Thursday, July 29, 2010

"The CW Demo" Roundup, Summer 2010

I've done a few posts about the "CW Demo" of women 18-34 before, but it's been several months. So I figured I'd give an update, since the traditional season is over and a lot of new stuff has been going on in the summer. It's also a particularly apt day for a post about this demographic, since Jersey Shore - which grew to become a powerhouse in that demo late in its first season - returns for the season 2 premiere tonight.


First, the original averages in W18-34 for the CW series in 2009-10.  I had a lot of these in my previous post, but I believe it was the averages as of some winter hiatus, and these are for the complete season.

Vampire Diaries 2.67
America's Next Top Model (fall) 2.65
America's Next Top Model (spring) 2.55
Gossip Girl 2.45
One Tree Hill 2.19
90210 1.86
Life Unexpected 1.63
Supernatural 1.45
Melrose Place 1.29
Fly Girls 0.76
Smallville 0.75
High Society 0.66

And one more broadcast note of interest: Fox's Glee was a massive hit in the CW demo, averaging a 5.72 for the season and often holding all of or even sometimes building on American Idol, which is a juggernaut itself in the demo.


The two cable networks that I've looked at in the past for this demo are ABC Family and MTV, which have two pretty different approaches to getting the demo.  Here's how ABC Family's scripted stuff is doing:

The Secret Life of the American Teenager - Its first eight originals this summer have averaged a 2.63 in W18-34, which is up a bit from its early 2010 run. As I mentioned before, and as you can see in this post where it's all consolidated, that 2.63 average would put it right up there with the best of the CW shows in that demo.

Pretty Little Liars - Ever since the launch of Secret Life, ABC Family has never been able to find anything with remotely comparable ratings outside of the immediate post-Secret Life timeslot, until now. The 2.03 average in W18-34 for the first eight episodes would still make Pretty Little Liars a decent performer on the CW, but while it's been somewhat competitive with Secret Life in total viewers and usually beats it in teen demos (the other part of ABC-F's target demo), it continues to lag a bit behind in W18-34. Still impressive compared to most of the rest of what the net has offered, though.

Huge - The first 5 episodes of Huge have averaged a 1.54 in W18-34, retaining ~60% of the mid-2's that its Secret Life lead-in is doing.  Will that be good enough for an extension? It hasn't happened yet, but I would not be too surprised to see ABC Family give this show another chance, especially since (by ABC Family standards) it seems to have some critical praise going for it.

Make It or Break It - This show is the lowest of the bunch, averaging a 1.20 in W18-34 across its first five episodes of the summer. MIOBI got moved to Tuesdays after two episodes, as ABC Family saw they finally had something going on Tuesday with Pretty Little Liars, but it hasn't helped the numbers, which have been just a 1.1, 1.2, and 1.0 in the CW Demo since the move. But like Pretty Little Liars, it's another show that does much better in the teen demos than in the 18-34 ones, so it's tough to gauge its renewal chances from these numbers alone.

And here's an update on MTV's unscripted W18-34 draws:

The Hills - The long-running MTV docu-drama came to an end this summer, but it went out on a pretty good note, averaging a 3.19 in W18-34 for its final twelve-episode season, peaking with a 4.4 for the season premiere and a 4.2 for the series finale. That 3.19 average is up from the 2.8 average of the penultimate run of ten episodes. It probably goes without saying, but that average is well above any of the scripted stuff on the CW or ABC Family.

The City - Lead-out The City will march on without The Hills, and it averaged a 2.48* in W18-34 for its final run with the Hills lead-in. On average, it held more than three quarters of the Hills audience in this demo, but how will it do on its own? To be continued.

*- I'm missing one of the twelve data points for The City's season, so the average may be slightly off of this, but not enough to be significant.

The Real World - The first four episodes of season twenty-four of The Real World have averaged a 1.65 in W18-34, but that average may continue to rise, as it premiered very low (1.1) and has since gotten better.

Teen Mom - We're just starting into the new season of Teen Mom, so I don't have much data, but the 4.2 and 3.6 in W18-34 for the first two episodes mean this show is doing exceptionally well in that demo, even if it doesn't get the press of The Hills and Jersey Shore (probably because it doesn't have the big-personality celebrities of those shows). Like ABC Family with Secret Life, it seems MTV has figured out that this demo has a lot of interest in teen pregnancy and motherhood. (The series from which Teen Mom spun off, 16 and Pregnant, is another strong performer. My cursory glance at its most recent season indicates its W18-34 ratings usually fall in the mid to upper 2's.)

Will Jersey Shore blow all these shows out of the water? It exploded late in season 1 with a 4.7 W18-34 for the finale, and perhaps this is a boneheaded prediction on my part, but I think it will exceed even that number this season. I've never seen the show, but it seems like the celebrity of its stars has only grown since the first season wrapped.

1 comment:

Alex Ong said...

Huge keeps slipping, and Make It Or Break It can't even get a boost out of PLL, even though they're trying. But I'm sure Dawn at The CW is still wondering how a little cable channel and still have the potential to out-demo her little channel.

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