Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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


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 in 2016 and 2017.

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. It took another three years to drop to 1.5 for the first time (8/15/18, 8/29/18, 9/5/18). Then 2019 brought a bunch of low-1's, including a 1.1 on 8/21/19 and 8/28/19.

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 as Talent continued blowing away its previous career highs in A18-49+ in the late 2010's, the show became too big to contain in the summer. Spin-off America's Got Talent: The Champions debuted in winter 2019.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

1Summer 2006Wed 9:00, Wed 8:003.462.94.6detail
Thursday 9:002.652.13.5
2Summer 2007Wednesday 9:003.65+5%2.64.4detail
3Summer 20083.20-12%2.63.7detail
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 2011Tuesday 9:003.48+10%2.84.6detailA-
Wednesday 9:003.17+4%2.54.1
7Summer 2012Tuesday 8:002.85-18%2.43.7detailC-
Tue 9:00, Wed 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 2014Tuesday 9:002.33-9%1.83.0detailB
Wednesday 9:002.11-12%1.82.4
10Summer 2015Tuesday 8:002.34+0%2.12.6detailA-
Wednesday 8:001.79-15%1.62.1
11Summer 2016Tuesday 8:002.44+4%2.22.8detailA
Wednesday 8:002.24+25%1.82.8
12Summer 2017Tuesday 8:002.62+7%2.33.0detailA
Wednesday 8:002.30+3%1.93.0
13Summer 2018Tuesday 8:002.09-20%1.82.5detailB
Wednesday 8:001.70-26%1.52.1
14Summer 2019Tuesday 8:001.52-28%1.21.7detailC
Wednesday 8:001.25-26%1.11.5

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

1Summer 200685solid(sum)0.817111311381
2Summer 200797hit(sum)0.92+13%69117114111
3Summer 200897hit(sum)0.920%79112112100
4Summer 2009110big hit(sum)1.04+14%96123106110
5Summer 2010112big hit(sum)1.07+2%92139128139
108big hit(sum)1.03+11%89139103139
6Summer 2011137big hit(sum)1.30+22%110181169149
125big hit(sum)1.18+15%98161146142
7Summer 2012121big hit(sum)1.15-12%102157157123
113big hit(sum)1.07-10%80157144102
8Summer 2013121big hit(sum)1.15+0%104147147114
114big hit(sum)1.09+2%100138133119
9Summer 2014124big hit(sum)1.18+2%96159159133
112big hit(sum)1.06-2%96127127127
10Summer 2015139big hit(sum)1.32+12%125155155143
106big hit(sum)1.01-5%9512595125
11Summer 2016168mega(sum)1.59+20%155189175189
12Summer 2017214mega(sum)2.04+28%190242217242
13Summer 2018191mega(sum)1.82-11%167227227207
14Summer 2019159mega(sum)1.52-16%130176174169
132big hit(sum)1.25-15%116157120157

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

1 comment:

Spot said...

Excellent staying power are far as the demo is concerned. In the overall viewership market, this summer (2014), and for the first time ever, it drew more viewers overall than American Idol in the same year.

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