS: 2.5 -> 1.6 -> 1.4 -> 1.0. While I think the old adage "It's a marathon, not a sprint" is becoming overused, the 1.0 is a lot more important than the 2.5 as far as gauging the show's long-term prospects. At a 1.0 (and it repeated the 1.0 this Monday) it'd still be competitive with the highest-rated broadcast late night. I'm unsure it will maintain even that number, though. For trivia purposes, gotta give props to the 2.5. Nice achievement on basic cable!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 11/15/10

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 11/14/10

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 11/14/10 - Conan, House, Psych, Survivor, Community

Here's your Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending November 14, 2010:

Conan - I watched night one of Conan out of curiosity, and I think that's pretty much all I need to see. That isn't a diss, really, because the typical late night TV format doesn't really interest me, and I haven't found anyone I like enough to tune in every night. But the premiere struck me as mostly an average episode of what he did at 12:35 for many years. I love the digs at NBC, but the other side of that (the "look at how poor and unemployed I am!" side) strikes me as a tad insensitive and doesn't work comedically for me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 11/12/10

NBC Midseason 2011 Thoughts

I thought about doing a full-on blog post about NBC's "rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic" midseason schedule, but I realized pretty early on that I was just saying "I don't really see this show doing much better here" about almost every show on every night, so I decided to just get lazy and reproduce the tweets I made about some of the more interesting points. Not mentioned is the pairing of newbies The Cape and Harry's Law on Monday in January and February, but suffice to say I don't have particularly high hopes. There are a few things I might expand upon in other posts (particularly the 3-hour comedy idea), but this is pretty much the gist of what I felt I had to add to the discussion.

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 11/14/10 - Walking Dead, The Simpsons, Rubicon, Running Wilde, 3-Hour Comedy

Here's your Five-Spot of TV scheduling news for the week ending November 14, 2010:

The Walking Dead Renewed - Well, it made the Opinion and Ratings Five-Spots last week, so why not round it out with news of its renewal on this week's Scheduling one? I talked about how its ratings had redefined its network on the landscape last week. So stellar has been its performance that the net renewed the show the day after its second episode dropped only two tenths from the huge 2.7 demo start.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Some War of 18-49 Tweaks

Thanks to some new ratings info from AudiencesUSA, I have a little more information in my ratings database and have been able to update a few of the averages on my War of 18-49 ratings history posts. Most of the new info was for the 2005-06 season, but there are a handful of updates in the 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons as well. I could've probably just snuck these on and nobody would've ever known the difference, but I thought I'd note it all just in case.

These updates aren't game-changers, but I do separate "minor" and "substantial" updates below. Most "minor" updates didn't change the averages but just slightly improved on the amount of info included. For the most part, the "substantial" updates gave me enough info for that season that I upgraded to my code for more precise averages (two digits after the decimal). There are a few "substantial" updates that gave me a lot more info but still not a complete enough picture for the two-digit averages, including Smallville 2004-05 and Supernatural 2005-06.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 11/9/10

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 11/7/10 - World Series, Elections, Big Bang Theory, Private Practice, The Walking Dead

In my third and (for now) final Five-Spot column of each week, I'll take a look at five interesting ratings stories from this week. Because this comes out on Wednesday, to keep it more current I might end up including Monday of the current week. For now, though, I'll save Conan till next week and look at his entire first week. For more on this whole "Five-Spot" idea, see my intro post from Monday. Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending November 7, 2010:

The World Series - Did a post early last week about recent World Series ratings, but throwing it in again here to reiterate that it was a very weak one historically speaking. In other bad news for Fox, it was also short, meaning the net had to fill two "if necessary" days. They got low 1's from Hell's Kitchen reruns on Wednesday and below-average outings from original Bones and Fringe on Thursday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 11/8/10

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 11/7/10

I'm leaving out some of the particularly sports-affected timeslots, but the CBS NFL overrun and a NASCAR overrun on ABC last year still mess comparisons up a bit. Treating the CBS shows as "same-timeslot" even though they were about 47 minutes apart.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 11/7/10 - Elections, Life Unexpected, Survivor, The Office, The Walking Dead

My second weekly Five-Spot gives some opinions on the stuff I watched this week. I found it pretty difficult doing this from memory, so some of these are more general thoughts on the season to date rather than episode-specific. I'll try to keep a notepad by the TV going forward, and maybe these will get better! For more on this whole "Five-Spot" idea, see my intro post from yesterday. Here's your Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending November 7, 2010:

Election coverage - I mostly watched CNN because I find all the obnoxious technology kinda endearing. I like to flip to other networks during commercials, and I always find it amusing how the cable news nets are even "biased" in their projection making. At most given points when I flipped over, Fox News was painting a slightly rosier picture for the Republicans than CNN. I might actually try to track this scientifically in 2012. I think there's something interesting there. (Well, to me, anyway.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 11/5/10

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 11/7/10 - Off the Map, Skating with the Stars, Life Unexpected, The Chicago Code, Undercovers

And so begins this trial run of Five-Spots! For more, see my intro post earlier today, and tune back in the next couple days for the inaugural Opinion and Ratings Five-Spots. Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending November 7, 2010:

ABC's Off the Map Scheduled at Wednesday 10/9c - Upfront week back in May had ABC's new Shonda Rhimes medical drama slated for Sunday 10/9c after Desperate Housewives; others thought it was eventually bound for Thursday to create a Shonda/Shonda/Shonda night after the quick flop of My Generation. Instead, the show heads to Wednesday, where it will spell the axed The Whole Truth. Seems fine, as the competition there isn't stout.

Let's try something new! Introducing "Five-Spots"

I've mentioned on a couple other occasions that the holy grail of this blog is some sort of "regular" format that lets me keep up with current events a little better. But my standards for this kind of thing have been too high to make it happen. I simply don't think there's a particularly effective way of making day-to-day Nielsen ratings all that interesting. And since this is a labor of love with a pretty insubstantial audience size, doing things I find interesting is high-priority. I applaud the TVByTheNumbers and TheLiveFeeds of the world for trying to make daily ratings interesting by putting such a massive focus on week-to-week fluctuations. I'm in no position to bash that approach from a business standpoint. But it doesn't change the fact that I personally don't find most of those fluctuations all that exciting or compelling, even for shows I really care about. I do the Demos Year-to-Year posts because I think they are a nice piece of context that nobody else looks at very consistently, but even those don't usually warrant much commentary or have much entertainment value on a daily basis. So I'm still unconvinced the nature of the beast really allows for what I want to do.

However, I do have an idea I want to try: break it down by week rather than by day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 11/4/10

What's In a (Producer's) Name?

NBC's Undercovers got the news yesterday that it would not be getting an episode extension, making it one of just six fall newbies (out of 21 total) that won't. The show's ratings consistently underperformed my expectations, particularly the mere 2.1 demo it scored on premiere night. I didn't think a show not just from J.J. Abrams, but seemingly right in the Abrams wheelhouse, could possibly be so close to DOA.

But perhaps I should stop making ratings prognostications based on the names behind the scenes. Some of these "names" are becoming overrated. Let's take a look at the history of a few of TV's most heavily promoted behind-the-lens names. For the most part, these guys haven't created much new show success on TV screens in at least half a decade.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2010 Week One Recap

Back into weekly recap mode!

Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 11/3/10

Hoping for a more generally useful set of comparisons in week 2 of sweeps as we move past the World Series and election coverage. For now, notice that nine of 13 shows on ABC/CBS/NBC/CW improved their timeslots year-to-year on this evening. It's the effect of no World Series plus plenty of year-ago duds (Hank, Eastwick, Christine/Gary, Leno, post-Top Model repeats) out of the way.

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 11/2/10

Because of the election night coverage, and because I'm not able to break down a lot of these programs to make good timeslot comparisons, I've decided to limit the Tuesday post to just a few shows that actually did have originals airing both on Tuesday night and during the year-ago week. Back to normal next time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Recent W orld Series Ratings

Everyone projected it before the 2010 World Series began; "No Yankees, no Red Sox means baaaaaad ratings!" And everyone was right. But just how bad?

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 10/31/10

It's about to get ugly, but of course keep in mind the very important note that it was Halloween this Sunday and it was not Halloween on the year-ago Sunday. So these aren't some of the most relevant comparisons ever.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year Index

"Demos Year-to-Year" are daily posts I create during sweeps periods to track how everything in primetime is doing compared to one year earlier. You see a lot of year-to-year stuff brought up by the big ratings analysts, but it's sorta inconsistently applied, so these daily posts put it all in one place. I just use sweeps periods because that's when there's the highest amount of original programming, and I really want to minimize the original-vs.-repeat or repeat-vs.-repeat comparisons. Most of the time, I also do recaps at the end of each Thursday-to-Wednesday week looking at the biggest year-to-year gainers and losers.

Year2Year - All "Demos Year-to-Year" posts.

Daily Y2Y - All the daily year-to-year posts.

Y2Y Summaries - All the weekly summary/recap posts I've done for year-to-year posts.

May Sweeps 2012
February Sweeps 2012
November Sweeps 2011
Premiere Week 2011
May Sweeps 2011
February Sweeps 2011 - Again, light on recap posts for the same Olympics-related reason. Hopefully February 2012 will finally produce some good ones!
November Sweeps 2010
Premiere Week 2010
May Sweeps 2010
February Sweeps 2010 - Didn't do recap posts for this period because the Winter Olympics and the digital TV transition in 2009 created a lot of "bad" comparisons. But all the daily posts are still there.
November Sweeps 2009
May Sweeps 2009

Fall 2010 Returning Show Ratings Roundup

Tomorrow (or maybe Saturday) will mark the triumphant return of my "Demos Year-to-Year" posts for another four weeks! It's the closest thing I have to a daily post about ratings, since I'm generally more of a "big picture" guy than a week-to-week fluctuations guy.

One big picture I haven't looked too much at is how all the returning shows are doing. I've said a lot about the new shows, and so has everyone else, and that's largely because on the week-to-week basis they are most interesting. We'll look at pretty much everything once "Demos Year-to-Year" gets going, but here's a big picture look at a few of those returnees whose pre-sweeps ratings have stuck out to me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What'd Advertisers Think About New Shows?

Last year, I applied what I determined as the average price for 1% of adults 18-49 to all the new show ad rates to try to get a sense of what the advertisers thought about the new shows. After all, their predictions are much more important than any of us randoms on the Internet, since they're throwing a ton of money into this stuff. I'm gonna take another look at that for this year, using the new show ad rates along with the ~$44,000 for a demo point average I derived from comparing all same-timeslot shows' ratings and ad rates. I'll note again that the average is very rough, and perhaps the more important thing here is how the shows line up on the "totem pole" against other new shows.

Monday, October 25, 2010

CW demo: ...or is it?

Way back in my first post on the so-called "CW Demo" of women age 18 to 34, I basically decided that I would start evaluating CW shows based on women 18-34 ratings due to exactly one comparison: Gossip Girl getting about 80% more ad dollars than Supernatural despite it having almost the exact same adults 18-49 rating.

That's not a very solid foundation, but that discrepancy hasn't changed in 2010-11 ad rates: Gossip Girl got 62% more money per 30 second spot than Supernatural ($47,248 vs. $29,100) even though Supernatural actually had over 10% more A18-49 (1.22 vs. 1.09). In this year's case we do have to figure in some speculation, since Supernatural was headed to Friday night, where Smallville took a big year-to-year hit last season. But even if you give Supernatural a 1.00 demo (about what Smallville got last year), that still means Gossip Girl's getting about 50% more bucks per A18-49. That means adults 18-49 is an invalid number for looking at the CDub, right?!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ad Rates Year-to-Year

It's often said that the broadcast TV model is going to die whenever the advertisers finally "realize" they are spending more and more money for a smaller and smaller piece of the TV viewing pie.

Apparently the 2010 upfront was not when that happened.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Revisiting "Peetooplus" - It's Still a Demo World

A little over ten months ago, I embarked on a journey to "prove," using what very little advertising cost data is available to the public, that the number of adults age 18-49 watching a program is much more important than the number of viewers of all ages. Yesterday, Ad Age released the 2010-11 version of the article from which I got all the numbers. In the article, you can read all the disclaimers about how these numbers are pretty rough estimates and not indicative of all the ad buying, but I think they're close enough to get a good idea about some trends. I'll look at a couple other things with these numbers later this week, but for now I wanted to start with a redux of my "Peetooplus" project that looks at total viewers and young adult demo viewers vs. ad rates.

This year, I looked at 48 fall programs that returned to the same timeslot. That's way more than I had last year, since I now have averages for several returning shows that I didn't last year. (To reiterate from last year's version, I just look at same timeslot shows to try to limit the influence of speculation in the ad rates, but no doubt it's still a factor.) The next two scatter plots show Live + Same Day, original only adults 18-49 average vs. ad rates and then total viewer average vs. ad rates.

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