Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What'd Advertisers Think About New Shows?

Last year, I applied what I determined as the average price for 1% of adults 18-49 to all the new show ad rates to try to get a sense of what the advertisers thought about the new shows. After all, their predictions are much more important than any of us randoms on the Internet, since they're throwing a ton of money into this stuff. I'm gonna take another look at that for this year, using the new show ad rates along with the ~$44,000 for a demo point average I derived from comparing all same-timeslot shows' ratings and ad rates. I'll note again that the average is very rough, and perhaps the more important thing here is how the shows line up on the "totem pole" against other new shows.

Show Spec Eps Below
Mike & Molly 4.3 100%
Lone Star 3.3 100%
The Event 3.1 80%
Hawaii Five-0 3.0 20%
Raising Hope 2.9 50%
Outsourced 2.8 60%
The Whole Truth 2.7 100%
Running Wilde 2.6 100%
Better with You 2.6 100%
$#*! My Dad Says 2.6 0%
Detroit 1-8-7 2.6 100%
The Defenders 2.5 40%
No Ordinary Family 2.4 50%
Undercovers 2.1 80%
My Generation 2.1 100%
Chase 2.0 60%
Law & Order: LA 1.8 0%
Blue Bloods 1.6 0%
Nikita 1.4 83%
Outlaw 1.3 83%
Hellcats 0.7 0%

The "spec" is the speculated demo rating, derived by dividing their ad dollars by the average price per demo. "Eps below" is the percentage of episodes through five weeks of the season that have already fallen below that speculated demo. So how'd the advertisers do?

The Good: We have to start with Mike & Molly, correctly pegged as the biggest hit of the season. They went a little overboard with how high its ratings would be, at least so far; it pulled in over 90% of the ad dollars of lead-in Two and a Half Men, and its demo retention hasn't usually been that high. Still a good pick. And despite all the media hype around Hawaii Five-0, give the advertisers credit, as they didn't see a major hit. It was still one of the most expensive shows in the 10:00 hour, but it's also been one of the highest-rated shows in the 10:00 hour. They also weren't buying what Law & Order: LA was selling, and while the show is still above their expectations, so far they're closer to being right than the people were who said it was a surefire hit. Several other shows (My Generation, Chase, Outlaw, Undercovers) were correctly pegged as modest performers. They did even worse than speculated, but as I said last year, almost nothing gets sold as a total flop right out of the gate, so at least they had the right idea.

The Bad: The one that sticks out like a sore thumb is Lone Star, which got the second most ad dollars of any new show before promptly becoming one of the biggest flops in broadcast network history. I guess it's kinda comforting to know that even the people putting in the real dollars can be so, so wrong!  Another obvious miss is The Whole Truth, pegged slightly ahead of newbie timeslot competition The Defenders and way ahead of Law & Order: LA, but it has not even been competitive with those shows. Several other shows (Detroit 1-8-7, Running Wilde, The Event, Nikita to name a few) were expected to do significantly better than they have. And in this year that I've frequently said has been terrible for new shows, only a few shows have exceeded expectations, most noticeably $#*! My Dad Says and Hellcats.

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