Monday, October 31, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 10/28/11

Note: the World Series "SLOT" comparison is between the full game rating and Fox's 8:00-10:00 programming last year. I may come back in on Wednesday and just use the World Series' rating from 8-10.

By the way, in case you notice the "SHOW" and "SLOT" numbers are sometimes different for the same show in the same slot, that's because sometimes the broken-down shows used in "SLOT" average something a little different when broken down by half-hour. (In 20/20's case, for example, it averaged a 1.55 rather than a 1.6.)

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/30/11: Twice Upon a Time

  • It's a good weekend for fantasy. Week two of ABC's Once Upon a Time dropped just one tenth in 18-49, and it's actually Truly up from last week (due to much bigger competition on CBS and NBC). Still early, but this certainly looks like the closest thing we have to a drama hit this season.
  • Said good news came against the strongest Sunday Night Football game in over a month. With a great matchup and free from World Series competition, football was way up.
  • Fox premiered new cartoon Allen Gregory to particularly weak results, as it dropped big out of the annual Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons and seems to have damaged Family Guy as well. For all you need to know about what Fox thinks of this rating, see the news that Fox gave a back-nine this morning to one of their other second-tier animated shows Bob's Burgers.
  • 60 Minutes was at season-high levels with its interviews of the Madoff family (as 20/20 was the previous week).

Schedule Five-Spot, WE 10/30/11 - The Walking Dead, Person of Interest, Homeland, Anger Management, In Living Color

Here's the Schedule Five-Spot for the week ending October 30, 2011:

The Walking Dead - AMC's picked up a third season of their zombie drama. To say this is "no surprise" is a major understatement. Season two premiered on October 16 with a 3.8 A18-49 rating, then week two dropped to a 3.6. If it can stay there, it'd be cable TV's strongest drama, with really only NCIS and Criminal Minds consistently higher among the broadcasters. It's warped expectations for AMC, which still struggles to break 1.0 with its other dramas.

True Index

True is a metric first introduced in summer 2011 that takes the Live + Same Day adults 18-49 rating (the publicly available number that most closely correlates with advertising rates) and adjusts it for the three big external factors that affect TV ratings: overall viewing levels, timeslot competition and lead-in rating. The output is a number more reflective than the raw 18-49 rating of the show's "true strength." While True does not improve the correlation with ad dollars (since advertisers pay for actual eyeballs), it provides a better look at opportunity cost dynamics by helping to predict how each show would do in a more normalized situation.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Friday 10/28/11: Not So Grimm

  • Game 7 of the World Series pulled a 7.4 demo. That was up just 14% from the Game 6 rating; despite the uncompelling game, it certainly would've been more on a Thursday. Still, it tied 2009's clinching Game 6 as the second-highest rated World Series game in 18-49 since the move to the current scheduling in 2007.
  • With no lead-in (Chuck's final season returned to a 1.0), low overall viewing and extreme competition by Friday standards, Grimm somehow found a way to be the 2011-12 season's highest-rated regular Friday program so far on any network. It was also NBC's biggest drama premiere of the season (easily ahead of Prime Suspect (1.8) and The Playboy Club (1.6)), and only four drama episodes on the whole of NBC have done better this season. For this one night, at least, it's a big, pleasant surprise.
  • Most affected in the face of the World Series was ABC, where 20/20 came back down to earth after last week's huge rating and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (1.0 at 8:00, 1.1 at 9:00) tumbled, particularly in its 9:00 episode. (The numbers below aren't accurate; the 8/7c and 9/8c episodes were down 17% and 35% respectively.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 10/27/11

The blog's oldest tradition, increasingly often replicated but still never quite duplicated, returns yet again! The benefit this time is that I have complete half-hour breakdowns from the year-ago evenings, so all these comparisons should pretty much be spot-on this time (possibly excepting tonight's WS Game 7). My only thought on this opening evening of sweeps: never thought I'd see something down 20%+ from the year-ago episode of The Apprentice...

SpotVault - The Vampire Diaries (CW) - 2010-11

The Vampire Diaries
Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW

SpotVault - The Vampire Diaries (CW) - 2009-10

The Vampire Diaries
Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW

SpotVault - The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 2010-11

The Big Bang Theory
Thursdays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 2009-10

The Big Bang Theory
Mondays, 9:30/8:30c, CBS

SpotVault - The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 2008-09

The Big Bang Theory
Mondays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 2007-08

The Big Bang Theory
Mondays, 8:30/7:30c and Mondays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - Modern Family (ABC) - 2010-11

Modern Family
Wednesdays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - Modern Family (ABC) - 2009-10

Modern Family
Wednesdays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - Community (NBC) - 2010-11

Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC

SpotVault - Community (NBC) - 2009-10

Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 10/27/11: Cardinal Win

  • Game 6 of the World Series scored a 6.5 A18-49 rating. That's 12% lower than the last Game 6 in 2009, but that series as a whole was considerably stronger across the first 5 games, so consider this a pretty strong rating. It's ahead of the last non-Yankees Game 6 in 2008 (6.2).
  • The other networks were affected almost exactly as you'd expect based on gender composition. Heavily female ABC and the CW were flat to up, the former perhaps also buoyed by a stronger 8/7c lead-in thanks to a Charlie Brown special.
  • Relatively normal-skewing CBS took small hits at 8/7c, though The Big Bang Theory beat the Series heads-up at 8:00. The CBS dramas were flat.
  • Relatively male-skewing NBC got murdered with Community and Parks and Recreation tying series lows and The Office dipping below 3.0 for the first time in over six years. Prime Suspect also hit a new low despite the glut of repeats NBC's been running this week. It's now below the number that got The Playboy Club pulled a few weeks ago!

Notes from the Vault, 10/28/11

Sort of a quickie grab bag edition this week, and again mostly about my True Strength calculations rather than using them. I promise, at some point soon I'll try to do some more comparisons using the number!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Two Weeks, Man Up!


Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 10/26/11: It's Raining Ratings!

  • It looked like this was setting up to be a big evening for Game 6 of the World Series. Then the rains came, and we were left with a suddenly uncompetitive night. Fox's replacement Gleepeats were not in contention.
  • ABC got expectedly great numbers across the board with little competition and the always reliably strong Halloween themes. The Middle and Suburgatory set new series highs (the latter becoming the season's first new show to exceed its series premiere rating), the Modern Family Halloween repeat seems likely to finish as the 2011-12 season's highest-rated repeat telecast, Happy Endings set a new series high and Revenge was up a couple tenths from last week. 
    • So who Truly did well, for those who care about that sort of thing? The best showing definitely came from Happy Endings, as its high came with easily its lowest lead-in of the season. Very encouraging stuff there. The Middle and Suburgatory were solid. With no real competition and its biggest lead-in ever, Revenge's decent raw numbers performance will likely finish as its weakest TRUE yet.
  • Survivor and America's Next Top Model were also at outright season high levels thanks to the dearth of competish.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SpotVault - Once Upon a Time (ABC) - 2011-12

Once Upon a Time
Sundays, 8/7c, ABC

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 10/25/11

  • Week two of ABC's Man Up! dropped by 17% in week two, using up pretty much all of its margin for error. I won't rule out it airing next week or anything, but it doesn't appear this is a long term option now. Also somewhat unsettling was another noticeable week three drop out of lead-in Last Man Standing.
  • Fox and CBS were both on the upswing, with a second Tuesday edition of The X Factor tying its series high in its 150-minute episode and NCIS: Los Angeles exhibiting well above average retention of NCIS.

SpotVault - The World Series (Fox) - 2011

The World Series on Fox

The True Top 25, Week Ending 10/23/11 (2011-12 Week Five)

The Big Bang Theory takes home the TRUE crown for the second straight week, and its gap over second-place Modern Family grew a little bit. No surprise, since the show was up by 0.5 week-to-week in 18-49, but it was only up by about 0.17 in TRUE. It may not have been up at all if not for a really low PUT calculation at 8:00 (an estimated 31.1% of A18-49 were watching TV Thursday at 8:00, the lowest number for any half-hour of any weeknight this season to date).

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 10/22/11 (FINALS)

  • This evening of sports saw Game 3 of the World Series outscore the combined college football competition on two other broadcast networks. Game 3 will finish as the only of the five applicable 2011 World Series games that's up year-to-year, up by 10% on last year's 2.9 Game 3 (still the lowest-rated World Series game ever).
  • ABC got a bit of a bad break from a massive weather delay for Texas Tech/Oklahoma, though I'm not sure that matchup would've driven the season-low rating up too much. I'm not totally sure how this played out across the country, but at least in my east coast market we got the entirety of Stanford/Washington on ABC, then TT/Oklahoma (which turned out to be a great game!) was shipped over to ESPN2.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 10/23/11 - Man Up!, World Series, Jersey Shore, Rules of Engagement, Once Upon a Time

Over at SpoilerTV, this week's Ratings Five-Spot takes a look at the premieres of Man Up! and Once Upon a Time on ABC, the return of Rules of Engagement to CBS Thursday, the season four finale of Jersey Shore and the first four games of the 2011 World Series. Check it out!

The Five-Spots are my recaps of what aired, what got renewed/cancelled and what rated well or poorly last week in TV. For more Five-Spots, see the Index.

    Spotted Ratings, Monday 10/24/11

    • CBS' lineup fell in finals but was still almost entirely up week-to-week. That news was best for Two and a Half Men, which ends its string of four straight declines.
    • Game 5 of the World Series finished even with last year's fifth and final game. Tomorrow night, Fox roots for the Cardinals, as that would set up the first World Series Game 7 since 2002.
    • Among the other three nets, the only one with anything noteworthy to report was the CW, where Gossip Girl gained a tenth from last week and Hart of Dixie was up 0.2 to tie its series high from its first two weeks. It also set a new series high in total viewers.

    Ad Rates 2011: What'd Advertisers Think of New Shows?

    To do this portion of my yearly epic look at ad rates, I take the average cost of a 30 second spot per point of A18-49 rating from comparing ratings and ad rates for 58 shows that stayed in the same timeslot (or close to the same timeslot) in 2011-12. Then I apply that average cost to the new shows' ad rates to get a speculated demo rating. Not an exact science, and perhaps these should all be a little lower since the advertisers are likely projecting some losses in the returnee ad rates, but they'll work for comparative purposes.

    These rates will change based on actual ratings, and significant underachievers often cause their networks to pay "make-goods," so these shouldn't be taken as measures of success or failure. They're just measures of what was expected to succeed or fail, which I think is a cool thing to be able to see.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Schedule Five-Spot, WE 10/23/11 - Sons of Anarchy, The Glades, How to Be a Gentleman, Fear Factor, Love in the Wild

    Here's your Schedule Five-Spot for the week ending October 23, 2011:

    Sons of Anarchy - FX has renewed their flagship original program Sons of Anarchy for a fifth season. The show's fourth season set series highs in the opener with 4.927 million viewers and a 2.5 A18-49 rating and should be in the running with season two for the highest-rated Sons season yet. Despite FX's recent successful launch of American Horror Story, Sons remains (at least for now) the highest-rated FX series by a fairly comfortable margin.

    Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/23/11: Once Up a Ton

    • It's been a pretty underwhelming fall for drama premieres, but late October has finally brought us a biggie. Once Upon a Time was more than a half point ahead of previous drama high Revenge (3.3) and it was up triple digits from lead-in America's Funniest Home Videos. It's the biggest drama series premiere since V (5.2) about two years ago. This showing also more than doubled the week-ago Extreme Makeover: Home Edition rating. Great start!
    • The big lead-in was also a boon to Desperate Housewives, up a few ticks from last week, although I'm guessing this is the first time the Housewives have ever dropped from their lead-in. There was no benefit for week five of Pan Am.
    • Sports dominated the rest of the landscape, but Sunday Night Football dropped to another new season low and was in fact lower than any 2009 or 2010 game too. The last weaker game was the Washington/Baltimore matchup on 12/7/08. 
    • Game 4 of the World Series had the Series' highest total audience to date and tied its highest 18-49 rating, but it was Truly the Series' weakest game thanks to huge Sunday viewing levels. It was even with last year's Game 4 in 18-49.

      Ad Rates 2011: The Big Takeaways

      It's that time of year again; one of my favorite articles (Ad Age's upfront ad rates) has hit the Internet. I'll spare you all the stuff about how they are estimates, but they are and you can read about all that on the article. Bottom line for me: for a random on the Internet like myself, this is nothing less than one of the most important windows into the industry that exists for public consumption.

      For pretty much the next 12 months (but especially last night and today), this article leads to many a tweet and forum post and blog post where someone links the article and then points out one random comparison as illuminating everything there possibly is to know about TV. I, on the other hand, am much more thorough. This information deserves it.

      Just like last year, I'm gonna do four posts on this stuff. Last year, I opened up by revisiting the "Peetooplus" idea (correlating P2+ counts and A18-49 with the ad rates) that I first tackled in depth back in 2009. This year, I'm shortening that because it doesn't really change year-to-year, although a couple of the notes in this post will kinda address that. I recommend examining the peetooplus label if you are somehow reading this blog but still aren't buying into that whole adults 18-49 myth.

      In this first post, I'm just gonna highlight a few big takeaways that may not be obvious to the naked eye:

      Saturday, October 22, 2011

      Spotted Ratings, Friday 10/21/11

      • As perfectly SpecTrulated yesterday, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition made its Friday debut with a 1.4 demo rating. (In finals, ABC counted that as two separate episodes, a 1.2 at 8:00 and a 1.7 at 9:00.) I don't think that's a particularly newsworthy result in either direction. The biggest news on the ABC evening was the huge spike by 20/20, which had its biggest Friday rating in almost a year.
      • Nothing else meaningfully moved except Dateline, which got smashed by the 20/20 newsmagazine competition and is now at just half of its premiere rating from only four weeks ago.

      Friday, October 21, 2011

      SpotVault - Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 2011-12

      Rules of Engagement
      Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS

      SpotVault - Desperate Housewives (ABC) - 2010-11

      Desperate Housewives
      Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

      SpotVault - Desperate Housewives (ABC) - 2009-10

      Desperate Housewives
      Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

      SpotVault - Desperate Housewives (ABC) - 2008-09

      Desperate Housewives
      Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

      SpotVault - Desperate Housewives (ABC) - 2007-08

      Desperate Housewives
      Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

      SpotVault - Desperate Housewives (ABC) - 2006-07

      Desperate Housewives
      Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

      SpotVault - Desperate Housewives (ABC) - 2005-06

      Desperate Housewives
      Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

      SpotVault - Desperate Housewives (ABC) - 2004-05

      Desperate Housewives
      Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

      Spotted Ratings, Thursday 10/20/11: Booms of Engagement

      • Fox went with Game 2 of the World Series, which won the evening for Fox and (because of the late-game dramatics) fared better on a year-to-year basis than the previous evening's Game 1. It was actually even with 2010's Game 2 and down just 5% from the Game 1 rating. That's the smallest Game 1 to Game 2 drop in the five years of the current scheduling.
      • With NBC's comedy lineup sitting out the evening, CBS' opening hour benefited noticeably, as The Big Bang Theory broke a 5.0 in the 8:00 half-hour for the first time and Rules of Engagement retained 71% of the Big Bang demo, almost matched the week-ago Bang encore and tied its best raw 18-49 rating in any of the last two seasons.
      • Other entertainment programs on CBS, ABC and the CDub were not majorly impacted by the change in competition.

      SpecTrulation, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

      I created True Strength this summer because I wanted an effective way to compare different timeslots across the primetime TV landscape. To take advantage of that, I'm going to do one of these posts called "SpecTrulation" each time a show undergoes a move to a drastically different situation. It'll be good for me to highlight these anyway because it's how the ratings responded in these types of drastic moves that formed much of the foundations of True Strength last year. Presumably it'll be that way again in future updates.

      The first edition looks at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, an ABC institution on Sundays for almost eight years which makes its debut as a regular Friday program tonight.

      Thursday, October 20, 2011

      Notes from the Vault, 10/20/11

      Things are finally kinda settling down in the TV ratings world, and I'm not having to create millions of SpotVault pages and First Two Weeks posts and the like every day, so I've finally gotten a chance to step back and take a more critical look at how the True Strength metric is working out in a "real-time" environment. So this week's edition of Notes from the Vault will be much more about TRUE itself rather than about what TRUE illuminates. If the posts detailing the creation of True Strength last summer were any indication, that probably means almost nobody will want to continue past this point. :( But I'll go ahead and put it on up anyway! Enter at your own peril.

      Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 10/19/11

      • Game 1 of the World Series finished down by 11% from last year's Game 1, and last year's Game 1 ended up being the weakest in the four years since the move to the current Wed/Thu/Sat/Sun/Mon/Wed/Thu scheduling. It was the second-lowest-rated Game 1 ever in 18-49, leading only the 2006 Game 1 (3.6) which was the last Game 1 to air on Saturday.
      • Most entertainment programs were not meaningfully impacted by the World Series' arrival. Nothing (except Top Model) moved by more than 10% in either direction. The biggest droppers were the last couple hours on ABC, with Modern Family, Happy Endings and Revenge each down by 0.2. And a lot of that may just be those series coming back to earth after nice spikes last week.

      SpotVault - Man Up! (ABC) - 2011-12

      Man Up!
      Tuesdays, 8:30/7:30c, ABC

      First Two Weeks, Last Man Standing


      Wednesday, October 19, 2011

      Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 10/18/11: Man Down!

      • ABC's Last Man Standing dropped by 14% from last week's one-hour average, but the drop is likely to Truly be less because of greater competition and the premiere benefiting from the 8:30 viewing levels. It was down just 9% from Last Man's average in the 8:00 half-hour last week. Consider this fairly encouraging.
      • Leading out was the unimpressive series premiere of Man Up!, which lost 23% of Last Man Standing's demo. On series premiere night, that's not good.
      • Most other programs from 8-10 dropped a bit against Fox's special Tuesday edition of The X Factor, which did significantly better than the special Sunday episode a couple days prior. The Dancing with the Stars results dropped most, but that also had a much weaker lead-in to deal with.
      • Without baseball competition at 10:00, those programs were mostly on the rise, with Unforgettable up a couple tenths and Body of Proof picking up one.

      The True Top 25, Week Ending 10/16/11 (2011-12 Week Four)

      We have our third different champion in four weeks of 2011-12! The Big Bang Theory not only beats Modern Family for the first time but also holds off Two and a Half Men as well as a much weaker than usual Sunday Night Football to grade out as week four's Truly strongest show. Modern Family was one of several Wednesday shows hurt in this metric by much weaker than usual competition as a relatively weak MLB overrun replaced usual competition The X Factor. Said competition also hurt Wednesday shows like The Middle, Suburgatory and Survivor which held up nicely in 18-49 but dropped (sometimes a lot) in TRUE. Only one of the ALCS games made the True Top 25 (though Saturday's game 6 (2.29) just barely missed). The World Series should have more of a presence next week even if it is (as some expect) historically low-rated.

      Spotted Ratings, Saturday 10/15/11 (FINALS)

      • On a sporty Saturday evening, it was Game 6 of the American League Championship Series beating out NASCAR.
      • The other two networks combined for just one program at a 1.0+ demo (the 10/9c Law & Order: SVU repeat). A particular lowlight was the Saturday debut of How to Be a Gentleman, which also turned out to be the Saturday finale of How to Be a Gentleman (as CBS pulled the plug even on these airings). It dropped notably from the Two and a Half Men repeat and was down 72% from its last Thursday airing!

      Tuesday, October 18, 2011

      SpotVault - House (Fox) - 2010-11

      Mondays, 8/7c, Fox

      SpotVault - House (Fox) - 2009-10

      Mondays, 8/7c, Fox

      SpotVault - House (Fox) - 2008-09

      Tuesdays, 8/7c and Mondays, 8/7c, Fox

      SpotVault - House (Fox) - 2007-08

      Tuesdays, 9/8c and Mondays, 9/8c, Fox

      SpotVault - House (Fox) - 2006-07

      Tuesdays, 9/8c, Fox

      SpotVault - House (Fox) - 2005-06

      Tuesdays, 9/8c, Fox

      SpotVault - House (Fox) - 2004-05

      Tuesdays, 9/8c, Fox

      Spotted Ratings, Monday 10/17/11

      • Fox indeed got a rebound week-to-week from last Monday's overrun-impacted programming, with Terra Nova and House each back up by double digits. Obviously Fox was hoping for and probably expecting a rebound, but was this enough of one? The shows were both still down significantly from their last regular start time airings a couple weeks ago, when Nova got a 3.1 and House premiered to a 3.9.
      • The other big beneficiaries from no MLB overrun were the two 10:00 programs that had to deal with House last week, Hawaii Five-0 (up 15%) and Castle (up 19%). I had thought House was a factor in both of their weak returns last week, but it's definitely a major sigh of relief for Castle, which ends its streak of three straight weeks with big drops.
      • In the still not settled department is Two and a Half Men, which lost double-digits again (but, to keep it in perspective, is still ahead of any rating from last season). At least it appears the rest of the CBS evening has leveled off.

      Ratings Five-Spot, WE 10/16/11 - The Walking Dead, Last Man Standing, Reed Between the Lines, Psych, New Show Roundup

      This week's Ratings Five-Spot over at SpoilerTV puts the huge Walking Dead premiere ratings in perspective and visits a few other goings-on from the last week in TV ratings, including the premieres of Last Man Standing, BET's Reed Between the Lines and Psych. I also take a look at how some of the new shows' ratings have developed over the last few weeks. Check it out!

      The Five-Spots are my recaps of what aired, what got renewed/cancelled and what rated well or poorly last week in TV. For more Five-Spots, see the Index.

      Monday, October 17, 2011

      Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/16/11

      • Fox went with a special Sunday edition of The X Factor. As with most special airings, it underperformed, hitting a new series low.
      • ABC from 8:00 to 11:00 was all down a tenth from last week, which is not very good news for Pan Am, but at least it wasn't yet another double-digit decline.
      • Without NFL overrun for the first time in three weeks, things went as typical without overrun in the fall for CBS; the first half of the evening suffered, with The Amazing Race and especially 60 Minutes down, while the second half of the evening was unaffected if not helped; CSI: Miami tied its season high of two weeks ago.
      • NBC won with Sunday Night Football, but the rating was actually weaker than any from this or last season.

      Schedule Five-Spot, WE 10/16/11 - Ringer, Suburgatory, Boardwalk Empire, Charlie's Angels, Prime Suspect

      Another jam-packed week of scheduling news. Thought about splitting it in two again, but instead I'll just cover multiple items in most of these "spots." An exercise in being concise! Here we go:

      Ringer, The Secret Circle, Hart of Dixie - The CW gave full-season orders to all of their new scripted shows this fall. It marks two straight seasons that all the net's new scripted shows got the order. Like last year's Hellcats/Nikita slate, none of these shows are clear hits, but none are clear flops either. At least not yet. The moves ensure the net will have a relatively full schedule this season, so does One Tree Hill go to Wednesday or replace repeats elsewhere?

      Saturday, October 15, 2011

      Spotted Ratings, Friday 10/14/11

      • ABC got a nice same-week encore performance out of Last Man Standing, which tied its lead-out (the 9/8c Modern Family) as the highest-rated of ABC's four weeks of Friday night encores. Next week, the ABC encore-fest ends as original Extreme Makeover: Home Edition takes over.
      • The only multiple-tenth mover was Kitchen Nightmares, down a couple tenths to near its lowest levels ever, and its soft showing helped bring Fringe back down a notch. Supernatural ticked up in the finals to tie its season high of three weeks ago.

      Friday, October 14, 2011

      SpotVault - Last Man Standing (ABC) - 2011-12

      Last Man Standing
      Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABC

      SpotVault - Fringe (Fox) - 2010-11

      Thursdays, 9/8c and Fridays, 9/8c, Fox

      SpotVault - Fringe (Fox) - 2009-10

      Thursdays, 9/8c, Fox

      SpotVault - Fringe (Fox) - 2008-09

      Tuesdays, 9/8c, Fox

      Notes from the Vault/True Bubbles, 10/14/11

      As I said a couple weeks ago, from time to time I'm gonna make some observations about and using the True Strength metric that don't really fit with the other posts around here. I'm going to try to get a post together on viewing levels year-to-year next week (to get a better since of how well I "forecasted" the methodology change effects), so for now I'll just look at how the True metric feels about some early bubble situations. Here goes:

      Spotted Ratings, Thursday 10/13/11: The Big Rerun Theory

      • Last week, I thought Charlie's Angels and How to Be a Gentleman were both in about equal trouble despite Gentleman having over double the raw demo numbers. In the end, it was Gentleman that got pulled (sorry, "moved to Saturday") while Angels didn't. Why? Replaceability. The immediate replacements for Angels wouldn't do meaningfully better, but almost anything in Gentleman's 8:30 timeslot with a Big Bang lead-in would do better. Case in point: last night's 8:30 Big Bang Theory repeat, which did a whooping 48% better than the week-ago Gentleman. Now, we get to see if Rules of Engagement's return next week can do better than that; I'm pretty sure it won't. This seems a situation fairly reminiscent of back in the '90s when NBC would run Friends repeats at 8:30 to better results than originals they put there. Perhaps Modern Family is a huge enough hit at this point that it'd be the same way. The huge lead-in boost helped produce a two-tenths increase for Person of Interest at 9/8c.
      • Meanwhile for the Angels, the remake of the iconic "Angels in Chains" episode was not exactly their salvation, but it did gain a tick. Since there's only one week left between now and the beginning of sweeps, I'm thinking ABC just sticks it out for one last airing next week. We'll see. UPDATE: In an interesting twist, I was correct about the one more week, as ABC did formally cancel the show but leaves it on the air for at least next week. More "good" news for the Angels is that the rest of the ABC evening recovered, with Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice each up double-digits.
      • NBC's desperation to make Prime Suspect work isn't really paying off, as that show dived another couple ticks. Whitney also dropped big again, meaning it's actually now behind Parks & Recreation even in raw numbers (it's been Truly behind for a couple weeks now). With Community up and Free Agents axed, that means Whit is now preliminarily NBC's Truly weakest sitcom.

      Thursday, October 13, 2011

      Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 10/12/11

      • Major League Baseball's quest to singlehandedly dismantle Fox's season continued, as yet another rain-delayed American League Championship Series game bled into primetime and bumped higher-rated The X Factor off the schedule. (It's now scheduled to air on Sunday, but the way things are going for Fox, the ALCS will probably go 7 games and bump that one too.)
      • The night's only really good news came on ABC, where Suburgatory stabilized in week three while Happy Endings and Revenge were both up double digits. For Suburgatory and Revenge, at least, these showings should be UPDATE: WERE! full-season clinchers, and it's a new series high for Happy Endings even after its drop in finals. Revenge actually edged the fading CSI for its first 10/9c victory since premiere Wednesday.
      • Nobody else meaningfully benefited from the lack of X. Survivor ended up gaining just a tick while Up All Night actually dropped a couple.
      • Two networks replaced cancelled shows for the first time; the Ringer encore basically matched last week's H8R r8ings while the Whitney encore actually did a lot better than the week-ago Free Agents (1.0).

        Wednesday, October 12, 2011

        Spotted Ratings, Saturday 10/8/11 (FINALS)

        • CBS bumping the Rules of Engagement premiere from the evening took away some of the lustre, but it was still a somewhat bustling Saturday as ABC's well below average Saturday Night Football (1.8) between Ohio State and Nebraska barely edged the rain-delayed opener of the baseball American League Championship Series (1.7) in terms of overall program ratings. However, the ALCS was stronger during primetime, meaning its number was dragged way down by the long out-of-primetime delay. Hence the higher TRUE for the baseball game (as those are based on primetime-only numbers).
        • If you're looking for something that bodes well for How to Be a Gentleman's return to originals next Saturday, I guess you can point to the strong performance from this Saturday's debut of "Comedytime" encores, as Mike and Molly (1.1) and 2 Broke Girls (1.2) did better than most of CBS' "Crimetime" encores do at 8/7c.

        The True Top 25, Week Ending 10/9/11 (2011-12 Week Three)

        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.

        After two weeks of Two and a Half Men domination, the show Truly dropped sharply in week three, falling behind not only new champ Sunday Night Football (fueled by a big Packers/Falcons matchup) but also the still tightly-packed duo of Modern Family and Big Bang Theory. Men was damaged not only by its own drop but also by a big competition drop (with an extremely weak Monday Night Football game last week). For a third straight week, Modern Family just barely eked ahead of the vastly undervalued Big Bang. The only two shows on the list that weren't here last week: House (which premiered in this week) and Up All Night.

        Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 10/11/11: Last Man Standout

        • ABC got a great series premiere out of Last Man Standing, as this show slightly outshone last year's solid No Ordinary Family debut in the timeslot as well as the debut of fellow ABC comedy Suburgatory from a couple weeks back. The "year of the comedy" meme rocks on, as this becomes the fifth comedy this year to premiere at least as well as the highest-premiering drama. As it stands in prelims, LMS is Truly the season's fourth-biggest series premiere to date, but finals next week could put it past Up All Night (3.67) and behind only 2 Broke Girls and New Girl. The big lead-in also boosted the DWTS results to, in a rarity, a higher rating than the performance show.
        • Fox was weaker than usual thanks to the ALCS, but this didn't stop CBS' lineup from dropping slightly and The Biggest Loser from hitting another new low.
        • On the plus side was the CW's lineup, with Ringer mercifully getting back one tenth after its huge collapse last week.

        Tuesday, October 11, 2011

        Spotted Ratings, Monday 10/10/11 (FINALS): Terra Noverrun

        • Fox's Monday lineup started 53 minutes late thanks to the American League Championship Series. This helped push Terra Nova and House significantly down week-to-week. Is there precedent for this situation? Well, House aired 45 minutes late due to baseball overrun a couple years ago (10/19/09) and finished about 15% lower than the episodes in the surrounding weeks. Since House was more established than Terra Nova at the time, I wouldn't write off Terra Nova for its 19% drop. House's 31% drop is perhaps more concerning, but I think there's probably some post-premiere drop built into that one as well. Let's see how both do next week.
        • Everything else was also down. Preempted in Detroit for Monday Night Football (whose ESPN telecast (6.9) was the season's second-strongest), Dancing with the Stars hit a new performance series low while Castle tumbled yet again to its lowest numbers in nine months. Two and a Half Men's declines slowed considerably, but the eye still took double-digit hits at the beginning and end of the night with HIMYM and Hawaii Five-0. The Sing-Off dropped 17% while a special Monday Prime Suspect rerun was not even close to recently pulled The Playboy Club (its last ep got a 1.2 last week). And finally, Hart of Dixie's steadiness last week didn't last too long as it dropped two ticks.

        Ratings Five-Spot, WE 10/9/11 - Dexter, Hung, House, American Horror Story, The League

        For the first time in the SpoilerTV era, the Ratings Five-Spot dips into cable ratings, examining the Dexter, Homeland and Hung premieres from a couple Sundays ago and a pair of solid FX premieres in the last week. I also take one stop on broadcast in looking at the return of House and week two of Terra Nova. Check it out!

        Monday, October 10, 2011

        SpotVault - Castle (ABC) - 2010-11

        Mondays, 10/9c, ABC

        SpotVault - Castle (ABC) - 2009-10

        Mondays, 10/9c, ABC

        SpotVault - Castle (ABC) - 2008-09

        Mondays, 10/9c, ABC

        SpotVault - The Office (NBC) - 2010-11

        The Office
        Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

        SpotVault - The Office (NBC) - 2009-10

        The Office
        Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

        SpotVault - The Office (NBC) - 2008-09

        The Office
        Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

        SpotVault - The Office (NBC) - 2007-08

        The Office
        Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

        SpotVault - The Office (NBC) - 2006-07

        The Office
        Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, NBC

        SpotVault - The Office (NBC) - 2005-06

        The Office
        Tuesdays, 9:30/8:30c and Thursdays, 9:30/8:30c, NBC

        SpotVault - The Office (NBC) - 2004-05

        The Office
        Tuesdays, 9:30/8:30c, NBC

        Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/9/11: Panned Am

        • Week 1 was solid. Week two was OK. But if week three's what tells the real tale (as many industry folks claim), then the real tale is not good for Pan Am, which actually dropped much bigger in week three (27%) than in week two (16%). It looked just last week like this had some decent chance of being a success story, but a lot of that chance was eliminated last night. It got little help from Desperate Housewives, down another 7%. It seems ABC's hopes for Sunday respectability this season now rest on 8/7c offering Once Upon a Time, which premieres in two weeks.
        • It was an otherwise boring evening as NBC dominated with Sunday Night Football (below average for this season but noticeably stronger than last week) and Fox replaced the rained-out playoff baseball game with repeats of The Cleveland Show and The X Factor.
        • The CBS lineup was delayed by 35 minutes. After finals, everything was at its lowest level of the season except 60 Minutes.

        Schedule Five-Spot, WE 10/9/11, Good News - New Girl, Up All Night, Whitney, 2 Broke Girls, Fox renewals

        I wanted to bring back the full complement of weekly Five-Spots last week or a couple weeks ago. But there was very little scheduling news until last week, when it all flew in at once. So I'm kicking off a new season of Schedule Five-Spots with a double dose today. This is the "good news" edition looking at the full season pickups to date and some other renewals from this week. "Bad news" went up about an hour ago.

        New Girl - For the second straight year, the first full-season pickup went to a show airing on Tuesday at 9/8c on Fox. Last year, Raising Hope. This year, Zooey Deschanel's New Girl, which has done far better even than Hope (and was picked up a week earlier). It broke out with a 4.8 demo on premiere Tuesday and has remained well above a 4.0 in its two subsequent airings, and this has come despite major declines from Glee at 8:00.

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