Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The War of 18-49, Dancing with the Stars



DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC) 

Scheduling history: It took a few seasons of shuffling for ABC to figure out where they wanted to put Dancing with the Stars. It debuted as a Wednesday-only program in summer 2005. Its first regular season turn was a Thursday/Friday season. Then it went to Tuesday/Wednesday for the fall 2006, then in spring 2007 ABC finally put it in the Monday/Tuesday slots where it remained for many years. Starting in fall 2013, ABC removed the Tuesday results show.

See (who saw) how it all began: Like so many of today's hits, Dancing with the Stars was not exactly high on its network's priority list from the get-go. It debuted as an early-summer show with just a six-episode order on 6/1/05, where it pulled 13.5 million total viewers and a 4.3 demo. A six-episode season of that show seems so ludicrous nowadays, when there are two eps a week for two months! By the end of that first season, it had climbed all the way to a 6.7 demo.

The best of times: A special Sunday finale for season two of the show (which was a midseason entry on Thursdays/Fridays) pulled a whooping 8.6 demo on 2/26/06, a number that no other season has really come within striking distance of matching. But that was an enormous spike from an otherwise fairly ho-hum season by DWTS standards; that finale brought the Friday results average up by more than a point! The highest overall season was the third, which saw every performance show break a 5.0 demo, but the spring 2011 campaign was most potent compared to the rest of the entertainment field.

The worst of times: Starting in fall 2011, Dancing with the Stars began a three-year run of fast bleeding. That season was down at least 20%, and the subsequent two (both of which had to face emergent singing competition The Voice) each dropped 30%+ on the performance night and 25%+ on the results night. For many years, the worst seasons on a historical-adjusted basis came in the 2012-13, and there was a notable recovery across the next five. But the next downturn began in 2017-18, starting with a soft-ish fall season and ending with an ill-conceived four-week 'Athletes' edition in the spring. That became the first DWTS season to drop below the league average, including a 1.0 demo on 5/71/8 and 5/14/18. The bad times continued the next fall season, which got as low as 0.8.

Then vs. now: Historically speaking, this was long one of the healthiest of the big reality franchises. That all changed in the 2011-12 season, as NBC threw singing competition shows at DWTS all season. The show took a 20%+ hit in the fall, but that was nothing compared to the massive drops the show took vs. The Voice in the spring. Some drastic change with Dancing with the Stars was seemingly looming for a couple years, and another couple rough seasons in 2012-13 finally made it happen; ABC axed the show's Tuesday results show and only aired it on Monday. But maybe the reduction to one night made a difference, as the series had a couple surprisingly solid seasons in 2013-14 and another couple good ones in 2014-15. It's still not back to vintage DWTS levels, but it got closer than seemed possible during the collapse years. The question now is whether the ship can be re-steadied after a rockier run in 2017-18.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
1Summer 2005Wednesday 9:005.104.36.7detail
2Winter 2006Thursday 8:005.03-1%4.65.5detail
Friday 8:004.823.08.6
3Fall 2006Tuesday 8:005.685.27.5detail
Wednesday 8:004.823.77.1
4Spring 2007Monday 8:005.30+5%4.86.4detail
Tuesday 9:004.75-2%3.96.7
5Fall 2007Monday 8:005.24-8%4.76.0detail
Tuesday 9:004.69-3%3.96.4
6Spring 2008Monday 8:004.68-12%4.15.6detail
Tuesday 8:004.25-11%3.65.4
7Fall 2008Monday 8:004.41-16%3.95.3detail
Tuesday 9:003.91-17%3.35.1
8Spring 2009Monday 8:004.86+4%4.26.1detail
Tuesday 9:003.62-15%2.85.2
9Fall 2009Monday 8:003.66-17%3.44.1detail
Tuesday 9:003.30-16%2.64.3
10Spring 2010Monday 8:004.840%4.06.4detail
Tuesday 8:002.83-22%2.43.9
11Fall 2010Monday 8:004.32+18%4.05.1detailA-
Tuesday 9:003.78+15%3.15.3
12Spring 2011Monday 8:004.65-4%4.05.3detailA
Tuesday 9:003.63+28%3.04.6
13Fall 2011Monday 8:003.28-24%2.84.0detailD
Tuesday 9:003.06-19%2.64.1
14Spring 2012Monday 8:002.98-36%2.63.5detailD
Tuesday 9:002.67-26%2.23.3
15Fall 2012Monday 8:002.26-31%2.12.7detailD
Tuesday 8:002.23-27%1.83.0
16Spring 2013Monday 8:002.29-23%2.03.2detailD+
Tuesday 9:002.13-20%1.52.7
17Fall 2013Monday 8:002.16-5%1.73.1detailB
18Spring 20142.33+2%1.92.6detailA-
19Fall 20142.13-1%1.73.0detailB+
20Spring 20152.10-10%1.92.3detailB
21Fall 20151.93-10%1.72.4detailB-
22Spring 20161.74-17%1.62.0detailC+
23Fall 20161.70-12%1.52.1detailB+
24Spring 20171.61-8%1.32.1detail
25Fall 20171.39-18%1.21.6detailC
26Spring 20181.06-34%1.01.1detailD
27Fall 20180.95-31%0.81.1detailD

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow19y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
1Summer 2005125big hit(sum)1.19106165106165
2Winter 2006124solid1.18-1%113135118121
119hit(Fri)1.137421274212
3Fall 2006151big hit1.43138199151199
128hit1.2298188109188
4Spring 2007141hit1.34+13%127170170141
126hit1.20+6%104178119178
5Fall 2007158big hit1.51+5%142181175181
142hit1.35+11%118193124193
6Spring 2008141hit1.34+1%124169169133
128hit1.22+2%109163124163
7Fall 2008146hit1.39-8%130176176156
130hit1.24-8%110170120170
8Spring 2009162big hit1.54+14%140203203146
120solid1.14-6%9317393173
9Fall 2009130hit1.23-11%121146146142
117solid1.11-10%92153117153
10Spring 2010172big hit1.64+7%142227227142
101solid0.96-16%85139107139
11Fall 2010170big hit1.61+31%157201201193
149hit1.41+27%122208173208
12Spring 2011183big hit1.74+6%157208208185
143hit1.36+42%118181169181
13Fall 2011139hit1.32-18%119169169148
130hit1.23-13%110174123174
14Spring 2012126hit1.20-31%110148148123
113solid1.07-21%93140131140
15Fall 2012107solid1.02-23%100128119128
106solid1.01-18%85142100142
16Spring 2013109solid1.03-14%95152152123
101solid0.96-11%71128114128
17Fall 2013115solid1.09+7%90165165127
18Spring 2014124solid1.18+14%101138138127
19Fall 2014127hit1.21+11%101178143178
20Spring 2015125hit1.19+1%113137125137
21Fall 2015133hit1.26+4%113165148165
22Spring 2016120solid1.14-4%107136124107
23Fall 2016139hit1.32+5%121176176145
24Spring 2017131hit1.25+10%110168168110
25Fall 2017127hit1.21-9%111149149122
26Spring 201897marginal0.92-26%87105105104
27Fall 2018100solid0.95-21%89117105117

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

1 comment:

Spot said...

Now that you've developed Hit for Summer labels, shouldn't it apply to Dancing with the Stars initial run in June/July 2005 instead of the Friday standards?

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