Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Two Weeks, How to Be a Gentleman


There are a lot of networks and timeslots where a 2.7 demo is a pretty decent start. Thursday at 8:30 on CBS after The Big Bang Theory is not one of those timeslots. With Big Bang scoring a 4.9 demo at 8:00, How to Be a Gentleman's 2.7 meant a mere 55% retention of that audience, this despite an increase in the number of overall adults 18-49 using TV at 8:30 (from an estimated 32.9% at 8:00 to 34.7% at 8:30). This retention already puts it among the worst in recent CBS history; CBS' failed Worst Week back in 2008-09 had worse retention out of Two and a Half Men just one time out of its 14 post-Men airings (54% when it got a 2.9 out of Men's 5.4 on 1/19/09).

How to Be a Gentleman dropped to a 2.5 demo in week two, an overall drop of just 7%, while its retention of Big Bang (now at a 4.5 demo) actually ever-so-slightly improved (from 55.1% to 55.6%). At least relative to week one, that's a better week two performance than most shows have. But the problem is that the 2.5 made it the weak link of CBS Thursday and tied (with Unforgettable) as their weakest show of the week to date, even though its lead-in was CBS' second-biggest show of the week.

When you're a CBS comedy, the standards are just higher they are for most other shows in most other situations, as CBS has proven they can plug in even a modest performer like Rules of Engagement or $#*! My Dad Says and maintain about 70% of the lead-in's demo. Being down in the 50's means just about anything could do better. A repeat of Big Bang at 8:30 could probably break 3.0 with an original lead-in (and that could be a conservative estimate; we'll see this Thursday). Bottom line: this is one of the biggest failures CBS has had in the comedy department in years, and it got effectively pulled last night when CBS sent it to Saturday and brought Rules back to Thursday. I am going to predict that this show does not get an extension or 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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