Friday, July 2, 2010

See (who saw) how it all began!

Am I blue? Hope you like the new layout. Decided to kinda stick with the general flavor of the Blogger-provided "Dots" template but do my own graphics and go from the earth-tonesy colors to something a little sleeker. (Or more boring?) I might be mixing it up again at some point, but we'll go with this for now.

Anyway, I've been virtually nonexistent on the blarg and the Twitter in the last several weeks because I've been spending most of my Internet time lately digging up old TV ratings from articles and press releases of yesteryear. (Also had a week-long vacation last week.) By "old TV ratings" I mostly mean the first half of the 2000s, so not really old, but older than my personal interest in the stuff. Circa 2007 I was mostly just a TV watcher, not a follower of the industry, but I got linked to PIFeedback on some TV fan site around that time, and I quickly became hooked. While that's just one dude's experience, I'm probably not alone in taking on an interest around that time, or since that time, as PIFeedback started up in late 2006 and TVByTheNumbers in 2007. There are tons of shows on the air right now or that have recently been canceled about which I've spilt a lot of ratings-related ink without really knowing anything about where they came from Nielsen-wise.

So I've made this into a big research project, an attempt to expand my TV ratings horizons. For lack of a more clever title, I'm calling it "The War of 18-49."* I'm gonna try and consolidate some of this digging into a form I can share with you. I won't be dumping my big charts with every single data point, but I'll try to do some interesting summary. Each day, I'll have a new post focusing on one show, relating where it was then to where it is now (or where it was when canceled). The information gets sparser the farther back I go, and I've had trouble finding almost anything about A18-49 before around 1999, meaning there are a few shows that I won't be able to take all the way back to the very beginning. But for the vast majority of the shows I've scheduled, I'll have info pretty much from start to finish.  So that should be illuminating, at least for me.

The plan is to roll one of these out every day for the next eight weeks. (Except Saturdays.)  I waited on posting this until I had most of my ratings digging done and had a week of posts ready to go. I won't rule out the possibility of needing to take a week off to get back on track down the line, but with this head start, there's some reasonable chance I won't get hopelessly behind.  I have eight shows lined up per day of the week, and within each day of the week I will start with latest-premiering show and go backwards, which gives me several weeks to do some more digging in the early '00s and get the more extensive posts ready to go.

So that's a summary of how this will go. The 48-post epic will start showing up on Monday, and I'm hoping to have some more explanation/disclaimer for this project within the next two or three days, so stay tuned for that.

*- I wanted a title for this project that had some historical gravitas, and that's the best I could come up with.  There is no war in history I'm aware of that is termed "The War of 1849," because that would just be too convenient, but I decided I liked the sound of it anyway. I considered something like "The Gold Rush of 18-49," which would match up with an actual event, but I just didn't like the sound of it enough. So if anybody has a cooler idea, let me know.

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