Monday, April 11, 2011

If "First Two Weeks" Existed in 2007-08

Last week, I took a look at the new shows of the 2008-09 season as if I'd been doing my "First Two Weeks" posts back then. Today, I've got the 2007-08 shows. Again, I'm just throwing these out there because it might be interesting and to use for some further evaluation this summer; I'm not really trying to "prove" anything about the shows or the networks or my "system."

Note: I'm applying the Friday rule of the 2010-11 season (1.25xA18-49) and the CW rule of the 2009-10 season (3xA18-49) because I don't have W18-34 numbers for these older shows.

WEEK ONE (tiers worth 4, 2, 0 points)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 7.7
Bionic Woman 5.7
Private Practice 5.2
Gossip Girl (4.8)
New Amsterdam 4.5
Big Shots 4.5
Reaper (4.5)
Samantha Who? 4.5
Pushing Daisies 4.3
Life 4.0

Eli Stone 4.0
Cashmere Mafia 3.8
The Big Bang Theory 3.7
Chuck 3.6
Dirty Sexy Money 3.6
Cavemen 3.5
Carpoolers 3.5
Journeyman 3.5
K-Ville 3.3
Women's Murder Club (3.1)

Moonlight (3.1)
Back to You 3.1
Cane 3.0
Lipstick Jungle 2.9
Miss Guided 2.7
Welcome to the Captain 2.6
Unhitched 2.6
Aliens in America (2.4)
Canterbury's Law 1.7
The Return of Jezebel James (1.3)
Life is Wild (1.2) 

WEEK TWO (tiers worth 2, 1, 0 points)
The Return of Jezebel James +10%
Samantha Who? even
Welcome to the Captain even
Aliens in America even
Canterbury's Law even
Dirty Sexy Money -3%
Unhitched -4%
Reaper -7%
Journeyman -9%
Back to You -10%

The Big Bang Theory -11%
Chuck -11%
Moonlight -12%
Private Practice -13%
Lipstick Jungle -14%
Pushing Daisies -14%
Women's Murder Club -16%
Cane -17%
Eli Stone -18%
Miss Guided -19%

Big Shots -20%
Carpoolers -20%
New Amsterdam -22%
Life -25%
Life is Wild -25%
Cavemen -26%
Bionic Woman -28%
K-Ville -30%
Gossip Girl -31%
Cashmere Mafia -39%
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles -45%

EXCELLENT (5-6 points): Samantha Who?Reaper (6 points) Private Practice, Pushing Daisies (5 points)
BORDERLINE (3-4 points): Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Bionic WomanGossip Girl, New Amsterdam, Big Shots, Life, Dirty Sexy Money, Journeyman (4 points) Eli Stone, The Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Women's Murder Club (3 points)
IN TROUBLE (0-2 points): Cashmere Mafia, Cavemen, CarpoolersK-Ville, Back to YouWelcome to the CaptainUnhitched, Aliens in America, Canterbury's Law, The Return of Jezebel James (2 points) Moonlight, CaneLipstick Jungle, Miss Guided (1 point) Life is Wild (0 points)

Observations: Of 31 shows, 12 were borderline and 19 were not borderline. The "system" was wrong on only one of 19 that it rendered a real verdict on (Lipstick Jungle, which bombed in season 2 much like Better Off Ted after getting an "in trouble" renewal in 2008-09).

Seven of the 12 borderline shows (58%) got renewed. That's squarely in the middle of the other two complete seasons (2008-09, 6/15 = 40%; 2009-10, 8/11 = 73%). Seems like a decent number, though you wonder if it might have been smaller if not for the craziness surrounding the WGA strike. Could shows like Pushing Daisies and Life and Dirty Sexy Money which went on to drop huge in season 2 have held up if given more time and a more conventional environment? Hard to say.

Once again, I think the "eye test" subjective prognoses based on two weeks would've done better than "the system" because of lead-ins. Big Shots' 4.5 premiere was (at best) nothing special coming after a Grey's Anatomy episode that got an 8.8! Journeyman's 3.5 demo came out of a 6.5 lead-in from Heroes. So figuring out a way to quantitatively adjust for the things that make the "eye test" better will be a challenge for the off-season.

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