Friday, April 30, 2010

Demos Year to Year, Thursday 4/29/10


Just in case this is your first one of these, this is where I compare every timeslot on broadcast to how it did on the corresponding evening one year ago in A18-49. In this case, it's 4/23/09, the beginning of May Sweeps last year. You can click on the "daily ratings" label below to see these comparisons dating back to when I began doing them for the last May sweeps. You can get the raw numbers elsewhere; this is just another way of looking at things beyond the week-to-week fluctuations.

Since there's a high volume of useful comparisons this time compared to the Olympics/repeats-filled February comparisons, I hope to get back into the weekly recaps. Also, since this is the first time I'll have comparisons from last year at this time, I might be able to get into some multi-year analysis. We'll see about that.

(Flashforward vs. Grey's Anatomy (R)) +7%
Grey's Anatomy -24%
Private Practice -12%

How big of a disaster is Flashforward? It beat last year's Grey's repeat by one tick! And Grey's is not exactly a show known for repeating well.

Survivor +17%
CSI -19%
(The Mentalist vs. Harper's Island) +68%

(Community vs. My Name is Earl) -14%
Parks and Recreation -17%
The Office -5%
30 Rock -13%
(The Marriage Ref vs. Southland) -21%

Bones +13%
(Fringe vs. Hell's Kitchen) -33%

(The Vampire Diaries vs. Smallville) +23%
Supernatural even

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Lost Repeat Lead-in


V got a 1.9 in adults 18-49 last night. That's got some people on the Internet proclaiming it a renewal-clincher and some proclaiming it a death knell. I'm not gonna break the tie, but I will take a look at V in the context of a few other recent Lost lead-outs. Here are how a few other Lost lead-outs did once they got a repeat for a lead-in:

3/27/08: Lost (R) 1.8 demo, Eli Stone 1.9 demo
4/3/08: Lost (R) 1.3 demo, Eli Stone 1.6 demo
4/17/08: Lost (R) 1.3 demo, Eli Stone 2.0 demo

3/11/09: Lost (R) 1.6 demo, Life on Mars 1.4 demo

4/22/09: Lost (clips) 2.9 demo, The Unusuals 1.4 demo

4/27/10: Lost (R) 1.8 demo, V 1.9 demo

Also worth noting that Life on Mars, The Unusuals, and a fifth show not included here, The Forgotten, all aired episodes that did worse with an original Lost lead-in than V's 1.9 last night.

Only one of the above five shows got a renewal or even an extension based on its post-Lost performance, and it isn't much of an argument to say "it's doing better than shows that got canceled!" But if you throw those out and just look at the one renewed show, Eli Stone, it's pretty comparable. Yes, the Eli Stone renewal came in spring 2008, when the writer's strike was just ending and there was a lot of uncertainty about development. Yes, Eli Stone was an in-house production and V isn't. Yes, I personally believe that renewal was a mistake and thought so even before it flopped post-DWTS in fall of '08. But ABC's weaker now than it was then, and with that precedent it's tough to call V completely gone. Airing out of Lost originals, it's been within a few ticks of Eli Stone's ratings, and Lost was much stronger then.

Bottom line is that most shows that have aired post-Lost have absolutely bombed. This one clearly places well ahead of some of those, and that might be enough for ABC to take a chance on it. I personally wouldn't renew, and I think it would be pretty likely to struggle the way Eli Stone did, but on a network like ABC that often greenlights bombs, the mediocre performers start to look a little better, especially since "mediocre" is about the best they've ever done with a show airing after Lost. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Two Weeks, Romantically Challenged


Upcoming on the blog is my sweeps tradition, the year-to-year updates. Expect them to be more useful this time and for me to not litter half the posts with apologies for even doing them as in February. I've explored the possibility of starting to create short and sweet daily posts with my insight on the day's ratings, but so far I haven't come up with a format that says anything unique or that I'd be interested in reading (much less writing) on a daily basis. Still, if I find some kind of inspiration, I may be giving that a try shortly, as there's only a month left in the regular season and any kind of test run would need to get going soon. Also working on a series of article-length posts about the importance of lead-in/lead-out dynamics, which may or may not start to show up fairly shortly. For now, the first two weeks of another primetime scripted program!

Romantically Challenged (ABC)


Sampling: Airing out of the very large Dancing with the Stars performance show on Monday, ABC's traditional sitcom Romantically Challenged premiered with a 2.9 demo. That's got it ahead of already-renewed The Middle, but it's hard to grade this 2.9 as highly as The Middle's 2.6, because Dancing was north of a 5.0 in the 9:00 hour. This is not necessarily death, but it's not a good start.

Retention: In week 2, a modest 10% drop left the show at a 2.6 demo and losing just under half of the DWTS 9:00 lead-in. The raw number looks OK, but the retentionista in me says that losing half your lead-in in just a half hour is not something that a successful show is going to be doing.

Prognosis: System says borderline, but system doesn't account for lead-in-based boosts in ratings and in expectations. The first two weeks are particularly important when a show is only scheduled to run three weeks. According to Pavan at Sitcoms Online, it may get a fourth airing on May 17 if it does well next week, but don't count on that, as next week's airing will be the first to face an original of TV's strongest scripted show, The Big Bang Theory. There isn't going to be a lot of data to go on, but I'm guessing that ABC will see a show dropping half of the 9:00 audience in the 9:30 half-hour and see a flop. They did it last year with Surviving Suburbia when many called for renewal.

EDIT: Actually, TBBT will still be a rerun at 9:30 and it airs the original on that night at 9:00. Sorry for that mistake. That opens the window slightly for Romantically Challeneged, but I'm still saying it's a one-and-doner. Thanks to Jimmy722.

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
Parenthood 3.1
Eastwick 3.0
Human Target 2.9
Romantically Challenged 2.9
Past Life 2.8
The Middle 2.6

The Forgotten 2.6
Mercy 2.3
Trauma 2.2
Hank 2.1
Sons of Tucson 2.1
Three Rivers 1.9
The Deep End 1.8
The Beautiful Life: TBL 1.8*
Miami Medical 1.6
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%

Sons of Tucson -10%
Romantically Challenged -10%
Three Rivers -11%
Miami Medical -13%
Cougar Town -14%
The Vampire Diaries -16%
Parenthood -16%
Human Target -17%
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%
Past Life -50%

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

First Two Weeks, Miami Medical


Got to looking at this blog today in anticipation of today's Romantically Challenged post (and maybe some other stuff...!) and realized I never did a Miami Medical post. So let me be the last to inform you that this show is dead.

Miami Medical (CBS)


Sampling: Miami Medical airs on Fridays, so the sampling numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, but the show started with a 1.6 demo. Yes, it's the lowest drama debut on the big 4 this season, but that's largely because it's the first Friday drama debut this season. The number isn't that great even by Friday standards, but it did improve on CBS' other originals that night.

Retention: In week 2, there was a 13% drop to a 1.4 demo. Pretty average dropoff, but at that 1.4 level you have a pretty weak show by CBS Friday standards.

Prognosis: I forgot to do this post after week 2, so I'm a little biased because I know that the show has continued to drop. But that said, premiering this on a Friday should let you know what CBS thought about it. Don't let the promotion fool you. There are better places to make a good faith effort at getting this to work. The premiere didn't kill it, the week 2 drop didn't necessarily kill it, but there's a good chance that it was already dead unless it did something surprisingly positive. It did nothing surprisingly positive the first two weeks and it's gotten even more grim since. This is one and done.

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
Parenthood 3.1
Eastwick 3.0
Human Target 2.9
Past Life 2.8
The Middle 2.6

The Forgotten 2.6
Mercy 2.3
Trauma 2.2
Hank 2.1
Sons of Tucson 2.1
Three Rivers 1.9
The Deep End 1.8
The Beautiful Life: TBL 1.8*
Miami Medical 1.6
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%

Sons of Tucson -10%
Three Rivers -11%
Miami Medical -13%
Cougar Town -14%
The Vampire Diaries -16%
Parenthood -16%
Human Target -17%
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%
Past Life -50%

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

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