Friday, January 29, 2010

First Two Weeks, The Deep End


Before I get into this, a note: my Human Target post will consist of the series premiere and the fourth episode of the show, airing this Wednesday. This has been a tough situation due to the fact that it's aired four episodes in four timeslots, and I'll get into this in a little more detail next week, but suffice to say comparing the first two episodes without any lead-in seems as good an approach as any.

The Deep End (ABC)

Sampling: I have a theory that most of the time has proven true: young skewing + legal = flop. For some reason the young'uns like watching doctors and cops but they don't like watching lawyers, and most recent successes in the legal arena have embraced their old-skewingness. Despite an inundation of ads across the ESPN family of networks (I'm not sure why they were trying to hit the men 18-49 set with their "From the network that brought you Grey's Anatomy ads, but whatever) the latest futile attempt to skew young with a lawyer show hit a 1.8 demo. That's the lowest total for a non-Friday scripted debut on the Big 4 this season. Bad.

Retention: Interestingly, The Deep End became just the second scripted newbie this season to bring all of its A18-49 back for week 2. And the other one was also a legal drama, The Good Wife. The Good Wife grew, and The Deep End was even from week 1. That's made even better by the fact that its mates on the night, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, went into reruns last night, although competition was also lighter with NBC going into reruns and CBS debuting a complete bomb of a reality show.

Prognosis: This is that corner case where my system sucks, an awful start and a great retention. Realistically, those two things still equal awful. So while breaking even is enough to guarantee The Deep End a "borderline" prognosis via the system, the reality is something far worse than that. A 1.8 is not going to cut it, even if it keeps getting that 1.8 the whole rest of the way. But it does keep you from completely writing it out of the realm of possibility, especially since Grey's and Private Practice return to originals next week. That's all it has right now. Possibility, not probability. And certainly not a whiff of critical acclaim or other "intangibles." Don't look for this in '10-'11.

SAMPLING

The Vampire Diaries 6.3*
V 5.2
The Cleveland Show 4.9
NCIS: LA 4.4
Cougar Town 4.4
Modern Family 4.2
Flashforward 4.0

Melrose Place 3.9*
Community 3.8
Life Unexpected 3.6*
Glee 3.5
Accidentally on Purpose 3.3
The Good Wife 3.1
Eastwick 3.0
The Middle 2.6

The Forgotten 2.6
Mercy 2.3
Trauma 2.2
Hank 2.1
Three Rivers 1.9
The Deep End 1.8
The Beautiful Life: TBL 1.8*
Brothers 1.0

*-Although A18-49 isn't necessarily the "CW demo," in an attempt to put them on a level playing field with the big 4, I've taken the A18-49 premiere number for the CW shows and multiplied it by 3.

RETENTION
The Good Wife +3%
The Deep End even
Accidentally on Purpose -6%
NCIS:LA -7%
Flashforward -8%
Glee -9%
Mercy -9%

Modern Family -10%
The Cleveland Show -10%
Three Rivers -11%
Cougar Town -14%
The Vampire Diaries -16%
The Beautiful Life: TBL -18%
The Middle -19%
Brothers - 20%

Trauma -23%
Eastwick -23%
The Forgotten -23%
Life Unexpected -24%
Hank -24%
V -27%
Community -29%
Melrose Place -31%

EXCELLENT (6 points) - NCIS: Los Angeles, Flashforward
GOOD ENOUGH (5 points) - The Vampire Diaries, Cougar Town, Accidentally on Purpose, Glee, The Cleveland Show, The Good Wife, Modern Family
BORDERLINE (4 points) - V, Mercy, The Middle, The Deep End
IN TROUBLE (2-3 points) - Community, TBL:TBL, Eastwick, Three Rivers, Brothers, Life Unexpected, Melrose Place (3 points), The Forgotten, Trauma, Hank (2 points)

If this is your first of my "First Two Weeks" posts, I encourage you to click the "new shows" label and scroll down to the bottom.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Two Weeks, Life Unexpected


Life Unexpected (CW)
Sampling: 1.2 A18-49 (which is the number (multiplied by 3) used in Sampling below so that it's on a level playing field with other shows), and a 2.5 in W18-34, the CW's target demo. That 2.5 is exactly equal to what Gossip Girl got in its last original episode all the way back on December 7. A lot of the "death to the rich kid shows" fanatics boasted about the gaudy total viewer number (well, 2.8 million isn't that gaudy to begin with) but of course, that doesn't really matter. Its premiere was basically a slightly below average Gossip Girl episode in the CW demo. Not great, but keep in mind that The Bachelor, which is a huge W18-34 draw, is in play around this time of year and wasn't for the first half of Gossip Girl's season.

Retention: If you want to look at A18-49, the drop is just 8%, but for CW shows I've been using W18-34 to measure the drops, and it looks a lot worse there: 24% to a 1.9 W18-34 in week 2. So while the total viewer number is still comparable to many Gossip Girl originals, it's now well below what Gossip Girl episodes usually do in the CW demo. However, it's still about on par with December episodes of 90210 and well ahead of Melrose Place.

Prognosis: I'm not really sure about this one. My system says it's in trouble, but then my great system also says already-renewed The Middle is in trouble (even if it will bump back up to Borderline once Human Target and The Deep End join). I have a feeling that ratings-wise this is going to end up being kind of a Reaper situation, where the total viewer numbers and even the A18-49 make it look renewable to some people, but hidden beneath will be relatively weak W18-34 numbers by CW standards that will put the CW execs to the test. But LUX may be a bigger W18-34 draw than Reaper, as a 1.9 is still decent on that net. If the success of The Vampire Diaries is going to lead to some sort of change in tone at the network, as some are predicting, maybe this is the kind of show that they'll want to bring back and cultivate. For now, I'm saying the opening two weeks are discouraging, especially the W18-34 drop, but I'll guess it makes it back for another season. So either I win or the system wins. :-)

SAMPLING

The Vampire Diaries 6.3*
V 5.2
The Cleveland Show 4.9
NCIS: LA 4.4
Cougar Town 4.4
Modern Family 4.2
Flashforward 4.0

Melrose Place 3.9*
Community 3.8
Life Unexpected 3.6*
Glee 3.5
Accidentally on Purpose 3.3
The Good Wife 3.1
Eastwick 3.0

The Middle 2.6
The Forgotten 2.6
Mercy 2.3
Trauma 2.2
Hank 2.1
Three Rivers 1.9
The Beautiful Life: TBL 1.8*
Brothers 1.0

*-Although A18-49 isn't necessarily the "CW demo," in an attempt to put them on a level playing field with the big 4, I've taken the A18-49 premiere number for the CW shows and multiplied it by 3.

RETENTION
The Good Wife +3%
Accidentally on Purpose -6%
NCIS:LA -7%
Flashforward -8%
Glee -9%
Mercy -9%
Modern Family -10%

The Cleveland Show -10%
Three Rivers -11%
Cougar Town -14%
The Vampire Diaries -16%
The Beautiful Life: TBL -18%
The Middle -19%
Brothers - 20%

Trauma -23%
Eastwick -23%
The Forgotten -23%
Life Unexpected -24%
Hank -24%
V -27%
Community -29%
Melrose Place -31%

EXCELLENT (6 points) - NCIS: Los Angeles, Flashforward, Modern Family
GOOD ENOUGH (5 points) - The Vampire Diaries, Cougar Town, Accidentally on Purpose, Glee, The Cleveland Show, The Good Wife
BORDERLINE (4 points) - V, Mercy
IN TROUBLE (2-3 points) - Community, Melrose Place, TBL:TBL, Eastwick, Three Rivers, Brothers, The Middle, Life Unexpected (3 points), The Forgotten, Trauma, Hank (2 points)

If this is your first of my "First Two Weeks" posts, I encourage you to click the "new shows" label and scroll down to the bottom.

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