Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Introducing the "True Top 25" with Pre-Premiere Week

I created the True Strength number last summer so I could have an objective way of comparing shows across vastly different situations. One of the most fun comparisons to be made is among the biggest shows on TV. What's really the strongest show in a vacuum? Hence my new weekly feature the True Top 25. This will compare shows while accounting for everything so we can see who Truly comes out on top. I include both the A18-49 and the weekly ranking in A18-49 so you can see the changes within the rankings that True Strength makes. There aren't any really drastic changes this week, though you can see for example that weekend stuff like the Saturday football game and Dateline (which air in low-viewing periods) will fare a lot better on the totem pole.

This pre-premiere week, it was all about Sunday Night Football, but the rest of the top seven was quite closely bunched together. Emmy just barely edged out Saturday Night Football, the Got Talent finale, the Survivor premiere and the surprisingly strong Up All Night premiere.

Rank Name TRUE A18-49 ARank
1 Sports: Sunday Night Football 8.37 10.0 1
2 Special: The Emmy Awards 3.80 4.2 2
3 Sports: Saturday Night Football 3.71 3.3 7
4 America's Got Talent Wed 3.68 3.6 5
5 Up All Night 3.67 3.7 4
6 Survivor 3.62 3.4 6
7 America's Got Talent Tue 3.51 3.8 3
8 Big Brother Wed 2.74 2.9 8
9 The Big Bang Theory (SR-8pm) 2.65 2.3 12
10 The Big Bang Theory (SR-8:30) 2.52 2.6 10
11 Hell's Kitchen Mon 2.21 2.4 11
12 Wipeout Thu 2.08 2.3 12
13 Parenthood 2.04 2.2 14
14 Wipeout Tue 2.02 2.0 16
15 Free Agents 1.87 2.1 15
16 NCIS: Los Angeles (SR) 1.78 1.7 21
17 Dateline Fri (S) 1.75 1.5 25
18 Bachelor Pad (9-11pm) 1.72 1.9 17
19 60 Minutes (SR) 1.72 2.9 8
20 Modern Family (SR-9pm) 1.69 1.8 19
21 The Vampire Diaries 1.69 1.5 25
22 NCIS (SR) 1.67 1.7 21
23 Modern Family (SR-9:30) 1.51 1.8 19
24 Special: Miss Universe Pageant 1.49 1.6 23
25 Bachelor Pad (8-9pm) 1.48 1.9 17

I should note that the True Strength metric was built based on regular season foundations and the pre-premiere week is still largely a summer week (meaning many of the TRUEs are lower than normal because they're expecting regular season-sized competition). I'm mostly doing it this week just as a test run for the formatting and stuff. Next week should be much more exciting and useful with the networks at full strength!

Another important note: the A18-49 rankings aren't based on Nielsen's "official" broadcast top 25. They're derived from my own spreadsheet just using the big-five networks, so none of the big players on Univision are included. I've also weeded out some weird programming like NFL overruns, sports pre-game shows and the Emmy countdown special. Most of that stuff airs largely out of primetime or is strangely split apart, so I don't want to muddle the list with that.

As mentioned on the sports SpotVault pages, True Strengths for sporting events are based on the primetime portion only. This might have inflated the Saturday football number a bit, for example. Perhaps in future editions I'll try to get the primetime portion only A18-49 into the A18-49 rankings so it'll be a totally fair comparison.

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