Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Two Weeks, Hart of Dixie


Unlike Ringer and The Secret Circle, the CW's new drama Hart of Dixie didn't get a premiere before the broadcast competition. Instead, it premiered against the second week of full-fledged Monday broadcast competition to 1.88 million viewers, a 0.8 A18-49 rating and a 1.4 W18-34 rating. That doesn't fit too well on the spectrum of the CW's recent drama premieres, somewhere between massive flop The Beautiful Life: TBL and pretty much everything else. The best news was probably that it did build from its Gossip Girl lead-in (1.37m viewers, 0.7 A18-49), but it was still only about in the middle of the CW's week 2 totem pole. Not great news on series premiere night.

Well, this is at least the fourth show this season that I was pretty much ready to say "no" to after week one that proceeded to post a surprisingly decent week two. Hart of Dixie held up completely in week two with another 0.8 A18-49 rating. In viewers (sometimes nice to have in these situations where there's a heavy rounding influence in the demo rating), the show dropped by 7% (to 1.75 million). And it once again built from Gossip Girl's 0.7.

Had Hart of Dixie dropped even to a 0.7 in week two, I'm pretty sure this would've been a slam-dunk "no" to renewal. Instead, it's going to be a more hesitant "no." I'm admittedly pretty surprised it held up for this one week, but that could be to some extent a rounding thing, and the bottom line is it's still starting from a pretty low number and it's still gonna be saddled with a crappy lead-in moving forward. This show's evoked the dreaded "old-school WB" label in some corners (including from myself) but the shows in that vein have generally lasted about a full-ish season (Privileged a little less and Life Unexpected a little more with two short seasons). This scrappy little show could very well last about that long, but I'm not going to predict it goes any longer.

"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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