Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Two Weeks, 2 Broke Girls


Last week's premiere of 2 Broke Girls was in a pretty extraordinary situation, airing after the monumentally-rated debut of Ashton Kutcher on Two and a Half Men. The Men episode pulled a whooping 10.7 demo, and 2 Broke Girls led out with a 7.1 demo. That means it dropped about a third from its lead-in, but its lead-in was the biggest regularly-scheduled episode of scripted TV in over four years. 2 Broke Girls marked the biggest premiere for a new scripted show since Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in early 2008. Overall, an impressive start.

The second week saw the show slide down to its regular timeslot at 8:30/7:30c leading out of the also impressive How I Met Your Mother. HIMYM scored a 4.5 demo at 8:00, and 2 Broke Girls built slightly to a 4.6. That marks a superficially ugly 35% drop, but considering the change in lead-in and viewing levels, it was a reasonable expectation that the show would drop big. Preliminarily, the drop was Truly more like 26%, and I think it'll be even less in the final True Strengths next week.

This is another show (like Up All Night from last week) where we won't be able to say it was impossible to see it coming if the show ultimately fails; 35% is a big drop. However, I don't think it's going to fail. Its 4.6 demo was still bigger than any regular episode of any new scripted show from last season. It may not continue to build out of HIMYM, but the fact that it started out doing that (especially considering how strong HIMYM has been) is a very good sign. I feel pretty good about this show making a second season.

"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line all of these numbers up to do an objective analysis in what I call "the system."

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