Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The War of 18-49, Criminal Minds



CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)

Scheduling history: With two exceptions (a post-CSI preview to kick off the series on 9/22/05 and a post-Super Bowl airing on 2/4/07) Criminal Minds has aired all of its episodes on Wednesdays. The first dozen seasons were at 9/8c, followed by a move to the 10/9c hour.

See (who saw) how it all began: Criminal Minds premiered on a Thursday night, getting a boost from a then-extremely potent CSI on 9/22/05 and drawing 19.57 million viewers and a 6.5/17 in the demo.  While that seemed solid, it lost almost half of that in its first episode on Wednesday, getting just 10.57 million viewers and a 3.3/8 on 9/28/05. But it would recover from the slow start with a 4.2 just two weeks later and develop into a solid performer.

The best of times: Its two special airings (10.0 post-Super Bowl and 6.5 post-CSI) are easily its two strongest ratings ever, but aside from an above average episode the Wednesday after the Super Bowl, neither had a meaningful impact on future episodes. The show has always suffered in the spring from having to face American Idol, so its best extended run was probably early season 2 in fall 2006, when it was usually at a 4.5 or higher and produced the only three in-timeslot 5.0+ results in series history.

The worst of times: Season one remains Criminal Minds' weakest season on a historical-adjusted basis. After an incredibly consistent run from 2007-08 through 2011-12, barely dropping at all in raw numbers, it finally took a significant downturn in 2012-13, and was down about the same amount the next three seasons. It was at its ugliest in fall 2015, going as low as a 1.5 on 11/18/15, before rallying impressively in the second half of season eleven. It fell to new raw lows again in season twelve, but was still stronger than it was in season one in historical-adjusted metrics. The show finally hit its weakest Plus levels ever with the move to 10/9c in season 13, and went fractional (0.9) several times throughout the season. Season 14 was all fractional, including a slew of 0.7's.

Then vs. now: While Criminal Minds was essentially hitting the same raw numbers over a five-year period, the rest of the original series programming on the big four dropped by nearly 30%. As a result, Criminal Minds quietly became a much more valuable show in the landscape, eventually overshadowing its once much larger lead-out CSI: NY. 2012-13 brought its first noticeable ratings hit in many years, but it's still a considerably stronger relative show than in the first half of its run. There was a delay in getting Criminal Minds renewed for 2013-14, but there was little doubt it would actually happen. At moments of weakness, there have been rumors about it moving to the 10/9c hour, but 2017-18 was the year when it finally actually happened.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
12005-06Wednesday 9:004.103.36.5detail
22006-074.27+4%3.35.2detail
32007-083.64-15%3.14.5detail
42008-093.61-1%3.04.7detail
52009-103.600%3.14.4detail
62010-113.46-4%2.94.0detailB-
72011-123.39-2%2.84.1detailB
82012-132.87-15%2.43.1detailC
92013-142.49-13%2.22.8detailC+
102014-152.14-14%1.82.7detailC+
112015-161.78-17%1.42.2detailB-
122016-171.38-22%1.21.8detailC
132017-18Wednesday 10:000.99-29%0.91.3detailB-
142018-190.76-23%0.70.9detailC

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow19y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
12005-06101solid0.968116016089
22006-07113solid1.08+12%8813811998
32007-08110solid1.05-3%94136106103
42008-09120solid1.14+9%100156156116
52009-10128hit1.22+7%110156156110
62010-11136hit1.29+6%114157157130
72011-12144hit1.36+6%119174174152
82012-13136hit1.29-5%114147147133
92013-14132hit1.26-3%117149149143
102014-15127hit1.21-4%107161161107
112015-16122solid1.16-4%100148135122
122016-17113solid1.07-8%96151151127
132017-1890marginal0.86-20%7912012079
142018-1980marginal0.76-11%69907888

AVERAGE:118solid
CAREER:1652icon



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

1 comment:

yankeesrj12 said...

A 3.64, 3.61, and a 3.60? Wow, that is VERY consistent. Hopefully Criminal Minds continues to do well next season! :)

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