Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Two Weeks, Ringer


Were Ringer and former netlet vampire slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar instant saviors of the CW? Not quite. Ringer premiered with a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating, putting it basically right in line with most CW premieres of the last three seasons. However, unlike most of those premieres, Ringer had virtually nothing in the way of lead-in support. 90210 at 8:00 managed just a 0.9 demo. In the CW's women 18-34 target, Ringer got a 1.6 rating, which is toward the low end of CW premieres.

The second week saw the full-fledged broadcast competition join the mix, and Ringer took a hit; it was down 25% to a 0.9 A18-49. But its 90210 lead-in also took a hit, down two tenths to a brutal 0.7. How much of that was the lead-in/competition changes and how much was "real"? My True Strength metric preliminarily suggests the drop was more like 21% (final 1.03 in week one, prelim 0.81 in week two). That's still fairly hefty by broadcast standards.

Boy, I was really hoping to start off with an easier one, but apparently not. This is a toughie. Bottom line: when the premiere is relatively modest and the drop is this big in week two, it's most likely not done dropping, and overall I feel like their other scripted newbie Secret Circle is a better fit on the network. We still only have one data point on Secret Circle and none for their third scripted newbie Hart of Dixie, so it's pretty early, but I'm gonna hesitantly say no season two for Ringer. I think it's likely to get more than 13 episodes (like previous one-season shows Melrose Place and Hellcats), especially if Hart of Dixie bombs like many are predicting, but I'm just not sure this show's going to be able to hold up across a whole 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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