You might notice that the TRUE numbers seem generally inflated this week; this will be even more obvious looking at individual shows as I update them in the Vault over the course of the day. This is the first time since I started this that 25+ shows broke a 3.00 TRUE; usually it's more like 20 shows. I credit a pretty wide variety of factors:
First, the end of baseball, which I think was dragging down some shows' numbers more than it "should" have and will be something to look at when updating this number in the future.
Second, while there was a really noticeable hit to viewing levels on Halloween (each half-hour was down 8%+ year-to-year by my estimates), some shows like How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls held up extremely well and thus got a huge boost. HIMYM hit a season high and 2 Broke Girls hit its second-highest TRUE yet, even though both were below average in the raw numbers.
Third, this was the first week without the Early Fall Hype adjustment, my mechanism for preventing early fall ratings from being heavily inflated as they usually are in raw numbers. So shows in the same general situation will have a slightly better TRUE. I should probably come up with a way to make this adjustment more gradual (more heavily weighted in premiere week, less so toward the sixth week of the season). But any individual week is such a small sample size that I didn't feel too comfortable doing it on a week-by-week basis, so it's inevitably going to seem a little more stark in this one week where we go from the full adjustment to zero adjustment.
|1||Sports: CBS College FB||7.71||7.2||2|
|2||Sports: Sunday Night Football||7.63||8.8||1|
|3||The Big Bang Theory||7.11||5.4||4|
|5||How I Met Your Mother||5.51||4.2||7|
|6||2 Broke Girls||4.92||4.3||6|
|7||Two and a Half Men||4.84||4.7||5|
|9||The X Factor Thu||4.41||3.7||11|
|10||The X Factor Wed||4.34||4.0||8|
|18||Once Upon a Time||3.31||3.8||10|
|19||Last Man Standing||3.28||2.7||33|
|20||Rules of Engagement||3.25||3.7||11|
|21||Mike and Molly||3.24||3.7||11|
|23||NCIS: Los Angeles||3.05||3.4||19|
|25||Dancing with the Stars Mon||3.03||2.8||30|
Missing the True Top 25 but in the A18-49 list: Suburgatory (t-#23 in A18-49, #26 in TRUE), Revenge (t-#25 in A18-49, #27 in TRUE), The Simpsons (t-#11 in A18-49, #31 in TRUE), Family Guy (t-#23 in A18-49, #33 in TRUE) and Happy Endings (t-#19 in A18-49, #35 in TRUE).
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.
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 and sports pre-game shows. 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. 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.
Here's last week's True Top 25!