Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 11/28/10 - Parenthood, Survivor, Modern Family, The Walking Dead, The Event

This week's edition (and there may be more like this through December) is closer to "the only five things I watched" than "the five notable things I watched." Here's hoping it'll be interesting. Now, my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending November 28, 2010:

Parenthood - This show, which last week I called the only Tuesday show I genuinely enjoy most weeks, was on top of its game for the Thanksgiving episode. It's amazing how much stuff is woven into one episode and how many different dynamics and relationships are touched upon, yet it never feels rushed. There's a lot of heart without being too sappy, and a lot of good drama without going over the top. This is a good show, and probably the best of the Thanksgiving eps I saw, even beating out HIMYM (discussed last week).

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2010 Week Four Recap

Top 5 year-to-year show losers
1. CSI: NY (F9pm vs. W10pm) -46%
t-2. One Tree Hill (R) (T8pm vs. M8pm) -40%
t-2. Gossip Girl (R) -40%
t-2. 90210 (R) (M8pm vs. T8pm) -40%
5. CSI: Miami (Su10pm vs. M10pm) -38%

The CW's repeats kind of clog up the list this week, but it begs the question; if all the repeats on this network full of viewers who don't watch repeats declined from 0.5 to 0.3 this year, does that mean they'll be at an 0.2 next year?  0.1 two years from now? The other two are CSI's, and I talked about the bad tidings in the CSI universe last week. Among those narrowly missing the list are Lie to Me  (-37%), The Biggest Loser's Where Are They Now? special (-37%), and the Survivor special (-35%).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 11/24/10

We wrap up another sweep of year-to-year comparisons with Thanksgiving Eve, not a particularly good evening for year-to-year comparisons since CBS was in repeats this year and originals last and the CDub ran a movie last year.  Recap of week four (and maybe the sweeps as a whole) will probably show up tomorrow.

Scheduling Five-Spot, Extra #1 - Last Year's Midseason Moves

I knew when I started these Five-Spots about a month ago that, with the holiday season looming, it might be tough to find five good scheduling stories per week. Here we are, kicking off just the fourth week of these things, and I've already run across a week where there's literally almost nothing worth reporting in terms of network scheduling tweaks. So I thought that since I've had midseason schedules on the brain lately, thanks to Fox and NBC making some big-time changes, I'd take a look back at some of the most notable midseason moves from this time last year and how they worked out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 11/23/10

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 11/21/10: Conan, Glory Daze, Human Target, AMAs, The Walking Dead

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending November 21, 2010:

Conan - Last week, we looked at Conan's week one ratings track, which started at pretty huge numbers and ended with a 1.0 demo on Thursday. The good news for week 2 of Conan is that it stayed right around that number, which (as I said last week) makes it quite competitive with the biggest broadcast late night shows. His week two adults 18-49 rating track was 1.0 -> 1.1 -> 1.0 -> 0.9. I still think it might ultimately settle at a lower number, but so far his performance has been pretty impressive for TBS.

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 11/22/10

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 11/21/10

List of Cable Syndication Deals

I'm sick of reading articles about shows getting sold into cable syndication and not really knowing whether I should be impressed with the money being dished out. I'm all about the context here, and I've never been able to find a big list like this, so I did some searching and found quite a few per-episode dollar figures for your perusal. "Year" is the year the deal was made. (I thought about including the year the show premiered in first-run, also. I might add that in later, as it's interesting how some of these shows were sold at very different points in their first-run life cycles.) I'll save the inevitable disclaimer for the bottom.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 11/21/10 - Tuesday TV, Glory Daze, Human Target, Fringe, HIMYM

Here's my TV opinions Five-Spot for the week ending November 21, 2010:

Tuesday doldrums - On Tuesdays, I'm recording more than any other night but one (Thursday), and yet I don't really even look forward to any of it, whereas on most other nights there are one or two shows I really do anticipate. Glee is inconsistent, No Ordinary Family is mediocre, Life Unexpected is repetitive. I do usually enjoy Parenthood, but even then I often don't watch the ep for several days. Maybe I ought to just quit TV on the night cold turkey? Been wanting to try The Good Wife and Detroit 1-8-7 again...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 11/19/10

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 11/21/10 - NBC midseason, Medium, Dark Blue, Caprica, Fox midseason

Here's your Five-Spot of TV scheduling news for the week ending November 21, 2010:

NBC Shakes Up Midseason - Everyone was talking about three-hour comedy after NBC's midseason announcement. Deservedly so. I mentioned it last week when it was still just a rumor. Also notable is NBC moving four dramas at midseason: Chase, Parenthood, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: LA. And that's not counting The Event, which goes on hiatus for awhile to make way for newbie The Cape. Will all these moves produce a positive net result? I'm quite skeptical. My tweets on NBC midseason.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fox Midseason: Monday to Thursday Two Years in the Making

Props to all the folks in the TV media who managed to provide full coverage of Fox's midseason sked announcement late on a Friday evening. This is much longer-winded than I intended, but I'll try not to repeat much of what they said. This is a more historical take than what most other folks are providing. Classic overthinking! Here we go.

Fox has been a pretty strong network for several years now, but I've always felt like they've had an ideal and a reality that have been at odds. The ideal is "year-round stability" rivaling that of the other nets, but the reality is "American Idol is seasonal, it leaves big holes on the schedule when it's off the air, but it's so freaking huge that we can't do much about that."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 11/18/10

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2010 Week Three Recap

Top 5 year-to-year show losers
1. CSI: NY (F9pm vs. W10pm) -47%
2. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -41%
3. America's Next Top Model -39%
4. CSI: Miami (Su10pm vs. M10pm) -38%
5. The Biggest Loser (T8-10pm vs. T8:30-10pm) -32%

It's starting to get ugly in CSI world. NY makes this unfortunate list for the third straight week and is in the "top" spot for the second time this sweep. Miami joins the party as well this week; as I wrote in the Ratings Five-Spot a couple days ago, the once promising CBS Sunday is beginning to crumble. Just barely missing the list is the original CSI (-32%), which has headed back south of the 3.0 plateau after a somewhat promising trend earlier in the season. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition remains TV's biggest same-timeslot dropper. Top Model has been down for most of the cycle, but the percentage drops are becoming more pronounced as the show fails to gain momentum leading up to the finale. And The Biggest Loser's problems continue.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 11/16/10

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 11/14/10: Conan, World Series of Poker, CMAs, Psych/Burn Notice, CBS Sunday

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending November 14, 2010:

Conan - The four-night adults 18-49 ratings track for the first week of Conan on TBS: 2.5 -> 1.6 -> 1.4 -> 1.0. While I think the old adage "It's a marathon, not a sprint" is becoming overused, the 1.0 is a lot more important than the 2.5 as far as gauging the show's long-term prospects. At a 1.0 (and it repeated the 1.0 this Monday) it'd still be competitive with the highest-rated broadcast late night. I'm unsure it will maintain even that number, though. For trivia purposes, gotta give props to the 2.5. Nice achievement on basic cable!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 11/15/10

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 11/14/10

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 11/14/10 - Conan, House, Psych, Survivor, Community

Here's your Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending November 14, 2010:

Conan - I watched night one of Conan out of curiosity, and I think that's pretty much all I need to see. That isn't a diss, really, because the typical late night TV format doesn't really interest me, and I haven't found anyone I like enough to tune in every night. But the premiere struck me as mostly an average episode of what he did at 12:35 for many years. I love the digs at NBC, but the other side of that (the "look at how poor and unemployed I am!" side) strikes me as a tad insensitive and doesn't work comedically for me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 11/12/10

NBC Midseason 2011 Thoughts

I thought about doing a full-on blog post about NBC's "rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic" midseason schedule, but I realized pretty early on that I was just saying "I don't really see this show doing much better here" about almost every show on every night, so I decided to just get lazy and reproduce the tweets I made about some of the more interesting points. Not mentioned is the pairing of newbies The Cape and Harry's Law on Monday in January and February, but suffice to say I don't have particularly high hopes. There are a few things I might expand upon in other posts (particularly the 3-hour comedy idea), but this is pretty much the gist of what I felt I had to add to the discussion.

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 11/14/10 - Walking Dead, The Simpsons, Rubicon, Running Wilde, 3-Hour Comedy

Here's your Five-Spot of TV scheduling news for the week ending November 14, 2010:

The Walking Dead Renewed - Well, it made the Opinion and Ratings Five-Spots last week, so why not round it out with news of its renewal on this week's Scheduling one? I talked about how its ratings had redefined its network on the landscape last week. So stellar has been its performance that the net renewed the show the day after its second episode dropped only two tenths from the huge 2.7 demo start.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Some War of 18-49 Tweaks

Thanks to some new ratings info from AudiencesUSA, I have a little more information in my ratings database and have been able to update a few of the averages on my War of 18-49 ratings history posts. Most of the new info was for the 2005-06 season, but there are a handful of updates in the 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons as well. I could've probably just snuck these on and nobody would've ever known the difference, but I thought I'd note it all just in case.

These updates aren't game-changers, but I do separate "minor" and "substantial" updates below. Most "minor" updates didn't change the averages but just slightly improved on the amount of info included. For the most part, the "substantial" updates gave me enough info for that season that I upgraded to my code for more precise averages (two digits after the decimal). There are a few "substantial" updates that gave me a lot more info but still not a complete enough picture for the two-digit averages, including Smallville 2004-05 and Supernatural 2005-06.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 11/9/10

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 11/7/10 - World Series, Elections, Big Bang Theory, Private Practice, The Walking Dead

In my third and (for now) final Five-Spot column of each week, I'll take a look at five interesting ratings stories from this week. Because this comes out on Wednesday, to keep it more current I might end up including Monday of the current week. For now, though, I'll save Conan till next week and look at his entire first week. For more on this whole "Five-Spot" idea, see my intro post from Monday. Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending November 7, 2010:

The World Series - Did a post early last week about recent World Series ratings, but throwing it in again here to reiterate that it was a very weak one historically speaking. In other bad news for Fox, it was also short, meaning the net had to fill two "if necessary" days. They got low 1's from Hell's Kitchen reruns on Wednesday and below-average outings from original Bones and Fringe on Thursday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 11/8/10

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 11/7/10

I'm leaving out some of the particularly sports-affected timeslots, but the CBS NFL overrun and a NASCAR overrun on ABC last year still mess comparisons up a bit. Treating the CBS shows as "same-timeslot" even though they were about 47 minutes apart.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 11/7/10 - Elections, Life Unexpected, Survivor, The Office, The Walking Dead

My second weekly Five-Spot gives some opinions on the stuff I watched this week. I found it pretty difficult doing this from memory, so some of these are more general thoughts on the season to date rather than episode-specific. I'll try to keep a notepad by the TV going forward, and maybe these will get better! For more on this whole "Five-Spot" idea, see my intro post from yesterday. Here's your Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending November 7, 2010:

Election coverage - I mostly watched CNN because I find all the obnoxious technology kinda endearing. I like to flip to other networks during commercials, and I always find it amusing how the cable news nets are even "biased" in their projection making. At most given points when I flipped over, Fox News was painting a slightly rosier picture for the Republicans than CNN. I might actually try to track this scientifically in 2012. I think there's something interesting there. (Well, to me, anyway.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 11/5/10

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 11/7/10 - Off the Map, Skating with the Stars, Life Unexpected, The Chicago Code, Undercovers

And so begins this trial run of Five-Spots! For more, see my intro post earlier today, and tune back in the next couple days for the inaugural Opinion and Ratings Five-Spots. Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending November 7, 2010:

ABC's Off the Map Scheduled at Wednesday 10/9c - Upfront week back in May had ABC's new Shonda Rhimes medical drama slated for Sunday 10/9c after Desperate Housewives; others thought it was eventually bound for Thursday to create a Shonda/Shonda/Shonda night after the quick flop of My Generation. Instead, the show heads to Wednesday, where it will spell the axed The Whole Truth. Seems fine, as the competition there isn't stout.

Let's try something new! Introducing "Five-Spots"

I've mentioned on a couple other occasions that the holy grail of this blog is some sort of "regular" format that lets me keep up with current events a little better. But my standards for this kind of thing have been too high to make it happen. I simply don't think there's a particularly effective way of making day-to-day Nielsen ratings all that interesting. And since this is a labor of love with a pretty insubstantial audience size, doing things I find interesting is high-priority. I applaud the TVByTheNumbers and TheLiveFeeds of the world for trying to make daily ratings interesting by putting such a massive focus on week-to-week fluctuations. I'm in no position to bash that approach from a business standpoint. But it doesn't change the fact that I personally don't find most of those fluctuations all that exciting or compelling, even for shows I really care about. I do the Demos Year-to-Year posts because I think they are a nice piece of context that nobody else looks at very consistently, but even those don't usually warrant much commentary or have much entertainment value on a daily basis. So I'm still unconvinced the nature of the beast really allows for what I want to do.

However, I do have an idea I want to try: break it down by week rather than by day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 11/4/10

What's In a (Producer's) Name?

NBC's Undercovers got the news yesterday that it would not be getting an episode extension, making it one of just six fall newbies (out of 21 total) that won't. The show's ratings consistently underperformed my expectations, particularly the mere 2.1 demo it scored on premiere night. I didn't think a show not just from J.J. Abrams, but seemingly right in the Abrams wheelhouse, could possibly be so close to DOA.

But perhaps I should stop making ratings prognostications based on the names behind the scenes. Some of these "names" are becoming overrated. Let's take a look at the history of a few of TV's most heavily promoted behind-the-lens names. For the most part, these guys haven't created much new show success on TV screens in at least half a decade.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2010 Week One Recap

Back into weekly recap mode!

Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 11/3/10

Hoping for a more generally useful set of comparisons in week 2 of sweeps as we move past the World Series and election coverage. For now, notice that nine of 13 shows on ABC/CBS/NBC/CW improved their timeslots year-to-year on this evening. It's the effect of no World Series plus plenty of year-ago duds (Hank, Eastwick, Christine/Gary, Leno, post-Top Model repeats) out of the way.

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 11/2/10

Because of the election night coverage, and because I'm not able to break down a lot of these programs to make good timeslot comparisons, I've decided to limit the Tuesday post to just a few shows that actually did have originals airing both on Tuesday night and during the year-ago week. Back to normal next time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Recent W orld Series Ratings

Everyone projected it before the 2010 World Series began; "No Yankees, no Red Sox means baaaaaad ratings!" And everyone was right. But just how bad?

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 10/31/10

It's about to get ugly, but of course keep in mind the very important note that it was Halloween this Sunday and it was not Halloween on the year-ago Sunday. So these aren't some of the most relevant comparisons ever.

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