Monday, January 31, 2011

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 1/30/11 - Jersey Shore, Mad Love, The Talk, Missing, Smallville/Supernatural


Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending January 30, 2011:

Jersey Shore - Shocker! MTV has renewed the program that is now doing better in adults 18-49 (not to mention MTV's target young female demos) than all but a handful of programs on all of broadcast. It's grown at an almost unfathomable rate, with its whooping 4.34 A18-49 rating in the first five episodes of its third season way up from its first two seasons (which averaged 1.39 and 2.94). The gang will be heading to Italy for the fourth season.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ten Years of Super Bowls and Lead-Outs


There are other places to find viewership and household info on Super Bowls and lead-out programs going back even farther (here are lists of all the Super Bowls and all the lead-outs on TVBTN) but I wanted to look at both viewers and the adults 18-49 demo, and I could only reliably find that stuff going back ten years. First, the Super Bowls:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Two Weeks, Harry's Law


Also included: the return of everyone's favorite "debate": do total viewers matter?!?!?!

HARRY'S LAW (NBC)



Ratings Five-Spot, WE 1/23/11 - American Idol, Parks & Recreation, Fairly Legal, Fringe, Hawaii Five-0


Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending January 23, 2011:

American Idol - The Idol fans and PR of course provide the perspective that the Death Star is still way ahead of any other non-sports programming on TV. It's true, but it was still a relatively modest start for Idol. The 9.7 on Wednesday was down 18% from last year's premiere, and the big night two dip to a 7.8 was down 23% from last year's Thursday debut. If the ~20% drops continue, that could put it in the 5.0 vicinity late in the season. Could this be the year some regular competition (Modern Family?) finally beats it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

War of 18-49 Update, Medium (2010-11)


Let's take a look at the 2010-11 season (the seventh and final overall) of Medium on CBS.

2010-11 adults 18-49 low/average/high: 1.1/1.36/1.6

Rating the Ratings: If you're a TV show fan, you might dream (well, maybe secondarily to never getting cancelled) that your favorite show stick it to the network right after it's axed by making a miraculous ratings recovery. And Medium... sorta did that. I mean, I can't blame CBS for shortening its season seven order to 13 eps based on the first four weeks' trajectory: 1.4 -> 1.2 -> 1.2 -> 1.1. But then it shot back up to a 1.4 and stayed at that level or higher for eight of the last nine eps. I digress, though; that rally still left it down 25% from season 6. The drop isn't totally unexpected considering it lost its pairing with Ghost Whisperer, but a whooping 1.4 was probably not enough to make CBS truly regret (or consider changing) their decision once it was made. As with this fall's Biggest Loser, which was down about this amount year-to-year but finished stronger than it started, I'll go Grade: D+.

Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for Medium.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 1/23/11 - Life Unexpected, Lights Out, Skins, Retired at 35, Being Human


Unlike in many recent weeks, I actually looked at a ton of shows this week, so I think I'm going to just spread the new shows out over the next few weeks. I'm gonna start by knocking out mostly the stuff that's either ending or that I won't be watching in the future. So on that note, here's my more-negative-than-usual Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending January 23, 2011:

Life Unexpected - I liked how this show ended, jumping straight to the endgame and giving many characters amazingly happy endings in somewhat jarring fashion. But I think a lot of the reason I liked that was because it was better than the alternative: more years of ridiculous, over-the-top angst. I was gonna quit this show if it hadn't been cancelled, but I'm glad it was. The fact that the warm and fuzzy ending actually made me feel warm and fuzzy despite how bad this show got is a testament to the great performances.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 1/23/11 - NBC Shakeups, USA Pickups, Shark Tank, Flashpoint, Countdown


Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending January 23, 2011:

NBC Shakeups - Probably deserves its own Five-Spot, but too much else this week. Rapid fire: Parenthood stays on Tuesdays after some recent increases. Harry's Law will air more of its 13-ep order on Mondays than originally planned. America's Next Great Restaurant is thrown out of the Wednesday fray and to Sundays at 8/7c. The Marriage Ref and cast-overhauled Law & Order: Los Angeles are now officially in limbo alongside several other NBC midseason shows: Love Bites, Friends with Benefits, The Paul Reiser Show.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Still a Death Star?



You've probably heard by now that the return of American Idol has been fairly steeply down year-to-year: the Wednesday premiere was down 18% in adults 18-49 from last year's Tuesday premiere, and the Thursday debut was down 23% from last year's first Wednesday airing. But the story of Idol ratings is not about just what it's doing, but also about whether the shows it's up against are gaining ground.



First Two Weeks, Off the Map


OFF THE MAP (ABC)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three's Anatomy - Breaking Down NBC's Comedy Night


There are some interesting rating issues to watch for in each of the three hours of NBC's all-night comedy experiment, premiering tonight, so here are a few ratings and creative thoughts on the six shows that will make up this lineup.

Community (8/7c) - Many thought the arrival of The Big Bang Theory would be the end for this program, but it's held up OK-ish, with its 2.00 average to date only down 4% from last year's fall 8:00 average. Now American Idol enters the mix and we'll get to learn once again just how loyal this small audience is. Though the heavily pop culture-laden eps are kinda hit-or-miss for me, this show certainly produces greatness often enough to be one of TV's best comedies.

First Two Weeks, The Cape


Bureaucratic note: I'm gonna count "previews" as part of the "first two weeks" only if they occur within two weeks before the official timeslot premiere. It seems fair to use something like The Cape's Sunday premiere or Outlaw's post-Got Talent premiere but using the Perfect Couples ep that was randomly placed after The Sing-Off a month before the premiere seems hinky. We'll see how that goes. It's my damn blog, so I reserve the right to change that at any time and for any reason ever.



 THE CAPE (NBC)



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First Two Weeks, Bob's Burgers


Remember me? I'm a series of posts about the first two weeks of new shows, and I haven't been around for awhile! But I'm back with...

 BOB'S BURGERS (FOX)



Ratings Five-Spot, WE 1/16/11 - The Game, Tosh.0, Being Human, Piers Morgan Tonight, Skins


I initially was gonna make this largely about the new broadcast shows, but I realized much or most of that would end up being redundant with all the upcoming "First Two Weeks" posts, so I decided to look through some cable highlights of the last week and a half or so. The "week ending" guideline is even less accurate than usual, as three of these five actually happened on January 17. But anyway, here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the "week" "ending" January 16, 2011:

The Game - I wrote much more about the almost unthinkably huge return of The Game in a previous post than I could in these six lines. If that's tl;dr, the jist is that this fairly unassuming CW sitcom that got shoved out the door after three seasons because it didn't fit the network's vision suddenly quadrupled its audience in the transition to cable despite not airing an original in almost two calendar years. In a matter of hours we'll see just how big of a one-week fluke last Tuesday's result was.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 1/16/11 - ABC Renewals, Raising Hope, Terra Nova, The Big Bang Theory, Law & Order: Los Angeles


I actually had to be fairly discerning this week with lots of news coming out of the broadcast portion of the press tour. Lemme know if you think I missed something huge. Also, in case you're wondering, no Opinion Five-Spot this week; due to travel, I have watched practically zero TV. Aiming to get the Ratings one out sometime on Tuesday rather than the regular Wednesday. Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending January 16, 2011:

ABC Renewals - Coming out of the ABC press tour was the news that the alphabet has renewed six veteran shows: Castle, The Middle, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice. None of these are major surprises, though some thought Cougar Town might be in trouble because of its big drops out of Modern. While concerning (and would likely be the end on a net like CBS with a less spotty recent comedy history), it's not concerning enough to discard Cougar just yet. A timeslot downgrade may be in order.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Back From Vacation with a Bang!



No, I'm not talking about myself. OK, maybe a little. But mostly I'm talking about The Game.

It had a much longer vacation than I did (20 months vs. five days) and it came back with a much bigger bang. Widely reported is that The Game premiered huge on BET with 7.7 million viewers, a 3.6/10 adults 18-49 rating, and a 6.4 rating in the CW's target women 18-34 audience. Back in my Tuesday midseason preview I said in my typical ride-the-fence fashion that "The Game could transfer its audience to cable much better than previous shows to make the leap." I am happy to report that, well, I was correct about that much! But... it was the understatement of the century.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 1/9/11 - HIMYM, V, Grey's Anatomy, The Cape, Bob's Burgers


Here's my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending January 9, 2011:

How I Met Your Mother - It wasn't a standout HIMYM episode by any means, in fact probably one of the lesser episodes of what's been one of the lesser seasons of the show. But we may well look back on this one and say it had a big impact on the show going forward. Will Marshall's bad news take the show into full-on drama mode? I'm sure hoping not. In other news, can't say I was a fan of the "countdown" gimmick that led up to Marshall's bad news, but maybe I'm just bitter that I didn't notice it till the single digits!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 1/9/11 - Hawaii Five-0, "Combat Hospital," Mad Men, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, The Kennedys


Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending January 9, 2011:

Hawaii Five-O to Air After AFC Championship Game - I did a post last week about some of the other shows that have gotten the fairly high profile "mini-Super Bowl" lead-ins over the last few years, and Hawaii Five-0's airing will come on January 23. Five-0 has been widely proclaimed a ratings disappointment, but it's still easily broadcast TV's strongest new drama

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 1/9/11 - The Bachelor, Pretty Little Liars, Live to Dance, Wipeout, Jersey Shore


Since some interesting things actually happened in TV this week (unlike the last two), the Five-Spots return! But there's a catch; I'm at the airport as this post goes up and will be in Las Vegas (mostly away from technology) till Friday night. So I can't exactly cover the whole week, and these are all kind of quickly cobbled together. Ratings and Scheduling this morning, Opinion tomorrow. Should get back to normal starting next week!

The Bachelor - I never really bought that the return of Brad Womack to the Bachelor franchise would be guaranteed ratings gold. His first season was one of the lowest-rated Bachelor seasons, and the show's resurgence didn't begin until the Jason Mesnick season when Brad was pretty much out of the narrative. The new season started in fairly underwhelming fashion with a 2.9 demo, but I still think some media descriptions of that rating were overblown. "Bomb"? Really? The highest premiere in the last three years was just a 3.3...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hawaii Five-0 and Other "Mini-Super Bowl" Lead-outs


CBS announced yesterday that Hawaii Five-0 would become the latest show to get the "mini-Super Bowl" lead-in by airing after the AFC Championship game. The show to get some high-profile exposure after the Super Bowl is always the subject of a great deal of discussion in TV industry circles, and lots has been written about all those shows' performances historically. (I may do one of my own as we near Super Bowl time.) Less covered is the fact that other post-playoff game special airings have become a bit of a tradition in their own right. Which championship game ends during primetime alternates from year to year, and since it typically doesn't end till after 10:00 on the East Coast (already out of Fox's shortened primetime), Fox has been using the earlier-ending division round games on Sunday as the high-profile lead-in instead. I'm not exactly sure when the networks started doing this, but the first year I can see that they definitely did it was 2005, so I'll start there and look at a history of "Mini-Super Bowl" lead-outs.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Midseason Matchups 2011, Sunday


7/6c

Winter: America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC) vs. 60 Minutes (CBS) vs. Dateline (NBC, 1/9) vs. The Simpsons (R)/American Dad! (Fox, 1/16)

Spring: Same

Notes: Dad! now steps into the role often historically occupied by King of the Hill, frequently airing in the 7:30 half-hour so the net can try something else later in the evening. Look for a significant ratings drop; its only 7:30 airing in 2009-10 posted easily a season low 2.0 demo.

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