Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Two Weeks, Romantically Challenged

Upcoming on the blog is my sweeps tradition, the year-to-year updates. Expect them to be more useful this time and for me to not litter half the posts with apologies for even doing them as in February. I've explored the possibility of starting to create short and sweet daily posts with my insight on the day's ratings, but so far I haven't come up with a format that says anything unique or that I'd be interested in reading (much less writing) on a daily basis. Still, if I find some kind of inspiration, I may be giving that a try shortly, as there's only a month left in the regular season and any kind of test run would need to get going soon. Also working on a series of article-length posts about the importance of lead-in/lead-out dynamics, which may or may not start to show up fairly shortly. For now, the first two weeks of another primetime scripted program!

Romantically Challenged (ABC)

Sampling: Airing out of the very large Dancing with the Stars performance show on Monday, ABC's traditional sitcom Romantically Challenged premiered with a 2.9 demo. That's got it ahead of already-renewed The Middle, but it's hard to grade this 2.9 as highly as The Middle's 2.6, because Dancing was north of a 5.0 in the 9:00 hour. This is not necessarily death, but it's not a good start.

Retention: In week 2, a modest 10% drop left the show at a 2.6 demo and losing just under half of the DWTS 9:00 lead-in. The raw number looks OK, but the retentionista in me says that losing half your lead-in in just a half hour is not something that a successful show is going to be doing.

Prognosis: System says borderline, but system doesn't account for lead-in-based boosts in ratings and in expectations. The first two weeks are particularly important when a show is only scheduled to run three weeks. According to Pavan at Sitcoms Online, it may get a fourth airing on May 17 if it does well next week, but don't count on that, as next week's airing will be the first to face an original of TV's strongest scripted show, The Big Bang Theory. There isn't going to be a lot of data to go on, but I'm guessing that ABC will see a show dropping half of the 9:00 audience in the 9:30 half-hour and see a flop. They did it last year with Surviving Suburbia when many called for renewal.

EDIT: Actually, TBBT will still be a rerun at 9:30 and it airs the original on that night at 9:00. Sorry for that mistake. That opens the window slightly for Romantically Challeneged, but I'm still saying it's a one-and-doner. Thanks to Jimmy722.

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

Life Unexpected 3.6*
Glee 3.5
Accidentally on Purpose 3.3
The Good Wife 3.1
Parenthood 3.1
Eastwick 3.0
Human Target 2.9
Romantically Challenged 2.9
Past Life 2.8
The Middle 2.6

The Forgotten 2.6
Mercy 2.3
Trauma 2.2
Hank 2.1
Sons of Tucson 2.1
Three Rivers 1.9
The Deep End 1.8
The Beautiful Life: TBL 1.8*
Miami Medical 1.6
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.

The Good Wife +3%
The Deep End even
Accidentally on Purpose -6%
Flashforward -8%
Glee -9%
Mercy -9%
Modern Family -10%
The Cleveland Show -10%

Sons of Tucson -10%
Romantically Challenged -10%
Three Rivers -11%
Miami Medical -13%
Cougar Town -14%
The Vampire Diaries -16%
Parenthood -16%
Human Target -17%
The Beautiful Life: TBL -18%
The Middle -19%

Brothers - 20%
Trauma -23%
Eastwick -23%
The Forgotten -23%
Life Unexpected -24%
Hank -24%
V -27%
Community -29%
Melrose Place -31%
Past Life -50%

EXCELLENT (6 points) - NCIS: Los Angeles, Flashforward, Modern Family, The Cleveland Show
GOOD ENOUGH (5 points) - The Vampire Diaries, Cougar Town, Accidentally on Purpose, Glee, The Good Wife
BORDERLINE (4 points) - V, Mercy, The Deep End, Melrose Place, Human Target, Parenthood, Community, The Middle, Romantically Challenged
IN TROUBLE (2-3 points) - TBL:TBL, Eastwick, Three Rivers, Life Unexpected, Past Life, Sons of Tucson, Miami Medical (3 points), The Forgotten, Trauma, Brothers, Hank (2 points)

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