Friday, February 12, 2010

MTV in W18-34

One of the CW's crown jewels in the "CW demo" of W18-34 is an unscripted show, America's Next Top Model, and it remains that way despite hefty declines in recent cycles. But it's not the only unscripted show that taps successfully into that demo; cable net MTV has a bevy of them. And it's that success (along with similar shows on nets like E!) that has inspired the CDub to try out a couple "docudramas" of their own, called High Society and Fly Girls, which will air after Top Model starting in March. It won't be easy, but if they can generate MTV-esque buzz, they could be among the most successful shows on the net.

Here are a few recent results for MTV shows in W18-34:

Jersey Shore - Don't have a figure on the very low-rated series premiere of a show that in two months became a cultural phenomenon, but the six subsequent episodes averaged a 2.6 W18-34. Even that number isn't indicative of just how big the show got, though. The third-to-last and second-to-last eps got a 3.0 and 2.8 respectively, and then the finale broke out at a staggering 4.7.

Teen Mom - This show replaced The Hills in the Tuesday 10pm hour and did very well; the nine results that I have access to (out of ten total airings) averaged a 3.0 W18-34 and, like Jersey Shore, peaked at a 4.7. That one result I don't have access to was a season low, so it may have brought the average down into the upper-2's, but still impressive.

The Hills - The most recent ten-episode season averaged a 2.8 W18-34, and while I don't have W18-34 numbers going farther back, my impression was that previous seasons did even better.

The City - The spinoff of the above show averaged a 2.3 W18-34 airing in the post-Hills slot. That puts average retention at about 83%.

The Real World - This really old reality show has averaged a 1.8 W18-34 in the first seven episodes of this, its twenty-third season.

America's Best Dance Crew - Not enough data yet on this one to really say much, but its fifth season premiered on January 28 with a 2.3 W18-34 and dropped to a 1.5 last Thursday. My inkling is this will be another mid to upper 1's show like The Real World.

Bringing this back to broadcast, I hope I've illustrated that you probably shouldn't write off the CW's upcoming docudramas just yet. Even The Hills, which has fallen from its highest-rated days, would be right up there with the biggest shows on the CW, and when you can really catch on with something the way Jersey Shore and Teen Mom did, the potential is huge. A 4.7 in W18-34 is unheard of on the CDub these days.

But High Society and Fly Girls will be facing a couple major obstacles, namely the lack of history for this kind of show on the network and the fact that, despite getting a good lead-in by CW standards, they'll be up against the #1 show on TV in American Idol. I would say even if they can find the upper 1's of The Real World, they would be considered OK efforts. For comparison, that'd put them ahead of where the much more expensive Life Unexpected is at right now. (It got a 1.6 this week)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have a feeling FLY GIRLS is going to be a hit. I've heard some realy good buzz and I've also heard that Dawn Ostroff doesn't like it which probably means it's ACTUALLY good because she has HORRIBLE taste!

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