Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 4/3/11 - The Game, Army Wives, Camelot, The Killing, March Madness

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending April 3, 2011:

The Game - The season finale of The Game perked up from the show's typical upper-1's level to a 2.2 A18-49 and 4.43 million overall viewers. It ensured the show would finish its amazing first season on BET without ever posting a result lower than its best of its three years on the CW (1.4). Despite all this, the show still hasn't yet been renewed, but I'd definitely expect that to happen. Even though at its worst it lost more than half of the staggering 7.68m/3.6 A18-49 from its premiere, its transition to cable exceeded all reasonable expectations.

Army Wives - I talked yesterday about my rather down feelings about the show's recent direction creatively, but there's no denying the ratings impact. Take a look at its A18-49 ratings trajectory for this season to date: 1.3 -> 1.0 -> 1.4 -> 1.7 -> 1.1. That's what you call (at least for a couple weeks) promotion really working. I think the 1.0-1.1 level is about where the show's real settled-down range is, but bringing that kind of audience back is impressive. The 1.7 has only been exceeded thrice in series history, all during a season 2 back in 2008 that was a much stronger season overall.

Camelot - Starz' latest original programming effort got off to a pretty decent start. The 1.125 million viewers and 0.5 A18-49 were just about on par with the premiere of Spartacus prequel Gods of the Arena (1.097, 0.5) but would overall be a below-average episode of that miniseries. It did come in above the average for season one of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, though. The question will be what happens from here; could be the start of something very good for Starz, but not if it goes downhill from this point.

The Killing - It's kinda tough to gauge a middle-of-the-road kind of premiere like this when the points of reference on AMC are the really small premieres of Mad Men and Breaking Bad and Rubicon plus the earth-shattering premiere of The Walking Dead. In viewers (2.7m) and A18-49 (0.7), The Killing did much better than all of the first three, but it was still certainly not even in the stratosphere of The Walking Dead (5.345m and 2.7). You'd have to think the show can last awhile on AMC if it maintains these numbers, but that's still a long way from Dead.

March Madness - The last game of March Madness was a total dud as a piece of basketball, and the ratings were pretty "meh" too; the 20.06 million total viewers and 7.1 A18-49 were down 16% and 13% year-to-year respectively and both in the bottom half of the last decade of championship ratings. I looked at week one in much more depth, but since I don't have the space for that this time, I'll just report that CBS' press release said the tourney overall was up 7% year-to-year. That Five-Spot from a couple weeks ago will shed a little light on why that was.

More Five-Spots in the Index.

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