Thursday, October 20, 2011

First Two Weeks, Last Man Standing


The one-hour series premiere of Last Man Standing pulled in an impressive 13.19 million viewers and a 3.6 demo average across the whole hour. By half-hour, the show averaged a 3.4 at 8:00 and a 3.8 at 8:30 (and a 10 share in both half-hours). Some felt that Tim Allen's return to TV should've done better, but it was the highest-rated series premiere to lead off a night since V in the same timeslot nearly two years ago. It was just barely behind Up All Night as the 4th-strongest debut of the season both in A18-49 and TRUE.

Week two brought an overall drop of 14% to a 3.1 demo, though week two's episode only aired in the 8:00 half-hour. Just comparing 8:00 half-hours, it was only a 9% drop. And comparing overall preliminaries, it was Truly more like an 11% drop. That's better than I expected, since I thought a lot old Home Improvement fans might have tuned in for one week and then tuned out the next.

It's been a little while now since a defiantly traditional family comedy like Last Man Standing has legitimately succeeded, and this show is so precisely in Tim Allen's wheelhouse that it might take some of the Home Improvement nostalgia samplers more than one week to trickle away. However, this is yet another ABC show where there's just no real ratings case to be made against it based on the first two weeks. Not too many shows on TV these days are pulling a 3.1+ demo in the 8:00 half-hour. I feel I pretty much have to predict it gets renewed with what we've got right now. That makes 4/5 ABC shows I've given the thumbs up to, although even in mid-October it's looking like I'll definitely be wrong on at least one of them (Pan Am).

"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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