Wednesday, December 14, 2011

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


Despite quite a few of the usual heavy hitters returning to originals, there were still just twelve shows above a 3.00 TRUE in this week's True Top 25. The comfortable winner was a well-above average Sunday Night Football game between Dallas and New York. In the last of 2011's The Big Bang Theory vs. Modern Family showdowns, it was yet another win for Big Bang. But the gap narrowed considerably from some of their recent battles, as both shows were down significantly from their last "regular" originals.

In a week filled with specials, the only top 25er of the bunch was the one that aired in the first hour of the week, ABC's classic A Charlie Brown Christmas. Among holiday specials, this was Truly the third-biggest of the season to date, trailing just CBS' Rudolph and (by the slimmest of margins) that Fox new Ice Age special on Thanksgiving.

A couple other observations: Two and a Half Men slipped behind the HIMYM/2 Broke Girls duo for the first time this season. It's not totally clear how things will shake down once PUT-boosting Monday Night Football is out of the mix, but my instinct is that this isn't the last time this will happen. (I am particularly sure that 2 Broke Girls' 8:00 episode this week will beat Men again.) And it was a pretty weak week for Fox, as their Tuesday lineup dropped against very little competition and The X Factor hit easily its weakest performance Wednesday numbers yet.

Rank Name TRUE A18-49 ARank
1 Sunday Night Football 8.00 9.4 1
2 The Big Bang Theory 5.52 4.6 4
3 Modern Family 5.29 5.1 2
4 How I Met Your Mother 4.70 4.5 6
5 2 Broke Girls 4.33 4.6 4
6 Two and a Half Men 4.31 5.1 2
7 Survivor Fall 3.79 3.3 11
8 The X Factor Wed 3.68 3.4 8
9 The Middle 3.49 2.8 22
10 The X Factor Thu 3.16 2.9 19
11 Criminal Minds 3.08 3.4 8
12 The Office 3.00 2.9 19
13 Mike and Molly 2.97 4.2 7
14 Hawaii Five-0 2.84 3.0 14
15 New Girl 2.81 3.4 8
16 Glee 2.81 3.0 14
17 Last Man Standing 2.80 2.7 27
18 Special: A Charlie Brown Christmas 2.79 2.8 22
19 Suburgatory 2.67 2.8 22
20 The Amazing Race 2.62 3.3 11
21 Rules of Engagement 2.59 3.0 14
22 Person of Interest 2.51 2.8 22
23 The Mentalist 2.50 2.7 27
24 Once Upon a Time 2.48 2.9 19
25 Family Guy 2.47 3.1 13

Missing the True Top 25 but in the A18-49 list: The Simpsons (t-#14 in A18-49, #26 in TRUE), football-fueled 60 Minutes (t-#14 in A18-49, #35 in TRUE) and Happy Endings (t-#22 in A18-49, #37 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!

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