Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The War of 18-49, America's Got Talent



AMERICA'S GOT TALENT (NBC)

Scheduling history: America's Got Talent has been scheduled on multiple nights in each season since the first, and those nights have almost always been Tuesday and Wednesday. The early part of summer 2012 was a rare exception as the network put Talent on Monday/Tuesday, but even that eventually reverted to the Tuesday/Wednesday setup.

See (who saw) how it all began: Like So You Think You Can Dance, the other summer staple covered so far this summer, America's Got Talent got a big initial sampling. It premiered to 12.4 million viewers and a 4.6/14 adults 18-49 rating on 6/21/06. Week two dropped 17% to a 3.8 demo, then week three rebounded to a 4.1, but from there the show would mostly dip into the low 3's for the rest of the first season.

The best of times: Also like So You Think You Can Dance, the strongest season of Got Talent's run to date was the second one. It was also the only season the show was regularly scheduled on just one night. It only had one airing outside of Wednesday, a season-low 2.6 demo on 7/11/07. Season six was also a standout, up a couple ticks from the previous three seasons. Its 4.6 demo on 7/5/11 was the only time the show's ever matched its series premiere demo on 6/21/06. However, the show has become much stronger on a historical-adjusted basis in the last couple seasons. The summer 2015 season eked out a new series high in Plus (at least for the main night), and the addition of Simon Cowell in 2016 thrusted the show to another level entirely.

The worst of times: Remarkably, season seven with its introduction of Howard Stern really marked the first significant downturn ever for this series, as it was down over 15% on both nights. The last two results airings (on a special Thursday night) were particularly ugly, starting with a series-low 1.9 demo on 9/6/12 and culminating with just a 2.4 for the 9/13/12 finale that was down a third from the 2011 finale. It had a nice rebound on the main night in 2015, but dropped to new series lows for the Wednesday results edition: a 1.6 on 8/12/15, 8/19/15 and 8/26/15.

Then vs. now: Every once in awhile you'll hear someone say that NBC should do a regular season edition of America's Got Talent, wondering how this show could linger in the summer with numbers that would be more than acceptable at any time of year. In its early years, this was all about NBC's incredible weakness during the regular season; if it didn't happen during the 2007-08 writers' strike, it seemed like it would never happen. But now, Talent is blowing away its previous career highs in A18-49+. However, NBC is also much more buttoned up in the regular season nowadays. If the NBC regular season staples (especially The Voice) start to crumble, this might become a real discussion again. For now, Talent is having a lot of fun utterly dominating the summer space.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
1Summer 2006Wednesday 8:003.462.94.6detail
Thu 9:30, Thu 9:002.652.13.5
2Summer 2007Tuesday 8:003.65+5%2.64.4detail
3Summer 2008Tuesday 9:003.20-12%2.63.7detail
Th 9:30, We 8:00, Th 8:002.662.32.9
4Summer 2009Tuesday 9:003.30+3%2.93.7detail
Wednesday 9:002.92+10%2.13.5
5Summer 2010Tuesday 9:003.15-4%2.63.9detail
Wednesday 9:003.04+4%2.53.9
6Summer 2011Tue 8:00, Tue 9:003.48+10%2.84.6detailA-
Wednesday 9:003.17+4%2.54.1
7Summer 2012Mon 8:00, Tue 8:002.85-18%2.43.7detailC-
Wednesday 9:002.66-16%1.93.7
8Summer 2013Tuesday 9:002.55-11%2.23.1detailB
Wednesday 9:002.41-9%2.12.9
9Summer 2014Tue 8:00, Tue 9:002.33-9%1.83.0detailB
Wednesday 9:002.11-12%1.82.4
10Summer 2015Tuesday 8:002.34+0%2.12.6detailA-
Wed 8:00, Wed 9:001.79-15%1.62.1
11Summer 2016Tuesday 8:002.48+6%2.32.8detailA
Wednesday 8:002.25+26%1.82.8

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow16y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
1Summer 200685solid(sum)1.247111311381
65marg(sum)0.9552865286
2Summer 200797hit(sum)1.41+13%69117114111
3Summer 200897hit(sum)1.410%79112112100
80solid(sum)1.1770887070
4Summer 2009110big hit(sum)1.60+14%96123106110
97hit(sum)1.41+21%70116103116
5Summer 2010112big hit(sum)1.63+2%92139128139
108big hit(sum)1.58+11%89139103139
6Summer 2011137big hit(sum)1.99+22%110181169149
125big hit(sum)1.82+15%98161146142
7Summer 2012121big hit(sum)1.76-12%102157157123
113big hit(sum)1.64-10%80157144102
8Summer 2013121big hit(sum)1.77+0%104147147114
114big hit(sum)1.67+2%100138133119
9Summer 2014124big hit(sum)1.80+2%96159159133
112big hit(sum)1.63-2%96127127127
10Summer 2015139big hit(sum)2.03+12%125155155143
106big hit(sum)1.55-5%9512595125
11Summer 2016170mega(sum)2.48+22%158192178192
154mega(sum)2.25+45%124192165192

The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 5/30/11


Note: I said in my summer preview post last week that I would continue to do these "What Matters" posts and only do full tables on a few select days. After looking at the weekend ratings, it became clear that "What Matters" will almost always equal "nothing" on Friday and Saturday nights, so I think I'm just going to even do posts at all for Sunday thru Thursday, and only Friday/Saturday should something really interesting happen. Even on Sunday to Thursday it is often a stretch to find something interesting in the broadcast ratings, so I might skip a handful of those as well. It might be worthwhile to try to find a way to incorporate cable into these during the summer months, so I'll think on that some more.

WHAT MATTERS:
  • The Bachelorette (2.1) dropped a stout 25% from its post-Dancing premiere last week and was 16% below last year's first "on its own" episode. Not a good start for this season. But the news at 10/9c was better as Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (2.3) launched pretty well.
  • Law & Order: CI (1.1) in its "new to NBC" premiere was three-tenths behind the same episode's premiere on USA 29 days prior but a tick ahead of last summer's "new to NBC" premiere. Law & Order: LA (1.4) perked up to its highest number since May 2.
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Updated for 2010-11: Network 18-49 Averages in the 2000s


Did one of these last year and figured it was worth an update with the 2010-11 regular season officially in the books. NBC rode the Winter Olympics to a tie with ABC last year, the first time in six years they weren't in outright fourth place, but they're back in the gutter this year with no major sporting event to help them.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Summer 2011 Matchups, Sunday


Bold indicates a timeslot change; ALL CAPS indicates a new show.

Previous Summer Matchups: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

8/7c
Broadcast:
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (R) (ABC)
Big Brother (CBS, 7/10)
America's Got Talent (R) (NBC)
The Simpsons (R) / The Cleveland Show (R) (Fox)

Cable:
Mob Wives (VH1)

Projected A18-49 winner: Big Brother (CBS)

Easy pick here; the only broadcast original will also be the only thing to get beyond a 2.0 demo.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, May Sweeps 2011 Week Four Winners/Losers


So ends another session of Demos Year-to-Year. For more on this particular sweep period, see the week one, week two and week three recaps. Those might be more useful than this one for gauging what the real winners and losers of the sweep were, as a lot of stuff doesn't end up airing during the fourth week.

Top 5 year-to-year show losers
1. Grey's Anatomy -33%
2. The Big Bang Theory (Th 8-8:30pm vs. M 9:30-10pm) -32% 
3. Minute to Win It (Su 8-9pm) -29%
4. Primetime: What Would You Do? -28%
5. Dateline Fri -27% 

Grey's Anatomy getting on this list is much more about what Grey's did last year (an enormous spike in its season finale) than a particularly bad result this year, though this year's result wasn't great. Big Bang and Minute and Primetime have all been on the list before, while Dateline had a bad newsmagazine fluctuation.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 5/25/11


Last one till premiere week! Will do the week four recap probably tomorrow. (Kind of off-schedule today.)

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 5/26/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The only original on the first day of summer was So You Think You Can Dance (3.2), up 7% from the 3.0 that started last year's disappointingly-rated season. Decent start, but it will have to keep it up to truly pull off the bounce-back season the franchise could sure use
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted.

Summer 2011 Matchups, Friday


Bold indicates a timeslot change; ALL CAPS indicates a new show.

Previous Summer Matchups: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday

8/7c
Broadcast:
Shark Tank (R) (ABC)
Flashpoint (CBS)
Friday Night Lights (NBC)
Bones (R) (Fox)

Cable:
WWE Smackdown (Syfy)

Projected A18-49 winner: Flashpoint (CBS)

Sort of a tough call as all of this stuff should hover around the 1.0 mark, but I'll take Flashpoint in a tight one. Last week, though, the repeat of Shark Tank beat it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The War of 18-49, So You Think You Can Dance



SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (FOX)

Scheduling history: Almost every SYTYCD season in the early years aired on Wednesday and Thursday. The only exceptions were season one (Wednesday only) and the show's only regular season campaign in fall 2009 (Tuesday/Wednesday). But it was cut to one night starting in 2012, and it's been a different night each year: Thursday in 2012, Tuesday in 2013, Wednesday in 2014 and Monday starting in 2015.

See (who saw) how it all began: So You Think You Can Dance got a big premiere sampling, garnering 10.30 million viewers and a 4.6/15 among adults 18-49 for its two-hour premiere on 7/20/05. The demo number remains a series high to this day, and for most of the rest of the first season, it appeared those numbers were going to remain far ahead of any other airing; the show dropped an abnormally large 28% to a 3.3 demo in week two, then to a 3.0 in week three. It'd hover around a 3.0 for most of the rest of season 1.

The best of times: But while that 4.6 demo has still gone unmatched, the show had a pretty significant overall upswing in its second season, and it got pretty close to that 4.6 on several occasions in seasons two and three. Those were easily the show's two strongest overall seasons, as the show broke the 4.0 plateau on a dozen different occasions during those two seasons and just once (the aforementioned series premiere) in the other five seasons to date.

The worst of times: What really seems to have derailed this show was Fox's decision to run a regular-season edition. There were concerns when it was announced at the 2009 upfront that it'd get lost among the full-fledged broadcast competition, and that certainly happened. The show got as low as a 1.6 demo on 11/25/09 (Thanksgiving Eve) that season. But that could arguably have been shrugged off if the show made a nice recovery the next summer. Instead, SYTYCD didn't get back on track in the summer of 2010. The season only made insignificant gains from the summer edition and finished down by over 20% from the summer 2009 season, easily the biggest year-to-year drop the show's ever taken. It's since continued downhill, going as low as a 0.5 demo on 9/5/16.

Then vs. now: There were a couple reasons behind Fox's decision to bring SYTYCD into the regular season. The first was to take up real estate in a fairly soft development season, and the second was to provide a compatible lead-in to the only really promising thing to come out of their development, the dramedy Glee. I do have to admit that Glee became a substantial success for Fox, but it sure seems like the show's overexposure for that one year had a lot to do with the big drops the next summer. Fox cancelled the second night of SYTYCD after the summer 2011 season. The revamp didn't really slow down the show's bleeding, but the show keeps ekeing out a spot on the summer sked. At the moment, we still don't know if it'll happen again in 2017.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
1Summer 2005Wednesday 8:003.182.34.6detail
2Summer 2006Wed 9:00, Wed 8:003.74+18%2.84.4detail
Thursday 9:003.723.24.4
3Summer 2007Wednesday 8:003.47-7%2.94.4detail
Thursday 9:003.68-1%3.24.3
4Summer 2008Wednesday 8:003.26-6%3.03.7detail
Thursday 9:003.12-15%2.13.6
5Summer 2009Wednesday 8:003.04-7%2.63.5detail
Thursday 9:003.07-2%2.33.6
6Fall 2009Tuesday 8:002.332.12.6detail
Wednesday 8:002.431.62.8
7Summer 20102.37-22%2.03.0detail
Thursday 9:002.43-21%1.83.3
8Summer 2011Wednesday 8:002.26-5%1.83.1detailC
Thursday 8:002.18-10%1.63.3
9Summer 2012Wednesday 8:001.97-13%1.52.7detailC
10Summer 2013Tuesday 8:001.55-21%1.22.3detailD+
11Summer 2014Wednesday 8:001.25-20%0.91.7detailC-
12Summer 2015Monday 8:000.95-24%0.71.3detailD+
13Summer 20160.73-23%0.51.0detailC-

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow16y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
1Summer 200578solid(sum)1.145611311374
2Summer 200692hit(sum)1.337910810681
92hit(sum)1.34+18%6910889106
3Summer 200798hit(sum)1.42+7%851149898
92hit(sum)1.34+0%7711710988
4Summer 200894hit(sum)1.38-3%63109106100
98hit(sum)1.43+7%9111210994
5Summer 2009102hit(sum)1.49+8%76120113116
101hit(sum)1.47+3%8611611693
6Fall 200986marginal1.2657999692
83marginal1.2175928582
7Summer 201086solid(sum)1.26-15%6411710782
84solid(sum)1.23-16%711079978
8Summer 201186solid(sum)1.25-1%6313013079
89solid(sum)1.30+6%7112212275
9Summer 201283solid(sum)1.21-6%6311410268
10Summer 201374solid(sum)1.07-11%571099066
11Summer 201466marg(sum)0.96-10%48908569
12Summer 201556marg(sum)0.82-15%42777748
13Summer 201650marg(sum)0.73-11%34696948

The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.

War and Strength: Summer at SpottedRatings.com Starts TODAY!


The TV regular season has come to an end, and that means it's time for this blog - which last year was actually more busy in the summer than in the regular season - to kick into a different gear. Here's a quick look at what will be happening this summer:

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/25/11: The Death Star Explodes


WHAT MATTERS:
  • It's mostly been a year of ~10% declines year-to-year for American Idol, but finale night was very good to the show. It grabbed over 60% of the broadcast eyeballs and was up 12% from last year. It was Idol's second-highest rating of the season, the first time since 2005 that the finale ranked that highly among the season's eps.
  • The ABC comedy finales were down year-to-year, but most of the drops weren't awful considering last year's finales weren't up against the last week of Idol. Cougar Town's one-hour finale took the only huge year-to-year drop. And Happy Endings had its best 10:30 result yet.

Summer 2011 Matchups, Thursday


Bold indicates a timeslot change; ALL CAPS indicates a new show.

Previous Summer Matchups: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

8/7c
Broadcast:
Wipeout (ABC, 6/23)
The Big Bang Theory (R) / Rules of Engagement (R) (CBS)
Community (R) / 30 Rock (R) (NBC)
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, 5/26)

Cable:

Projected A18-49 winner: So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)

This one's really close between Wipeout and Dance, with Wipeout having a slight (less than 0.2) edge based on last year's Thursday numbers, but I'll go with Dance because I think Wipeout may drop a bit more due to its heavy recent exposure. Last year ABC running Wipeout on Thursday was a bit of an audible because they wanted to help along the early promising returns from Rookie Blue, so only five originals actually aired on Thursday. Not sure if that number will be higher this year.

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 5/24/11



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/24/11: Reality Overload


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Almost everything that was original was reality. American Idol led, but its one-hour ep was lower than any of its Wednesday results this season. Historically, the show has always been weaker when it's had to air on an irregular night, but typically those irregular nights haven't come during finale week. Still, the show is down just three tenths from last year's performance finale.
  • The evening's only scripted original was Glee, which ended its second season on a very good note thanks in part to the Idol lead-in. It was up 28% from last week and previously hadn't even broken a 4.0 since March. Like Idol, it's only barely down year-to-year (but last year's finale aired outside of sweeps).
  • Dancing with the Stars ended what has mostly been an incredible season of double-digit year-to-year gains with another one, building by 18% year-to-year and 31% from last week's Tuesday show in its season finale. As last year, the show was just about on par with the final performance show of the night before.
  • The Biggest Loser was above average but (at just +7% week-to-week) had one of its smaller finale spikes historically. The arrival of Idol probably helped with that. Leading out was The Voice, hitting easily a new series low, but I won't cry for it till I see how it rebounds once it's out of this crazy reality shuffle.

Summer 2011 Matchups, Wednesday


Bold indicates a timeslot change; ALL CAPS indicates a new show.

Previous Summer Matchups: Monday | Tuesday

8/7c
Broadcast:
The Middle (R)/The Middle (R)
Big Brother (CBS, 7/13)
Minute to Win It (NBC, 6/1)
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, 6/1)

Cable:
Melissa & Joey/STATE OF GEORGIA (ABC Family, 6/29)
Are We There Yet? (TBS, 7/27)

Projected A18-49 winner: Big Brother (CBS)

ABC Family branches out to a third evening of original programming. The race for the demo crown should be close here; last year, SYTYCD averaged a 2.37 demo on Wednesday to Big Brother's 2.58.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 5/23/11


The comparisons for these last three days will be kinda weak-ish thanks to CBS' decision to run mostly repeats on the last three days of the sweep.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 5/23/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • For the second straight week, the cancelled guys flexed a little muscle, with The Event up a solid 23% in its series finale to its best numbers since before its long hiatus and The Chicago Code cracking the 2.0 mark for the first time in 2.5 months. Will this be enough to get some other network interested? I'm not absolutely ruling it out, but I should note that this was the weakest competition either of them ever faced.
  • Minute to Win It was another weak show to suddenly put up its best numbers in months. Perhaps this at least demonstrates the already-renewed show can pull a reasonable filler number if it's kept away from American Idol.
  •  The Bachelorette was even with last season's two-hour premiere, but that was leading out of a much stronger year-to-year Dancing with the Stars. DWTS dominated the evening and was slightly above average despite airing for just one hour.

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 5/22/11



Summer 2011 Matchups, Tuesday


Bold indicates a timeslot change; ALL CAPS indicates a new show.

8/7c
Broadcast:
Wipeout (ABC, 6/21)
NCIS (R) (CBS)
America's Got Talent (NBC, 5/31)
Masterchef (Fox, 6/7)

Cable:
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 6/14)

Projected A18-49 winner: Wipeout (ABC) 

Wipeout and Got Talent will only briefly go head-to-head (I just count June 21 and 28), and if there's some Wipeout fatigue from the regular season run, it might be Got Talent that comes out on top for those couple weeks. I look for it to edge out Masterchef, though.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 5/20/11



Summer 2011 Matchups, Monday


Bold indicates a timeslot change; ALL CAPS indicates a new show.

8/7c
Broadcast:
The Bachelorette (ABC, 5/23), Bachelor Pad (ABC, 8/8)
How I Met Your Mother (R)/Mad Love (R) (CBS)
America's Got Talent (R) (NBC)
Masterchef (Fox, 6/6)

Cable:
The Secret Life of the American Teenager (ABC Family)
Eureka (Syfy, 7/11)

Projected A18-49 winner: The Bachelorette (ABC)

Masterchef mostly had unexciting ratings (low 2's in the demo) when leading off the night last season. This year, it won't start off the year with a post-Hell's Kitchen sampling and will have to lead off two nights. Meanwhile, Eureka is the rare scripted show on an "adult" cable network to air at 8/7c. I'd expect that will keep it squarely behind the already-stronger Warehouse 13 which airs after it.


Spotted Ratings, Sunday 5/22/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Many of the Sunday staples have wrapped up their seasons, but there were plenty of originals floating around. Family Guy topped 'em all, but the Celebrity Apprentice (up 20% from last week in its season finale) and the resurrection of the Billboard Music Awards were close behind. Most of Fox's animation was slightly down from last week on finale night.
  • The Jesse Stone movies continue to redefine the word "old-skewing" with each one that airs. The latest Tom Selleck movie, Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost, averaged just a 1.3 demo but had 13.93 million viewers! That means only about twelve percent of the audience was in the adults 18-49 demo. The performance meant CBS was way out ahead in the viewership race but way behind everyone in the demo race. You do occasionally see a network finish first in one metric and fourth in the other, but usually not by such huge margins in both cases at the same time.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Friday 5/20/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The CW got a weak showing from the two-hour finale of Supernatural, weirdly hitting an outright low.
  • At 8:00, Kitchen Nightmares dominated with its second-highest number of the season on finale night. Flashpoint was way down from its weird spike last week while Friday Night Lights picked up a tick.
  • The unscripted battle from 9:00 to 11:00 went the best for ABC, with Primetime: WWYD? and 20/20 up and Dateline down.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 5/19/11


I should note that since the Idol Thursday airings occur in a different sweeps week than the Wednesday airings, those comparisons have all been off by a week. So Idol's -23% is actually relative to the season finale (the week 4 Wednesday airing last year). It's actually +3% vs. the penultimate results show from last season.

First Two Weeks, How'd We Do in 2010-11?


This is a look at how I did at predicting new shows' fates based on just the first two weeks. I might have one last "What a Shitty Year For New Shows" post up in the fairly near future, but the in-depth analysis of the merits of the system itself is probably not gonna come till toward the end of the summer.

For now, I'll just look at my "eye test" evaluations from each of the articles linked in the "system" recap below (in other words, what I subjectively predict at the end of the "Prognosis" section). These are more interesting because I actually made myself pick one way or the other, so there's not a big morass of "borderline" shows that I could not possibly be completely wrong about.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 5/19/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • It was finale night for most of the big four. The only real standout in a good way was The Office, up 18% from last week and 12% year-to-year as it brought in a cavalcade of guest stars. It and Bones (3.2) were the only season finales to finish with above-season-average numbers. Bones was also significantly up year-to-year thanks to its move to the post-American Idol slot.
  • The Big Bang Theory and Grey's Anatomy both got week-to-week bumps but were hugely down (over 30%) year-to-year. In the case of Grey's, it just has the misfortune of going up against the show's huge finale of last year, a number so improbable it actually inspired me to write the Finale Spike post. Big Bang continues to suffer from its Thursday move, meanwhile.
  • Several other finales got zero or almost zero bump week-to-week: Bones, The Mentalist, Parks & Recreation, Rules of Engagement and Wipeout. But a couple of these non-bumps come with caveats. The Mentalist aired two hours rather than one and, in posting just a 2.5 at 9:00, perhaps illustrated why exactly CBS kept it in its 10:00 slot. Parks & Recreation aired for an hour at 10:00 and took a big dip at 10:30 (2.4 -> 2.0).

Demos Year-to-Year, May Sweeps 2011 Week Three Winners/Losers


Top 5 year-to-year show losers
1. Friday Night Lights -38%
2. The Big Bang Theory (Th 8-8:30pm vs. M 9:30-10pm) -38% 
3. Primetime: What Would You Do? -37%
4. Gossip Girl -36% 
5. CSI: NY (F 9-10pm vs. W 10-11pm) -36%

This top 5 is usually headlined by shows that have had adverse timeslot moves (see perennial contenders Big Bang and CSI: NY) so it's interesting to see a trio of same-timeslot shows this time. Friday Night Lights was more about last year's "big" result (a surprising week two uptick to a 1.3) rather than this year's result being anything out of the ordinary (0.8). Gossip Girl didn't get much of a spike for its season finale this year. And Primetime: What Would You Do? has been weakening all season. Once a short-order run of specials (running a combined 17 episodes in its first three seasons), WWYD? got used in a full-season capacity in 2010-11 (tonight's finale will be its 25th this season alone) and has really worn down over the course of that full season. I'd look for it to revert back to its short-order duty next year.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 5/18/11



Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/18/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The biggest mover of the evening was Law & Order: SVU, well above average for its season finale and becoming another of those rare primetime shows to triple the rating of its lead-in. (By my count, this has only been pulled off by Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds, The Office and Celebrity Apprentice among entertainment programs this season).
  • Another good late-season story has been The Middle, posting its highest number in almost three months with Survivor out of the way, but it's been on an upswing lately anyway. The show appeared to be wearing down against the heavy competition but is now almost back to season-average levels.
  • The only big decliner was Cougar Town, but that's fairly expected considering it faced Idol. It tied a series low and had its worst-ever Modern Family retention.

Upfront Answers, The CW


Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 5/17/11



Fall 2011 Matchups


I did this last year too just to give some perspective on how these shows match up rather than just look at each network in a vacuum. This is just some quick reaction and basically a CliffsNotes version of my big hour-by-hour preview coming up late this summer. Timeslot changes are in bold, new shows are in CAPS.

MONDAY
8/7c 
Dancing with the Stars (ABC) vs. How I Met Your Mother/2 BROKE GIRLS (CBS) vs. The Sing-Off (NBC) vs. TERRA NOVA (Fox)

This timeslot was fairly boring last fall with lots of returnees, but it'll be much more interesting this year because of the Terra Nova shakeup. There's also that whole "How will two head-to-head musical competitions hold up?" issue.

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 5/16/11



Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/17/11: Breaking Bad


WHAT MATTERS:
  • CBS had the best night, with all three shows up double digits in their season finales. The biggest mover of the three was The Good Wife, up 20% from last week in what'll be its last airing on Tuesday.
  • NBC also had good things to report, with The Biggest Loser up three tenths and back to above its season average and The Voice holding about steady after its big drop last week. There was definitely reason to worry after all the negative reaction to the battle rounds, but this was a good hold.
  • A special airing of Breaking In dropped by 41% from its much-lower-than-usual Raising Hope lead-in and was down 43% from its last post-Idol airing. It's now dead beyond any doubt, I would think. I was interested in how it would do because I like studying big lead-in changes, but I didn't have any expectations that it'd make Fox change its mind. I think it had to be at probably around a 2.0+ to get them to think about it. I predicted a 1.5 and figured that anything above that would mean the show was at least stronger than it had appeared to be, for whatever that would've been worth. Instead... it's about as strong as it appeared to this retentionista, maybe a little weaker.

Upfront Answers, CBS


Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Upfront Questions, The CW


Note: The Bloggerpocalypse FINALLY restored my last draft of this post from last Thursday, so I'm reposting it so I'll have something to link to for tomorrow's CW Upfront Answers. I didn't update any of the content, so I still don't "know" that One Tree Hill/Nikita are renewed or about CW's surprising pickup of CBS pilot Ringer, for example.

This week, I'm gonna add my voice to the slew of pre-upfront articles out there with "Upfront Questions," in which I break down each night of the current schedule. THIS IS NOT A PREDICTION. I'm just listing the potentially returning puzzle pieces each network's got on the nights they last aired, then laying out what I see as the issues the schedulers have to deal with on each night. Rather than commit to one possibility, I'll try to help with the range of possibilities and considerations. Since I'm not really that interested in development, I think that's about the best I can do. Next week I'll do "Upfront Answers" posts and take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Shows in green are already renewed for next season. The ones in BOLD are (in my opinion) very likely to return to their current timeslots. The ones with a question mark (?) have genuine doubt about their renewal.

Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 5/15/11



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Monday 5/16/11 Up, Up and... Away Anyway


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 13 of 14 programs were up from last week. The highlights included How I Met Your Mother (up a stout 19% from last week and breaking a 3 for the first time in almost two months), House (up 17% from last week to its best number in over two months) and Castle (which hit an outright season high and tied its second-highest rating ever). 
  • Mike & Molly and Hawaii Five-0 are reportedly but not officially renewed yet. Just in case CBS wanted more data (can't imagine they did), they were up double-digits in their finales but still well below their season averages.
  • Also rising were three canceled shows: The Event, Mad Love and The Chicago Code. None of those rises are compelling enough to make their networks reconsider their decisions.

Upfront Answers, ABC


Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 5/13/11



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



Spotted Ratings, Sunday 5/15/11: Survivor Survives Wives


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The night was dominated by the finale of Survivor, which took a much bigger penultimate-to-finale spike than usual. It was up 29% week-to-week. It was down just 5% year-to-year with the reunion down just 6% year-to-year, some of the best year-to-year comparisons the show's had all season. What does that mean? It most likely means that any damage that appeared to be inflicted on the show this season can be largely attributed to regularly facing American Idol for the first time. Breaking 3.0 against the Death Star is not to be trivialized, and this rating only validates that it was another very solid season for this franchise, moreso than it might have appeared. (Even though I didn't really like it creatively...)
  • The two-hour season finale of Desperate Housewives was up two ticks from last week but down 23% from last year's one-hour finale.
  • Despite the added competition, most other stuff was about even week-to-week. This was bad for Celebrity Apprentice, whose result last week was weak partly due to airing in the low-HUT 8:00 hour. This week, it doesn't have that excuse, but it definitely makes sense that the Survivor competition would hurt it most of all. Should have a big finale spike next week.


Upfront Answers, Fox


Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Upfront Answers, NBC


Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 5/14/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • As the release of another Pirates of the Carribean movie looms, ABC got an above-average Saturday movie result from a rebroadcast of 2007's At World's End (1.4).
  • Fox's regional baseball coverage (1.1) did much worse than their usual Cops/America's Most Wanted lineup.
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted. | Full table forthcoming later.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 5/13/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The finale of Smallville did relatively impressive business, picking up 63% from its penultimate episode and tying a season high. This was kind of expected considering the show once had such a big fanbase and was comparable to ER's 71% rise in its final episode. (Might do another edition of my Finale Spike post sometime in the near future.)
  • Probably the only two results that could possibly mean anything for renewal purposes on this last pre-upfront Friday were those of the CSI: NY and Blue Bloods season finales. Both rose in the finals (and have since been reportedly renewed), but CSI: NY was still below average. Blue Bloods recovered after some down results recently to hit its biggest numbers in almost two months. Also on CBS, Flashpoint surprisingly upticked two-tenths from its fairly soft premiere last week.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 5/12/11 (with full table)


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Grey's Anatomy was the only show to hit an outright season/series low on the evening, though it still slightly edged Bones for the timeslot lead (since its share was bigger than Bones' at the same rating).
  • The only big movers were Wipeout, Rules of Engagement and CSI in its season finale, all up double-digits, but those performances were just rallies from recent ugly results and were still among their worst showings of the season.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/11/11 (with full table)


WHAT MATTERS:
  • This post got eaten during the Bloggerpocalypse and still hasn't been restored, so I'm redoing this. Anyway, the gist of my talk then was about how Better with You went into decision time on a surprisingly good note while Happy Endings didn't really, but I said I wouldn't be too surprised if the buzz (which had ABC high on Happy Endings) held up. And it has; Happy isn't ending after one season, while Better is without a season 2.
  • Also remarked on the poor showing in the last pre-decision rating for Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. Still don't know the verdict on that one yet.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 5/12/11



Demos Year-to-Year, May Sweeps 2011 Week Two Winners/Losers


Top 5 year-to-year show losers
1. Minute to Win It -59%
2. American Dad! (Su 7:30-8pm vs. Su 9:30-10pm) -47%
t-3. Fringe (F 9-10pm vs. Th 9-10pm) -45%
t-3. One Tree Hill (Tu 8-9pm vs. M 8-9pm) -45%
5. America's Next Top Model (W 9-10pm vs. W 8-9pm) -41%

Four of these five were in the top 5 last week. Minute to Win It has been slaughtered against the reality gauntlet, Fringe from a move to Friday, and OTH for no apparent reason. Top Model's also been way down, but that's particularly hurt this week by a non-finale vs. year-ago finale comparison. Joining the list is American Dad!, which didn't air last week. It has suffered greatly from its move to Sunday at 7:30 (where the viewing levels are much lower and there's no big Family Guy lead-in).

Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 5/11/11


Blogger's back! Some of the posts from the last couple days are missing, but I think that stuff is gonna get restored. I'll try to redo what I can of it if not.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/10/11: Lower Your Voice


WHAT MATTERS:
  • I questioned last week whether NBC could really afford to air just one hour of The Voice, and my concerns appear to have been warranted. The Voice (4.6) came down 19% week-to-week. How much of that is the later start time and how much is a change in format? Hard to say. Obviously a 4.6 is still a pretty huge number, but this is the first sign of a potential crack in the armor.
  • The only other big movers were The Good Wife (2.0, back more in line with recent results after last week's spike) and the Raising Hope (2.2)/Traffic Light (1.4) combo. Those two along with the Dancing results (3.2) seemed to benefit from the lack of The Voice in the 9:00 hour.
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted. | Full table forthcoming later.

Upfront Questions, CBS


This week, I'm gonna add my voice to the slew of pre-upfront articles out there with "Upfront Questions," in which I break down each night of the current schedule. THIS IS NOT A PREDICTION. I'm just listing the potentially returning puzzle pieces each network's got on the nights they last aired, then laying out what I see as the issues the schedulers have to deal with on each night. Rather than commit to one possibility, I'll try to help with the range of possibilities and considerations. Since I'm not really that interested in development, I think that's about the best I can do. Next week I'll do "Upfront Answers" posts and take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Shows in green are already renewed for next season. The ones in BOLD are (in my opinion) very likely to return to their current timeslots. The ones with a question mark (?) have genuine doubt about their renewal.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 5/9/11



Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 5/8/11



Spotted Ratings, Monday 5/9/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The Monday blues continue, with most shows way below average. But a slew of upward finals adjustments took a lot off shows up from season-low levels. Now we've got The Event90210 and Mad Love tying season lows and Mike & Molly, Hawaii Five-0 and Gossip Girl hitting new outright lowsLOLA dropped two-thirds of what had been a three-tenth rally over the last couple weeks.
  • The only show above average (hell, the only show not 10%+ below average) was ABC's Castle which also dominated the timeslot and was way up year-to-year.

Upfront Questions, ABC


This week, I'm gonna add my voice to the slew of pre-upfront articles out there with "Upfront Questions," in which I break down each night of the current schedule. THIS IS NOT A PREDICTION. I'm just listing the potentially returning puzzle pieces each network's got on the nights they last aired, then laying out what I see as the issues the schedulers have to deal with on each night. Rather than commit to one possibility, I'll try to help with the range of possibilities and considerations. Since I'm not really that interested in development, I think that's about the best I can do. Next week I'll do "Upfront Answers" posts and take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Shows in green are already renewed for next season. The ones in BOLD are (in my opinion) very likely to return to their current timeslots. The ones with a question mark (?) have genuine doubt about their renewal.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 5/6/11



Upfront Questions, Fox


This week, I'm gonna add my voice to the slew of pre-upfront articles out there with "Upfront Questions," in which I break down each night of the current schedule. THIS IS NOT A PREDICTION. I'm just listing the potentially returning puzzle pieces each network's got on the nights they last aired, then laying out what I see as the issues the schedulers have to deal with on each night. Rather than commit to one possibility, I'll try to help with the range of possibilities and considerations. Since I'm not really that interested in development, I think that's about the best I can do. Next week I'll do "Upfront Answers" posts and take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Shows in green are already renewed for next season. The ones in BOLD are (in my opinion) very likely to return to their current timeslots. The ones with a question mark (?) have genuine doubt about their renewal.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 5/8/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • As predicted yesterday, the President Obama interview on 60 Minutes was well above average among spring results (though slightly below its overall average because of all those fall NFL overruns).
  • Expanded editions of The Amazing Race (for its finale) and Celebrity Apprentice (for three hours) both underperformed. Apprentice in particular was way down, 23% week-to-week to a season low, but that's more like 17% when just comparing the  9:00-11:00 period.
  • CSI: Miami and the season/hopefully-series finale of Brothers & Sisters were the shows that seemed most damaged by last week's crazy Obama scheduling, and both rallied. B&S' rise was noticeable, up 19% week-to-week to tie its best number since early March.


Upfront Questions, NBC


Upfronts begin on May 16, one week from today! This week, I'm gonna add my voice to the slew of pre-upfront articles out there with "Upfront Questions," in which I break down each night of the current schedule. THIS IS NOT A PREDICTION. I'm just listing the potentially returning puzzle pieces each network's got on the nights they last aired, then laying out what I see as the issues the schedulers have to deal with on each night. Rather than commit to one possibility, I'll try to help with the range of possibilities and considerations. Since I'm not really that interested in development, I think that's about the best I can do. Next week I'll do "Upfront Answers" posts and take a look at how they addressed my questions.

Shows in green are already renewed for next season. The ones in BOLD are (in my opinion) very likely to return to their current timeslots. The ones with a question mark (?) have genuine doubt about their renewal.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 5/7/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • It was a sporty night on broadcast, with the NBA Playoffs (2.9) dominating NASCAR (1.8).
  • Elsewhere, Chase (0.8) made a nice if meaningless little rally, but the Kentucky Derby lead-in may have something to do with that. CSI: Miami (0.9) was a repeat of last Sunday's episode which was either preempted or cut off in most of the country, but there was no big bump over typical Saturday crimetime numbers.
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted. | Full table forthcoming later.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 5/6/11


 WHAT MATTERS:
  • I noted back when CBS axed Chaos and announced the early return of Flashpoint that I didn't think the show would make a meaningful improvement on the Chaos ratings. On premiere night, Flashpoint indeed built by just one-tenth on the third and final Chaos airing. And Flashpoint dropped after the premiere last season. With yet another weak lead-in at 8pm, CSI: NY and Blue Bloods both dropped a tick, and Blue Bloods tied a series low.
  • Kitchen Nightmares made it back to about average levels following its weak showing last week. Perhaps it benefited from the absence of CBS' royal wedding special. But Fringe dropped 25% from Nightmares and tied a series low. Not good for finale night, but the renewal's secure.
  • The Bin Laden news following the royal wedding news means we're probably in for a second straight above-average week for the newsmagazines. 20/20 and Dateline were both more than 10% above average. The 60 Minutes interview with Obama tonight (Sunday) should do even better.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 5/5/11



Spotted Ratings, Thursday 5/5/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • More new lows for CBS, with season lows for The Big Bang Theory (its lowest levels since season 1), Rules of Engagement (its lowest levels in about two years) and CSI (series low). All the shows took small drops from the already brutal numbers from last week and were around 25% below average.
  • The biggest mover was Wipeout, which posted an ugly series low 1.4. Bones and Nikita picked back up to normal recent results after unusually bad showings last week.
  • The Office came back down to earth from the Carell finale, but it's still at typical late-season levels. Despite that lead-in drop, Parks & Recreation and 30 Rock both rallied significantly after airing at weird start times last week. Parks and Bones were the only shows above average.

Demos Year-to-Year, May Sweeps 2011 Week One Winners/Losers


As I said in the one of these I did for February, I'm now reducing this to original-vs.-original comparisons, though I will include original-vs.-repeat if it's in the other direction from what you'd think. (See #9 on the timeslot loser list for an example; an original is way behind a repeat.) Sorry Supernatural fans, but you don't get another whole sweep of topping the list by beating Top Model reruns. 

One other note: I usually do top 5 for these, but I'll expand that to top 10 this time. I think I'll go back to top 5 next week, but maybe once per sweeps period it's worth the time to show off a little more.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 5/4/11


The weekly recaps will return this time around starting tomorrow morning.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/4/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Every week, a fresh prognosis for Happy Endings. Its 10:00 episode dropped 19% from last week's promising 2.1, then the 10:30 episode dropped another 18%. Not a good sign, but not a killer either. This seems to be one of those shows where you can't get too confident based on any one data point. I imagine there's one more week of ratings at most before the verdict gets rendered on most shows, so it'd do well to rally a bit next week.
  • Speaking of not relying on one data point, there's Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which fell 15% from its really good result three weeks ago. Even though the numbers superficially fluctuate wildly, it seems the show is pretty reliably mid 2's under "good" circumstances (three weeks ago, its 2.6 came with an original Minds lead-in and no original SVU competition) and low 2's under other circumstances (like if SVU is new as it was this week). Overall, perhaps a slightly stronger show than The Good Wife (if not this particular week) but I'd consider it less likely to return due to the big gap in acclaim.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 5/3/11



Ratings Five-Spot Extra - Voicing Thoughts on The Voice


I didn't say much about the larger significance of The Voice's ratings last week because it seemed way premature; the show could fade to nothing in the next few weeks. That's still possible (perhaps the blind auditions heavily plugged in the promos were the real draw), but it seems a lot less likely now that it's had a more-than-solid week two. Perhaps it'll be invalidated in the coming weeks, but I'll take the risk and assume NBC has a big puzzle piece to work with going forward. Here are some early thoughts on what it all means:

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/3/11: Raise Your Voice


WHAT MATTERS:
  • OK, now NBC can start feeling really good. The Voice rose 12% in week two. There are now just TWO entertainment episodes on all of TV this season not named American Idol that have done better: Glee with Britney Spears and Glee after a huge football game. Now the show moves out of its heavily-publicized blind audition phase, but it's hard to complain about the numbers thus far. More later this afternoon.
  • I thought we might be done with Glee beating NCIS, but at least in the prelims it's happened again they ended up tied in finals. The NCIS spinoff was down double digits week-to-week and hit outright season lows, but The Good Wife found a way to pick up 20% from its last original despite a ton of competition.
  • We got new season lows for Body of Proof (tying its post-Desperate Housewives low) and One Tree Hill. The two-tenth Body of Proof drop may seem a little worrying, but it obviously had a ton of competition and it dropped less week-to-week than its lead-in.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 5/2/11




Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 5/1/11


Due to the wonkiness caused by the presidential address, I'll just mark all of the timeslot comparisons in blue as in the daily post.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 5/1/11


WHAT MATTERS:
  • President Obama's primetime interruption at 10:45 ET/7:45 PT had weird ramifications across all of primetime. (I'm putting all stats below that involve timeslots in the less-accurate blue because of that.) The best showings of the evening seemed to be shows in the first half of Sunday primetime despite many of them being totally preempted out west. Dateline had one of its best Sunday showings of the season, then America's Next Great Restaurant hit a series high for its finale despite being seen in only 83% of the country.
  • Also benefiting early in primetime were America's Funniest Home Videos and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, both above average even though Makeover was available in just 84% of the country.
  • The shows that seemed truly damaged were veterans Brothers & Sisters and CSI: Miami, preempted in many cases, pushed to after the late local news in others, and airing just their first 45 minutes on the east coast (though that last one wouldn't hurt the ratings per se). Both hit series lows and were down 15%+ from last week.

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