Sunday, December 30, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Holiday Roundup 12/24-12/27/12

  • NBC won light-viewed Christmas Eve with It's a Wonderful Life, even year-to-year. ABC's Grinch evening won Christmas primetime with an assist from some overrun from ABC's afternoon NBA doubleheader. CBS took Wednesday with nice year-to-year growth from the always low-rated Kennedy Center Honors, then crushed on repeat-filled Thursday.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Top 10 TV Ratings Moments of 2012, 5 to 1

It's time for my third annual spin on the year-end TV top ten list as I look back at the top ten moments of another year in TV ratings! This is always one of the most fun posts of the year, but it's also pretty nerve-racking, because I'm totally paranoid that I'll miss something. So feel free to note my most glaring omissions. Here's this year's 10 to 6, which went live yesterday.

Here are the two previous years:
2010: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1
2011: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1

The True Top 25, Week Ending 12/23/12 (2012-13 Week Thirteen)

Though Sunday Night Football tied a season low in raw A18-49 numbers, it posted its fourth-highest True2 number of the season because of how low overall viewing was on the Sunday before Christmas. That gave it a very comfortable win over The Voice's finale in the week 13 True Top 25.

The networks aired quite a few holiday specials this week, but they were generally lower-priority offerings or specials that had already aired this year. So the top twenty spots still went to regular series, including six encores. Miss Universe led the specials pack at #21.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 12/21-12/23/12

  • 1.0 ratings were a rarity on repeat- and special-laden Friday and Saturday. CBS resumed the Made in Jersey burn-off with the same 0.3's it pulled over the Thanksgiving weekend.
  • The Christmas viewing downturn really picked up on Sunday the 23rd, a night nearly 20% less-viewed than the previous Sunday. NBC had a low-end Sunday Night Football thanks to lower viewing, a blowout and a West Coast matchup. Fox had the NFL overrun, which helped originals of Family Guy and American Dad! hang in there quite well despite the holiday-type viewing levels. (They'd been bumped from last week's schedule because of content deemed insensitive in light of the Newtown attacks.)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Top 10 TV Ratings Moments of 2012, 10 to 6

It's time for my third annual spin on the year-end TV top ten list as I look back at the top ten moments of another year in TV ratings! This is always one of the most fun posts of the year, but it's also pretty nerve-racking, because I'm totally paranoid that I'll miss something. So once the second half of the list goes up in 24 hours, feel free to note my most glaring omissions.

Here are the two previous years:
2010: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1
2011: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1

As always, the criteria are pretty subjective, but I go for a blend of 1) relatively isolated incidents that carry cultural significance and 2) moments that exemplify much larger trends in TV this year. The headlines link back to my writings on these moments at the time they happened. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Question Results Through 12/20/12

Here are the results and individual standings through December 20 for the ratings prediction game The Question:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/20/12

  • Like with The Voice earlier in the week, finale night on The X Factor fell about in line with the recent episodes on a year-to-year basis. The 3.1 demo was X's best number since early October and up nearly 30% from last Thursday, but it was still down 18% year-to-year.
  • Specials on ABC and NBC fell in the mid-1's. ABC's Peanuts special was even year-to-year, but CMA Country Christmas took a significant hit.

The Climate, Week 12

2012 Upfront Revisited, The CW

The winter break is not quite at the calendar midpoint of the TV season, but it's as close to a "stopping point" as we're gonna get. So this week, as promised, I'm doing one rather lengthy post for each network looking back at how the moves made on the upfront schedules have worked out. Because I love sabotaging my own credibility, I will also revisit some of my thoughts on those moves at the time they happened. Then I'll have a larger-scale look at the ups/downs of the network's fall. Finally, I'll look ahead to the upcoming midseason schedule changes.

More Upfronts Revisited: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Question, Thursday 12/20/12: Will Fox's Fall End X-tradordinarily?

With only burnoffs and low-priority stuff airing for the next week and a half, I'm declaring tonight's The X Factor finale the unofficial end of the fall 2012 season. While NBC's success this fall has largely been about The Voice's success, Fox's struggles have largely been about The X Factor's struggles. The show limped out of the gate, appeared to bounce back temporarily, got derailed by baseball scheduling, and has only slightly recovered since then. Tonight, Fox hopes to send the show onto hiatus (and yet another revamp) on a redemptive note. Will Fox's fall end X-traordinarily? That's The Question for Thursday, December 20, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/19/12

  • NBC had an above average Wednesday thanks to the Miss Universe Competition, up by two tenths from last year when it aired in a much different time of year (early September). It averaged a 2.3 in the final half hour, which (alongside the weaker CBS) no doubt helped vault Chicago Fire into another tie for its best without-Voice number.
  • Finale week of The X Factor began with no week-to-week bounce, but that was the case on the final Wednesday of last season too.
  • A few other random specials also aired; CBS' always old-skewing A Home for the Holidays dropped in finals to finish even with last year, while ABC's The Year with Katie Couric was up a tick year-to-year.

2012 Upfront Revisited, Fox

The winter break is not quite at the calendar midpoint of the TV season, but it's as close to a "stopping point" as we're gonna get. So this week, as promised, I'm doing one rather lengthy post for each network looking back at how the moves made on the upfront schedules have worked out. Because I love sabotaging my own credibility, I will also revisit some of my thoughts on those moves at the time they happened. Then I'll have a larger-scale look at the ups/downs of the network's fall. Finally, I'll look ahead to the upcoming midseason schedule changes.

More Upfronts Revisited: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 Upfront Revisited, NBC

The winter break is not quite at the calendar midpoint of the TV season, but it's as close to a "stopping point" as we're gonna get. So this week, as promised, I'm doing one rather lengthy post for each network looking back at how the moves made on the upfront schedules have worked out. Because I love sabotaging my own credibility, I will also revisit some of my thoughts on those moves at the time they happened. Then I'll have a larger-scale look at the ups/downs of the network's fall. Finally, I'll look ahead to the upcoming midseason schedule changes.

More Upfronts Revisited: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/18/12

  • The late-season year-to-year growth from The Voice was essentially fully continued on finale night, with The Voice up by 11% on May's finale, amazingly marking a new season high for the show. It led out of a still impressive Voice repeat in the 8:00 hour (2.4).
  • Despite a huge night by NBC, the all-original CBS lineup also picked up some ground. Suddenly volatile NCIS had the biggest growth since it didn't face an original The Voice, but NCIS: Los Angeles and Vegas also grew from their weak showings last week.
  • Happy Endings and Apartment 23 were also up a notch against the added competition. Perhaps the similar-skewing Fox comedies being in repeats helped.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/18/12

  •  Like last season, finale week of The Voice began on a positive note, growing four tenths week-to-week and vs. last year's final Monday. But 1600 Penn had a very mediocre showing in its sneak peek at 9:30, and the probable series finale of Take It All found itself somewhere between what it did with The Voice lead-in and what it did with terrible lead-ins.
  • The CBS lineup had another fairly positive week with a bonus original How I Met Your Mother improving the 8:00 hour and very little resistance from ABC, Fox or ESPN's Monday Night Football (3.6). Even better: this'll be their last duel with The Voice for several months. Mike and Molly, which had the benefit of facing Penn, hit its second-biggest number of the season, and Hawaii Five-0 was just down from the week-ago season high.
  • Forgot to mention this in the prelims, but the CW got a really solid last couple weeks out of Gossip Girl, with this week's series finale spiking by two tenths from the week-ago penultimate ep (which itself was up at least two tenths from the rest of the season). It was the first 0.8 for GG in over a year and a half! I guess "Who is Gossip Girl?" was a legit hook.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 12/16/12 (2012-13 Week Twelve)

A huge late-season result from Sunday Night Football won the True Top 25 yet again. The Big Bang Theory grew a bit in its Christmas episode and beat a low-end Modern Family by a mile for the entertainment lead. This is the last close to "full-strength" week of 2012, and CBS had 16 of the 25 spots.

Two Friday shows made the list: CBS' second run this season of Rudolph and NBC's Newtown coverage on Dateline. A rising Elementary snuck back onto the list and gave the new class a representative.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 12/16/12

  • CBS had a pretty long NFL overrun, aired a shortened and massive-rated 60 Minutes in an attempt to start the Survivor finale at a reasonable time, but then a simulcast presidential address from Newtown (not counted in final ratings) bumped Survivor to an 8:57 start time anyway. The number tied the premiere's season high but ended up 20% below the finale from last fall, and it's hard to gauge how much all that other stuff impacted it. I haven't seen numbers for the 10:57 reunion in any of the usual places.
  • NBC began Sunday Night Football over on the NBC Sports Network due to the address, but when it returned to NBC the potential Super Bowl preview between San Francisco and New England was extremely high-rated by late-season standards. It was the 5th-highest rated game this season.
  • ABC and Fox were very much left behind. ABC bombed with a Bachelorette wedding and an original The Simpsons on Fox was well behind previous results. Again, I wouldn't read a ton into it because it's hard to gauge how much all the other stuff affected things.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 12/15/12

  • We often hear from @TedOnTV about the great ratings that the holiday theatrical Elf pulls on USA Network. Tonight, we got to see it on the broadcast stage, as Elf did much better than the typical CBS Saturday, and it easily held off a Transformers that has been one of the stronger broadcast movie repeaters in previous years. CBS then had more Newtown coverage at 10/9c but again didn't count it in finals. (It had a 1.5 in prelims.)
  • With no sports options, Fox quietly brought back Cops, which went two tenths below the low point of last season.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 12/14/12

  • Three-network coverage of the school shootings in Connecticut at 10/9c lined up as the news departments always seem to: NBC, then ABC, then CBS (which had a preliminary 1.2 but was not counted in finals).
  • Among the few entertainment originals: Christmas episodes of Last Man Standing and Malibu Country were even to a tad up, night five of Take It All took only a small dip from its Thursday airing, and Fringe was up a couple tenths.
  • CBS had a strong holiday special evening, with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Yes Virginia and Elf on the Shelf all up somewhat from their corresponding airings last year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Question, Tuesday 12/18/12: Will The Voice Sing One Last Crescendo?

Tonight, for the last time for three months, NBC will air a piece of entertainment programming that gets good ratings. It's been real, NBC. Anyway, the second half of the Voice season has nonethless been a great success story for the peacock. The battle rounds held up incredibly well, and there wasn't all that much of a decline during the live show portion. In the last few weeks, it's been pretty consistently up vs. the spring season, but maintaining that pace against the big May finale is a lot to ask. Will The Voice sing one last crescendo? That's The Question for Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

2012 Upfront Revisited, CBS

The winter break is not quite at the calendar midpoint of the TV season, but it's as close to a "stopping point" as we're gonna get. So this week, as promised, I'm doing one rather lengthy post for each network looking back at how the moves made on the upfront schedules have worked out. Because I love sabotaging my own credibility, I will also revisit some of my thoughts on those moves at the time they happened. Then I'll have a larger-scale look at the ups/downs of the network's fall. Finally, I'll look ahead to the upcoming midseason schedule changes.

More Upfronts Revisited: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Question, Monday 12/17/12: How Good is NBC's Penn-manship?

Tonight NBC airs its fourth different Monday Voice lead-out in as many weeks. We've covered drama, holiday special and game show already. This one is a comedy, the White House-set 1600 Penn, in a sneak preview before it begins its regular run in the post-Office slot in January. It's not gonna have much support on Thursday, so it may need to pick up some folks in this airing. How good is NBC's Penn-manship? That's The Question for Monday, December 17, 2012.

2012 Upfront Revisited, ABC

The winter break is not quite at the calendar midpoint of the TV season, but it's as close to a "stopping point" as we're gonna get. So this week, as promised, I'm doing one rather lengthy post for each network looking back at how the moves made on the upfront schedules have worked out. Because I love sabotaging my own credibility, I will also revisit some of my thoughts on those moves at the time they happened. Then I'll have a larger-scale look at the ups/downs of the network's fall. Finally, I'll look ahead to the upcoming midseason schedule changes.

More Upfronts Revisited: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some More C3 Tidbits

Yesterday MediaPost provided some more C3 ratings. These are the "real" numbers used to determine advertising rates. As always, I'm most interested in comparing these numbers with the Live + SD ones that we use every day. The MediaPost numbers best suited for that were the top ten entertainment shows in C3 rating. I lined them up with the Live+SD averages through November 25.

The Question Results Through December 10

Here are the results and individual standings through December 10 for the ratings prediction game The Question:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/13/12

  • Big downward finals adjustments on ABC due to an NFL pre-emption meant Scandal ultimately came down a single tenth from last week's series high. The pre-emptions had less impact on the CBS adjustments; all the network's programs remained even to slightly up after finals.
  • The only network that wasn't in completely normal mode was NBC, where an Up All Night double-dip reached new depths and holiday strip Take It All remained mired in the low 1's. Fox was slightly down again with struggling The X Factor and Glee.

The Climate, Week 11

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/12/12

  • The retentionistas win this round: night three of NBC's Take It All took an absolute dive-bomb in its first shot apart from The Voice, down 50% from its post-Voice airings. That brought Chicago Fire all the way down from last week's without-Voice high to tie the show's Thanksgiving Eve low.
  • Though NBC had the worst news, nobody had much of anything to cheer about. ABC's three comedies were on the low end (with The Neighbors way behind its previous results), and CBS had a big plummet from CSI. Fox's The X Factor and the CW's Arrow also fell back a bit.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/11/12

  • For reasons that frankly escape me, it seems these holiday strips always pick up a bit on the second night, though Take It All dropped in finals to end up even with the Monday result. (It was up a negligible amount in total viewers.) I'm not expecting the momentum to continue into the next two nights when it'll air after a repeat of Guys with Kids and an original Up All Night, but this was still a decent result. And it may have also helped Parenthood, which was on the high end of its results this season.
  • Also for reasons that escape me, the CBS drama trio had a particularly bad evening, with new season lows for NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and Vegas. The first two went two tenths below their previous lows. They're original next week and will have to hope for a rebound against The Voice finale night.
  • ABC's holiday special Santa Claus is Comin' to Town was down 23% year-to-year.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/10/12

  • NBC premiered game show Take It All at 9/8c to relatively mediocre results; it was a worse option than the other post-Voice efforts (at least on Monday) this season, but it probably didn't cost that much either. It gets another post-Voice whirl tonight. The 10/9c Michael Buble special was down a tick year-to-year.
  • CBS got another big boost with The Big Bang Theory repeating at 8:30, though an NFL pre-emption mitigated it somewhat after finals. 2 Broke Girls aired two near-season high episodes in the 9/8c hour, and the largest 9:30 lead-in of the season vaulted Hawaii Five-0 to yet another season high.
  • Fox's American Country Awards fell back to earth after getting a bounce last season. It was down big from last year's 2.0 and a tick below the inaugural number two years ago.
  • Week three of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came down multiple tenths after finals but still grew week-to-week.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 12/9/12 (2012-13 Week Eleven)

Sunday Night Football won the True Top 25 yet again, with The Big Bang Theory a comfortable #1 among entertainment programs. Holiday special season contributed three of the top 15, with the always reliable Victoria's Secret Fashion Show actually cracking the top five.

As noted last week, the "fall hype" adjustment kicks in this week, meaning the scores are all a lot higher relative to the raw numbers than in past weeks this season. Quite a few shows hit True2 season highs this week, but only a few had extraordinarily huge numbers relative to the rest of the season. (Most of those were shows like Hawaii Five-0 and Scandal which were at high points in the raw numbers as well.) There's a very real chance these numbers will end up being "too high" in general in the second half of the season, because there simply may not be as drastic a general ratings decline in the spring as what we saw last year. The hope is that looking at multiple years will ultimately help create a more normal expectation for general spring declines.

SpotVault - Take It All (NBC) - 2012-13

Take It All
December 10-17 on NBC

SpotVault - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC) - 2012-13

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Mondays, 8/7c, ABC

SpotVault - Specials & Movies (CW) - 2012-13

Specials & Movies on The CW

SpotVault - Specials & Movies (Fox) - 2012-13

Specials & Movies on Fox

SpotVault - Specials & Movies (NBC) - 2012-13

Specials & Movies on NBC

SpotVault - Specials & Movies (CBS) - 2012-13

Specials & Movies on CBS

SpotVault - Specials & Movies (ABC) - 2012-13

Specials & Movies on ABC

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 12/9/12

  • The Amazing Race wrapped up one of the more consistent seasons of TV you will ever see with yet another mid-2's result, but that marked a major drop from last fall's finale on an NFL overrun night (3.3). Despite a better lead-in, The Mentalist hit its lowest start-on-time number of the season.
  • ABC had its first Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the season, and Christmas with Holly was actually the highest-rated Hallmark movie since it made the move to ABC at the beginning of last season. It was up majorly from the first movie of last season (1.1 on 11/27/11).
  • Fox had the NFL overrun boost, but as usual its effects were only really felt by The Simpsons. It was near a season high while the others were about average.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 12/8/12

  • With the college football regular season over, Saturdays get even more boring than they already were. But Fox had a strong option for this week with UFC (it peaked in the 10:00 half-hour with a 2.6 demo), and CBS hung in there with some holiday specials. NBC's American Giving Awards barely managed to avoid worst-big-four-ratings-ever levels.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 12/7/12

  • Saturday Night Live in primetime remains a potentially strong option; a repeat of November 28's SNL Christmas special greatly improved the 8:00 to 10:00 period and helped boost Dateline to its highest number of the season by a long shot.
  • Most other stuff was even to down a bit, with Last Man Standing and Malibu Country each shedding a tick following last week's gains and CSI: NY and Blue Bloods also close to average.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Question, Monday 12/10/12: Does This Game Show Take?

Tonight begins another of broadcast primetime's seemingly yearly traditions: the stripped game show. This year, it's primetime fixture Howie Mandel hosting something that seems somewhat similar to those gift-stealing games you may have played at your office party. (Yankee Swap? Dirty Santa?) The last two such strips got a short regularly scheduled run following the weeklong "event" but didn't survive long-term. Does this game show take? That's The Question for Monday, December 10, 2012.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/6/12

  • It was a breakout evening for ABC's sophomore drama Scandal, which was three tenths above the previous season high point (last week) and two tenths above the previous series high point (set at the end of last season). Is this sustainable? We'll see. There was a big cliff-hanger leading into last night's episode, but then it ended on another humdinger.
  • Large downward adjustments after finals left CBS, like NBC and Fox, at pretty normal levels. The worst night was had by the CW, with new season lows for both shows.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/5/12

  • The Wednesday finals are in. ABC had a down evening thanks to a repeat of Modern Family at 9/8c. That brought down lead-out Suburgatory by a relatively predictable amount, and it also seems to have nicked The Middle at 8/7c. But The Neighbors remains consistent and Nashville actually upticked in the less competitive 10/9c hour.
  • NBC was of course on the upswing vs. its last episodes on Thanksgiving Eve, but for the most part it was pretty consistent with the regular airings three weeks ago. One notable exception: with CBS airing the always low-rated Grammy Nominations Concert (down 21% year-to-year and down 43% from the week-ago CSI), Chicago Fire took a huge surge, tying its second-best result of the season. (The only time it did better was when it aired after The Voice.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/4/12

  • It was one tough Tuesday in the TV ratings world. CBS won the night with its usual special powerhouses Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, but both were down over 20% (and at least a full point) year-to-year.
  • Nobody else had much to report, either. ABC's special Shark Tank was a tenth weaker than the show's most recent Friday 9:00 episode and hit the show's typical number when it aired at 8:00. Fox's comedies all tied season/series lows (except for Raising Hope, which set a new one). And NBC saw The Voice revert to near its Tuesday low point from two weeks ago. The one good thing NBC can say is it seems Voice-fueled Go On is widening its lead over the comedy competitors.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/3/12

  • Following the big post-Thanksgiving upswing last Monday, most shows gave back some ground. It's worth noting in this consideration that ESPN had a very good night with Monday Night Football (6.0), up 50% from last week's much-weaker-than-usual 4.0. The CBS lineup, this time with a much weaker repeat of 2 Broke Girls at 8:30, was generally a little higher than two weeks ago (when 2.5 Men aired at 8:30) but noticeably down from last week when The Big Bang Theory was there.
  • The annual crappy lead-in episode of Castle dropped by three tenths from its last post-Dancing with the Stars episode. Said crappy lead-in, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, dropped a chunk from last week when it aired after DWTS.
  • NBC got a relatively Revolution-esque demo result from holiday special Blake Shelton's Not-So-Family Christmas, which proved a good match with Shelton's The Voice.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 12/2/12 (2012-13 Week Ten)

Sunday Night Football won this relatively full-strength week's True Top 25 by a decent margin. The Big Bang Theory was the top entertainment program, holding off Modern Family. Revolution was the only new show this week with Elementary posting a weak result, and nobody from Friday/Saturday sniffed the list.

An important note is that this is the last week before the "fall hype" adjustment kicks in on True2 scores, so there will be some funny-looking week-to-week upticks in these numbers next week. However, most of these shows are currently getting lower True2 scores than they were at the beginning of the season, so the December numbers shouldn't go well above everything before. Next summer I may work on smoothing the transition out somewhat so there isn't a tendency for the True2 scores to drop in November and then abruptly get uplifted in December.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 12/2/12

  • It was "winter finale" night for the ABC Sunday shows, which will return later this winter. And it wasn't really worth writing home about, as Once Upon a Time was even and Revenge only rallied by a bit from last week's super-low level.
  • Fox sat out its animation anchors but saw the second-tier shows hold up decently after repeats. Bob's Burgers was down a couple tenths and American Dad! didn't drop at all. But in fairness, their lead-ins didn't drop that much because The Simpsons and Family Guy are among TV's best repeaters relative to their original numbers.
  • Finals updates: NBC ended up with a relatively normal Sunday Night Football number even though it was a 5-6 team against a 3-8 team. That's the power of the Dallas Cowboys. Overrun night helped CBS' The Amazing Race and The Good Wife finish near their season high points. And another breakthrough season for The Walking Dead ended with no real spike for the finale (5.4). Still, the season as a whole was up 56% year-to-year and currently outrates any broadcast entertainment program, so I have a feeling they'll take it.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 12/1/12

  • By Fox standards, the Big Ten Championship game did rather well; this would've been a season high for CFB on Fox, and it gave the net a rare head-to-head win over ABC's Texas/Kansas State.
  • The CBS lineup got a big boost thanks to the late-afternoon SEC Championship game. Made in Jersey did a number fairly in line with its pre-cancellation Friday results starting at 8:16 after the postgame (which had a 2.8 rating).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Question, Tuesday 12/4/12: Will Shark Tank Nail Its Tuesday Pitch?

The "home-grown" Friday night success is rather rare these days. When it happens, there's a natural temptation to test whether it can work in a higher-viewed, higher-pressure situation. If we define passing that test as "permanent weeknight timeslot," then the last two (Blue Bloods and Grimm) failed. Blue Bloods got a boost, but it seemed less about a "better night" and more about the size of the Criminal Minds lead-in. And Grimm really didn't get any boost at all. Next up: tonight's Tuesday 8/7c tryout for Friday's surging unscripted program Shark Tank. Will Shark Tank nail its Tuesday pitch? That's The Question for Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Question, Monday 12/3/12: Is Castle Fortified Against a Bad Lead-in?

It's become a reliable holiday tradition at ABC; each year they air one original episode of Castle after pretty much the worst lead-in they can possibly think of. We're talking megabombs like Find My Family, Skating with the Stars and You Deserve It. (You remember all those, right?!) But it's always a fun opportunity for us ratings junkies to see where Castle is really at. Tonight the "honor" goes to a veteran show, but at this point it looks like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition may be nearly as ratings inept as all the rest. Is Castle fortified against a bad lead-in? That's The Question for Monday, December 3, 2012. This Winter

A few notes on the projects coming up around here over the next couple months:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/30/12

  • ABC's Last Man Standing and Malibu Country headed back in the positive direction following a couple weeks at 1.4, then ABC won the last two hours in inexpensive fashion with a great repeat showing from Shark Tank and a near-season high 20/20.
  • Fox went with the Pac-12 Championship Game, which should end up somewhere in the low-1's and only a few tenths better than Fox's Saturday football average but an improvement over Fox's Friday regulars. All-original CBS was pretty steady, NBC basically sat out the evening, and Nikita hit a season high in its move to 8/7c, once again illustrating the power of the local programming lead-in on the CDub.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Climate, Week Nine: Holiday Ratings Resiliency

Today in The Climate, a few observations about the ratings downturns during Thanksgiving week.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/29/12

  • The week of broadcast upswing pretty much came to an end, mostly just because this was the first night that wasn't being compared against holiday-deflated results. Compared to two weeks ago, it was generally ABC, CBS and NBC a little down and Fox and the CW a little up.
  • A few noticeable exceptions: 
    • Scandal finished with an outright season high despite a rather meh result from lead-in Grey's Anatomy.
    • Two and a Half Men dropped in finals but still took the smallest percentage drop of the CBS shows despite Angus T. Jones urging viewers not to watch.
    • Parks and Recreation and Last Resort had the night's most terrible results, each going two tenths below their previous season lows.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/28/12

  • The strong season for holiday specials continues. ABC's A Charlie Brown Christmas and NBC's Christmas at Rockefeller Center were slightly up year-to-year, while NBC's two-hour Saturday Night Live Christmas special was up even more vs. last year's SNL special A Very Gilly Christmas (2.1). All those shows were huge improvements over the normal timeslot programming.
  • Everything else was original, and most shows were pretty much in line with the last "normal" Wednesday two weeks ago. CSI followed up its pretty strong Thanksgiving Eve showing last week by tying a season high this week and holding about 90% of the Criminal Minds demo.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/27/12

  • The broadcast upswing continued into another day. The only network with atypical listings was ABC, where holiday specials How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shrek the Halls were just about even with year-ago levels. The finale of Dancing with the Stars, finally given a chance to air fully apart from The Voice, managed to easily outrate all other points this season. Sure, it was still way down year-to-year (vs. last fall's 4.1), but that's been the case all season, and usually to a larger extent. So a generally miserable season for the franchise at least ends on a less miserable note.
  •  CBS saw the mothership NCIS take a big surge, but that upswing didn't really continue into NCIS: Los Angeles and Vegas, which had to face DWTS this time (when it's usually the mothership doing so). This is another piece of evidence that DWTS has an incredible amount of crossover with CBS programming; see also CBS' big surge in the Dancing-free 9:00 hour last Monday.
  • Regularly-scheduled Fox and NBC on average upswung somewhere in the mid-teens vs. last week.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/26/12

  • Everybody gets a prize! Almost every show was up double-digits week-to-week. CBS can thank the 8:30 repeat of The Big Bang Theory for boosting 2 Broke Girls, Mike and Molly and Hawaii Five-0 to season highs. Revolution heads into its nearly summer-length hiatus with an uptick and Dancing with the Stars hit an outright season high too.
  • The only real loser was the short-order return of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, down 40%+ vs. last week in both hours. So that's why they cancelled it! ESPN also laid a relative egg with a dud Monday Night Football (4.0). Those results probably contributed to the magnitude of the increases elsewhere.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/25/12 (2012-13 Week Nine)

Football dominated the True Top 25 in a holiday week. Though the Patriots/Jets Thanksgiving primetime game was actually four tenths weaker than the Giants/Packers Sunday game in raw numbers, it graded out much better Truly speaking because the 18-49 TV usage was nearly ten percentage points weaker on Thursday than on Sunday. And ABC's college game, the best since the network picked up regular primetime football in 2006, was an extremely strong #3.

The holiday meant pre-emptions for the two top entertainment programs, so The Voice was left on top of that pack even with (by its standards) a really horribly-rated week.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/25/12

  • ABC's Once Upon a Time had a bounce-back from its head-scratching drop two weeks ago, but it was still near the low end of its pre-last week results. But ABC had another problem result as this time it was Revenge coming back after the week-ago pre-emption at well below its previous results this season.
  • With the late afternoon NFL game on Fox, its animation was at relatively normal post-overrun numbers. The Cleveland Show had a fairly American Dad!-esque tryout at 9:30. CBS was at pretty typical start-on-time levels with The Mentalist way up from last week when it started super-late.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/24/12

  • ABC is greatly disadvantaged in the overall averages every year due to sports, so it's nice to see them finally have a big day in that realm. Notre Dame's victory over USC was the highest-rated Saturday Night Football of not just this season but any season since ABC picked it up in 2006. A game this big lifts ABC as a whole by several ticks for the week. Fox's Stanford/UCLA got left wayyy behind.
  • CBS commenced its Made in Jersey burn-off, but I have to think it's no guarantee they will even air all the episodes if it continues to drag down the rest of the night like this. The night as a whole was down more than 40% week-to-week, but ABC's strength could also have something to do with that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/23/12

  • The Thanksgiving downturn in overall viewing always behaves about the same way: a small downturn on Monday and Tuesday (though it seemed to have a larger impact on broadcast ratings this year), a significant downturn on Wednesday, a huge one on Thursday, and then... poof. Order is almost completely restored on Black Friday. That meant the few entertainment programs on the evening, Last Man Standing and Malibu Country and 20/20, were basically unaffected.
  • Returnee holiday specials on CBS were even to up year-to-year, but the network got little mileage out of its originals. It's a SpongeBob Christmas! didn't move the needle and the return of Person to Person was way down from the last special CBS tried late last season.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/22/12

  • Thanksgiving Night is the depth of this week's holiday viewing downturn, but NBC provided a nice boost to the broadcast evening thanks to their newly negotiated Thanksgiving football game. The Thanksgiving game was on the NFL Network last season. It had ratings comparable to recent SNF results despite airing on a much, much lower-viewed night.
  • Fox aired its normal Thursday lineup, probably in large part because they had the benefit of an NFL overrun in the late afternoon. That overrun was evident in The X Factor's numbers but clearly out of the mix by the time Glee got going; it was a whooping 29% behind last week's already bad number. I'll include the NFL overrun, if available, as a lead-in in the final True2 number for The X Factor.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/21/12

  • Overall 18-49 viewing was down about 10% week-to-week on Thanksgiving Eve, but as usual most shows were down by more than that, and CBS' older-skewing offerings were most resilient to the holiday. But some of the worst droppers came on cable; American Horror Story (0.9) was down nearly 50% from last week!
  • The best ratings story of Thanksgiving Eve was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, up 22% from last year's telecast on Thanksgiving Night and continuing a great year for ABC's Peanuts specials. (It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was also up four tenths.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Question, Monday 11/26/12: Can ABC Go Home Again?

Though ABC cancelled Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as a regular staple, tonight it returns to serve in more of a holiday special capacity. It'll run for two hours on each of the next four Mondays to help the network bridge the gap in that big plot of Monday real estate between seasons of Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor. Can ABC go Home again? That's The Question for Monday, November 26, 2012.

The Climate, Week Eight

Had a rather unproductive holiday weekend, so just the normal numbers this time:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/20/12

  • Almost everyone was down to some degree on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Like on Monday, it appears there was only a tiny week-to-week downturn in overall viewing. It doesn't really get severe till tonight (Thanksgiving Eve).
  • Again, the most noticeable of the droppers was The Voice (3.3), whose 15% week-to-week fall just about mirrored the Monday drop. The comedy logjam at 9/8c continues to get worse; this week saw Apartment 23 (0.9) plunge sub-1.0 and New Girl (2.0) and The Mindy Project (1.3) each drop well below their previous lows. The only shows up week-to-week were 10:00 dramas Vegas (1.8) and Private Practice (1.2).
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted. Full table forthcoming!

SpotVault - Whitney (NBC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/18/12 (2012-13 Week Eight)

Sunday Night Football easily topped the True Top 25 and a big surge by The Big Bang Theory helped widen its lead over the rest of the entertainment programming field. In a fall full of pre-emptions, there were shockingly few this week; the only usual top 25 contenders to sit out were the ABC Sunday shows, but their replacement (the American Music Awards) cracked the top ten.

The only Friday/Saturday representative this week was ABC's strong Saturday Night Football, while Revolution and Elementary were the only new shows on the list.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/19/12

  • The yanking of Partners was of only minor help to CBS at 8:30 (where the Two and a Half Men repeat scored a 2.0, actually a bit below what Partners was pulling prior to last week's big drop) and at 9:00 where 2 Broke Girls was up a couple ticks. And the 8:00 and 9:30 comedies actually ticked down.
  • The Voice had a really bad night. It was over 10% below its worst Monday results this season, and it seems Dancing with the Stars picked up some of the pieces.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/18/12

  • The American Music Awards were down a drastic 21% year-to-year, which lined up exactly with the CMA Awards year-to-year drop from a two and a half weeks ago.
  • Fox animation went low again with The Simpsons and Family Guy and everything else at or near their timeslot season lows.
  • Most CBS shows were on the low end of normal, but The Mentalist again had a near-worst case scenario, starting at 10:53, and it took a huge week-to-week hit.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/17/12

  • An overtime epic between Stanford and Oregon posted one of ABC's best football numbers this season, and the Stanford win re-opened the national title picture to the big-money SEC. Great night for ABC/ESPN. Meanwhile, Fox somehow got stuck sub-1.0 again with nationally irrelevant (yet very entertaining) Oklahoma/West Virginia. They lost to ESPN, where Kansas State (1.1) finally cracked a 1.0 demo. But that's surely not much consolation to the school, which lost by 28 to Baylor and dropped out of the title race.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/16/12

  • From potential Friday game-changers to marginal-for-Friday ratings, in just two weeks. Last Man Standing dropped two more ticks and Malibu Country followed its week two 26% drop with another -18% in week three! Next week they'll be pretty much the only original entertainment options on all of Black Friday, but they'll have to fight off a bevy of holiday specials.
  • The comedy collapse has left Shark Tank, Undercover Boss and Grimm as the clear Friday leaders, but they too were down a bit on the last Friday of sweeps.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Question, Monday 11/19/12: Will CBS Monday Man Up?

The era of Partners patience finally came to an end last Monday, as a 1.8 in a lineup of otherwise 3.0+ programs was just too much for CBS to take. In the short term, they'll hope that repeats of the Thursday sitcoms will help resuscitate a Monday that's been well below expectations all fall. That starts tonight with a Two and a Half Men repeat at 8:30. Will CBS Monday man up? That's The Question for Monday, November 19, 2012.

The Climate: How Much is The Voice Boosting NBC?

We'll start with the weekly update on the climate numbers intro'ed last week:


Week Ending TPUT y2y bc y2y LeAv y2y
19/30/201232.4 -6% 9.2 -16% 2.50 -15%
210/07/201232.8 -5% 8.7 -15% 2.26 -17%
310/14/201233.7 -1% 8.6 -10% 2.33 -9%
410/21/201233.4 -3% 8.6 -6% 2.30 -6%
510/28/201234.2 -0% 9.1 -3% 2.12 -16%
611/04/201234.5 -0% 9.2 -9% 2.32 -11%
711/11/201235.1 +1% 9.3 -9% 2.30 -7%

In week seven, overall viewing ticked up yet again and was on the year-to-year upside for the first time all season, and broadcast viewing was at its highest level of the season, even beyond premiere week. Much of the credit on both fronts goes to the very high-viewed Tuesday election night.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Question Results through 11/14/12

Here are the results and individual standings through November 14 for the ratings prediction game The Question:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/15/12

  • Bazinga. The Big Bang Theory swung up to easily its biggest number of the season and, after a finals boost, actually beat its highest Thursday demo rating ever. It also had a series high in total viewers. That good mojo continued for CBS with Two and a Half Men and Person of Interest also at season highs. Elementary is still rather modest but it was up a touch as well.
  • The only other noticeable changes came on Fox. The X Factor finished off a week of upswing, but it looks like Glee was just waiting till the episode after the return from hiatus to take its big dip.

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2012 Week Three Winners/Losers

Though I've retired the formal daily year-to-year posts, after the premiere week I did pledge to shoot for at least one year-to-year summary for each sweeps period. I'm trying to pick out the most "normal" week from each period, and it looked like week three was by far the best this time. (No weather-related pre-emptions, no election pre-emptions, no awards shows, no Thanksgiving Eve.)

Top 10 year-to-year SHOW losers
1. Private Practice (Tu 10-11pm vs. Th 10-11pm) -61%
2. Happy Endings (Tu 9-9:30pm vs. W 9:30-10pm) -59%
3. Nikita (F 9-10pm vs. F 8-9pm) -50%
4. Last Man Standing (F 8-8:30pm vs. Tu 8-8:30pm) -38%
5. Whitney (W 8-8:30pm vs. Th 9:30-10pm) -38%
6. New Girl -37%
7. Hawaii Five-0 -36%
8. How I Met Your Mother -35%
9. Dancing with the Stars Mon -34%
t-10. Gossip Girl (M 9-10pm vs. M 8-9pm) -33% 
t-10. 2 Broke Girls (M 9-9:30pm vs. M 8:30-9pm) -33%

As always with the show lists, many of these numbers were inevitably going to be bad because of timeslot downgrades: namely Private Practice, Happy Endings, Last Man. But I don't think anyone would argue any of these shows (except maybe Last Man?) are doing "well." There's a big CBS Monday presence on this list, and Mike and Molly (at -32%) just barely misses.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DVR: Three Days vs. Seven Days

We know that networks love to tout huge DVRing gains from Live + Same Day to Live + three days after the airdate. We also know that networks love to tout huger gains from Live+SD to Live + seven days. And finally, we know that (frustratingly for the networks) all those gains do not end up translating to huge gains in the actual money numbers, the ratings for commercials within three days (C3).

Facing a bad year pretty much any way you realistically slice it, the networks have turned their public attentions to new frontiers, a faraway land where the numbers aren't so bleak. Namely, they want more DVR viewing counted. They want a switch from C3 to C7, or commercial viewing within seven days. As Cynthia Littleton notes in that article, they hold big presentations at the upfronts about the pressing need for this switch. And they sure seem to love to talk to people who want to write articles about huge +7 DVR gains.

However, the number that matters in this argument is not huge gains relative to Same Day numbers. It's about the difference between C3 and C7, and pretty much nobody ever talks about what those numbers really are. Some may even look at it like, "Seven days vs. three days! That's more than twice as long an opportunity to view, thus more than twice as much viewing!"

So what's the C3 -> C7 difference really like? We can't know for sure, since C7 is unseen in public settings. But what we can look at is the Live+3 -> Live+7 difference in program ratings. If the switch to seven days is such a big deal, there should at the very least be big bumps from three to seven there.

Unfortunately, as is usually the case when we drill down into DVR ratings, the reality is underwhelming, especially relative to the amount of press.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/14/12

  • NBC's Wednesday fix wasn't much of a fix. While Whitney returned to better ratings than recent Animal Practice episodes, it was less than half of its year-ago series premiere rating, below last spring's level and provided no help whatsoever to fellow multicam Guys with Kids or 9/8c drama Law and Order: SVU. It was way below what I expected, but everyone else was more realistic. And the week after a big The Voice boost, Chicago Fire reverted right back to its Halloween series low.
  • ABC also saw most of its shows return to softer Halloween-esque levels, while The X Factor, finally free of pre-emptions and Halloween and The Voice, managed to bounce back somewhat.

First Two Weeks, Malibu Country

On premiere night, the Reba McEntire fanbase brought a serious reinvigoration to Friday night. Malibu Country opened with 9.13 million viewers and a 2.3 demo rating, the highest number for a Friday series premiere in years. It did even better than the last couple shows that went on to become Friday staples, Blue Bloods (2.2) and Grimm (2.1), it built from its Last Man Standing lead-in (an also overachieving 2.0) and it helped boost Shark Tank to a series high (2.3). It was as strong a start as ABC could've possibly hoped for.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Question, Wednesday 11/14/12: Is NBC Wednesday Getting a Whit Knight?

For the second straight season, NBC had an obvious pairing with sitcom Whitney that for some reason they ignored in the fall. Tonight, for the second straight season, they're bringing that pair together later in the season as Whitney returns at 8/7c to lead into the network's other multicamera comedy Guys with Kids. Is NBC Wednesday getting a "Whit" knight? That's The Question for Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/13/12

  • The Voice may have left the 9/8c hour, but the horrible sitcom ratings remain, as New Girl and Happy Endings and Apartment 23 saw no rallies from their ratings against Voice the week before the election pre-emption. Only The Mindy Project showed any bounce-back whatsoever. It was really the first time yet that Mindy looked like a definitively stronger show than fellow Fox newbie Ben and Kate, which took a big dip.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/11/12 (2012-13 Week Seven)

Pretty standard week for the True Top 25. Sunday Night Football was tops, The Big Bang Theory held off Modern Family again for top entertainment program, The Voice was next, then everything else.

A big drop in the 8:00 hour for ABC Friday meant that Shark Tank was the only Friday/Saturday show on the list this week (with a surging Undercover Boss just barely missing). Revolution was the only new show thanks to Elementary and Malibu Country both dropping out of the mix this week.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/12/12

  • It's official: the only new network hit this fall, Revolution, is in a slump. Its 2.6 demo last night marked a third straight episode to dip by at least 0.2 points. With just two eps left before a four-month hiatus, it would sure be nice from the NBC perspective to see this level off or get back a bit.
  • The one show to have a really bad relative result last Monday, How I Met Your Mother, picked back up by a couple ticks this week. And just as I was starting to wonder, "Huh. Maybe Partners is starting to edge its way back into this thing" following some steadiness amid the HIMYM struggles, it took a 0.3 drop to 1.8 and looks dead all over again.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/11/12

  • An NFL overrun well into the 8:00 hour provided a big boost to Fox's average. That extra NFL competition seemingly clobbered ABC's Once Upon a Time, down about 20% from its recent level and at a series low. Even if the NFL was to blame, that's a terrible result for Once, which last season held up pretty well against the worst of NFL competition (like the AFC Championship Game on 1/22/12). Lending credence to that theory was the fact that the ABC problem lessened as the evening wore on, with Revenge and 666 Park Ave down in the single digits.
  • Fox usually doesn't have to deal with starting their shows late due to the NFL, but on this day they did. Like with CBS, it was a good news/bad news situation: good for The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers, bad for the 200th Family Guy, particularly the second half.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/10/12

  • ABC got back on top of the primetime college football world with Boston College and Notre Dame. Kansas State won the Fox game and claimed the #1 spot in the BCS, but you can tell from these ratings and the ones last week (when ABC was the one with K-State and finished a distant third) that the ESPN execs would muuuch rather have Notre Dame in the title game.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/9/12

  • The new TGIF fell back to Friday reality in week two, with Last Man Standing down 20% and Malibu Country plunging by 26% from last week's 2.3. But ABC still won Friday with first place finishes at 9/8c from Shark Tank and at 10/9c from 20/20, and they remain up by at least a third year-to-year in every half hour.
  • With the competitive situation finally clearing up somewhat at 8/7c, Undercover Boss had a huge surge in its second week back and Kitchen Nightmares grew for the second straight week and is getting back toward a more respectable level.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Question, Tuesday 11/13/12: Will Endings Get Happier?

We're not sure who the "real" Happy Endings is yet. It premiered to a relatively as-expected 1.8 on October 23, then tanked to a 1.4 the next week with The Voice haunting the 9/8c hour. Was the 1.4 blip or trend? The drop was severe enough that I'm fairly sure it's not getting back to 1.8 tonight; it was gonna have a post-premiere drop regardless of The Voice. But I do expect some rally this week with NBC over 2 points weaker. Since it was pre-empted last week, I'm saying it only makes up a tick or two for now.

Over/Under: 1.55.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Climate: Are We Waking Up from the Premiere Week Nightmare?

This is "The Climate," a weekly look at the "big picture" numbers of broadcast primetime. I will provide a few "big picture" numbers both week-by-week and from the season-to-date. These numbers will be the starting point for this post every week, and some weeks they will be pretty much the whole post. But I'm also hoping to do a column of sorts on a fairly regular basis, examining the big picture in much the same way I did in the A18-49+ posts last spring. I have a lot of big-picture observations that don't really fit into any of the "regular" posts around here, so hopefully this will provide an outlet for some of that.

Since I never really had the time in the crazy opening 6+ weeks of the season to get this off the ground, it means we have a lot of numbers in the books. So here's where we'll begin this. We all know that premiere week, when TV ratings get a ton of attention, was pretty hellish. But is this TV season still as nightmarish as premiere week suggested, or are things "evening out" somewhat?

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Question, Friday 11/9/12: Will Week Two of Malibu Stay Above Two?

I said earlier this week that I thought ABC's showing last Friday was the best regular-programming night any network has had on a Friday in several years. I'm probably missing something but I don't think anyone's averaged a 2.0 for a full night of regular programs on Friday since Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs were around, and "best in three years" is hard to find in today's Live+SD TV ratings world. Now we're left to wonder if all of this has legs. Will week two of Malibu stay above two? That's The Question for Friday, November 9, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/8/12

  • The latest of the The Voice / The X Factor duels again went decisively to The Voice. While The Voice again provided a triple-digit timeslot improvement, yet another special night led to yet another huge drop. The Voice provided a significant boost to The Office, whose 8:30 lead-in was about two points better than it had been all year. Factor out the fact that its lead-in was a point weaker than in early October and it looks like Glee was pretty close to the same show as in its last episode pre-hiatus.
  • On CBS, it looks like "The Miley Cyrus Effect" might be an actual thing; Two and a Half Men has now broken a 4 in each of its Miley-starring eps and averaged about a 3.6 in the non-Miley eps. And ABC's Last Resort was able to get back one tenth after its extreme drop last week.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Question, Thursday 11/8/12: Will Glee's Post-Baseball Return Strike Out?

What sucks about Fox's baseball arrangement is that they have to "sacrifice" some part of the schedule to fit in all those pre-emptions. Last year, they protected The X Factor at the expense of Tuesday, and Glee/New Girl/Raising Hope were never the same when they came back in November. This year, they tried to minimize Tuesday pre-emptions and essentially had to derail X Factor to do so. The show that got screwed both times was Glee, which returns tonight after four Thursdays off and has to be praying it goes better this year than last. Will Glee's post-baseball return strike out?  That's The Question for Thursday, November 8, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/7/12

  • NBC brought The Voice into the Wednesday mix and grew by over 100% vs. the typical Wednesday 8:00 to 10:00 results. But the special night and the X Factor competition meant this was still a much weaker Voice than the one we usually see on Monday/Tuesday. The lead-in boost helped Chicago Fire become the first new show this season to exceed its series premiere results, and it did so by a decent amount. It did basically what I expected even though The Voice was a tad weaker than expected. Given the same big lead-in, it's about what we thought it was; no Revolution, but probably stronger than something like the later eps of Smash. Now we'll see if this helps at all when SVU is the lead-in.
  • Despite the added competition, most other shows were even to up vs. last week's Halloween numbers and very close to even with the last "normal" Wednesday two weeks ago. ABC looked particularly good with The Middle up for its fourth straight episode and The Neighbors and Suburgatory beating any previous results in their timeslots this season. Nashville got back to its pre-Halloween level and (like fellow 10/9c newbie Chicago Fire) now probably looks pretty safe for some kind of extension.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Question, Wednesday 11/7/12: Will The Voice Fire Up Chicago's Ratings?

Tonight begins NBC's effort to finish off Fox's sagging The X Factor by airing The Voice against all three of its hours this week. That'll be a matchup to watch, but I'm more interested in seeing what that Voice lead-in does for NBC's new drama Chicago Fire. It's probably not done as poorly as it could have, but it's still been a pretty "meh" performer thus far, dropping a bit from struggling Law and Order: SVU. These one-offs are rarely game-changers, but this will undeniably be an opportunity for a lot of new exposure for this show. Will The Voice fire up Chicago's ratings? That's The Question for Wednesday, November 7, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/6/12

  • Preliminary ratings for Election Night coverage pretty much lined up the way the news organizations always do: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox. Strangely most of the coverage got about the same ratings as week-ago regular series except for ABC (which was wayyy stronger). Everything (including the CW's repeats) got adjusted down by 0.2 to 0.4 after finals due to local coverage being removed.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/4/12 (2012-13 Week Six)

Let's hope, for everyone's sake, for no more natural disasters. With the exception of Halloween on Wednesday, this was an extremely high-viewed week of television, yet that for the most part did not show up in the entertainment programming ratings. This is particularly evident in the True2 numbers toward the beginning of the week, when coverage of Hurricane Sandy appeared to drastically lift viewing levels yet much of that local affiliate coverage was not quantifiable in national ratings.

A best-in-a-month Sunday Night Football easily topped the charts. (And by more than it previously would have thanks to a recent fix in the sports program calculation!) In a reversal of what we've come to expect from their situations, The Big Bang Theory only barely held off Modern Family for top entertainment program despite a full point raw-numbers advantage. TBBT's Thursday 8/7c slot was (on CMA Awards night) easily the highest-viewed it's been all season while Modern Family's Wednseday 9/8c slot on Halloween was easily at its lowest-viewed.

ABC had what I think I'm safe in calling the best Friday night with regular programming for any network in several years, and three of those programs made it onto the list for at least this one week. CBS also joined the Friday/Saturday Watch thanks to a huge college football game on Saturday. Malibu Country also joined usual Top 25ers Revolution and Elementary as a third show on what's been a pretty thin year for new shows on this list.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/5/12

  • Most shows were even to down a bit in the first totally normal Monday in quite some time. Somehow-still-airing The Mob Doctor was amusingly the only show on the rise, while How I Met Your Mother was really the only show to finish well below previous results.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/4/12

  • Fox began its effort to revive its schedule on the other side of the baseball hiatus, and it didn't go so well with everything including The Simpsons and Family Guy well below prior results. They'll look to the NFL for a shot in the arm next week.
  • Some kudos to Once Upon a Time for three straight weeks of growth, and it looks like it will end up as broadcast's #1 drama this week. (Though it lost handily to AMC's The Walking Dead (4.9).) But the bottom seems to have finally fallen out for previously lingering 666 Park Ave.
  • CBS ended up with relatively normal numbers after finals, with The Mentalist seemingly having settled in after its early-season schizophrenia. NBC's Sunday Night Football had a big upswing thanks to a close game, no sports competition and the Dallas Cowboys.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/3/12

  • It was an extremely sporty evening with three nationally relevant football games in broadcast primetime plus NBC airing Breeder's Cup coverage and the movie Rudy. While CBS won by a mile with both the best game and the best matchup, LSU/Alabama, the game was still down 44% from the absurd ratings this matchup pulled in last year's "Game of the Century." Despite the competition, USC/Oregon ranked among Fox's best football ratings of the year and crushed a season low for Kansas State/Oklahoma State on ABC.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/2/12

  • Pretty good news on all the broadcasters, but it must start with ABC, where Last Man Standing returned very well, a couple notches above last season's post-DST level on Tuesday, then the series premiere of Reba's Malibu Country also did big business with the expected multiple-tick growth at 8:30. The latter ended up tying Shark Tank, which picked up even more steam in its debut at 9/8c and (along with Malibu) did the best numbers for any Friday entertainment show since the Undercover Boss debut in February. All three of those shows were up at least 100% year-to-year in their timeslots. So far so good for ABC Friday.
  • Against remarkably heavy 8/7c competition, Undercover Boss was back in reasonably respectable fashion, though it was near the low end of last season's numbers. If it fades throughout the season as is Boss tradition, look out, but I don't know that CBS could've expected much more considering how last season ended.
  • NBC found yet another strong option in its patchwork Friday 8/7c plan, this time going with a last-minute Hurricane Sandy benefit concert; it was sustaining programming so it won't count in official averages, but preliminarily it did somewhere in the mid-1's, fairly Mockingbird Lane-esque numbers. That helped keep Grimm pretty high, though it did come down a bit from last week's Halloween surge.
  • Even some of the usual ratings losers of Friday night were on the upswing, with Kitchen Nightmares and Nikita each picking up a tick.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Question, Friday 11/2/12: Is Friday Reba Country?

I said pre-season that ABC's Last Man Standing and Malibu Country had the best chance for success among the four scripted options in the Friday 8/7c hour. I guess I win by default, since two of those four lineups were rescheduled elsewhere before even airing and a third (CSI: NY) lasted for just two weeks before moving. LMS and Malibu are still a go starting tonight, but it remains rather questionable whether ABC's rearrangement of an already successful Friday will be a net positive. Is Friday Reba country? That's The Question for Friday, November 2, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/1/12

  • ABC won the evening and was 81% stronger than last week with The CMA Awards, but it was down by a full point year-to-year.
  • Fox's The X Factor problem persists, with its two-hour return to the Thursday schedule down by about 20% from its last Thursday airing. It was perhaps hurt somewhat by NBC pulling its comedies in favor of The Voice, which repeated the Monday episode that many may have missed because of Sandy. It was 16% weaker than the usual comedy numbers but certainly had more overlap with its music-themed competitors. NBC then had its highest result since the season premiere from a Sandy-themed Rock Center.
  • Elementary finally reversed its downward trajectory, while The Big Bang Theory began its seemingly annual November upswing. The Vampire Diaries also had a big night.

CW Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are the CW's Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

Fox Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are Fox's Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

NBC Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are NBC's Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

CBS Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are CBS' Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

ABC Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are ABC's Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 10/31/12

  • We'll probably get official numbers on the week-to-week HUT declines on Halloween from a network press release, but my estimates suggest there were about 7 or 8% fewer adults 18-49 watching TV than last Wednesday, and as expected the drop was more than that early in the evening and less later. (EDIT: A network press release said adults 18-49 usage was -7% from last Wednesday.)
  • As is holiday tradition, you drop more the younger/family-friendlier you skew. Fox's The X Factor only barely did better than its recent erratically-scheduled episodes and was down a whooping 26% from its last "normal" Wednesday episode. The last-minute scheduling following a short World Series may have also hurt. Regular shows on ABC and NBC were all down in the general 10% vicinity, but ABC had good news at 8/7c as the yearly special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (2.7) was up noticeably from last year. And the oldest-skewing shows of the evening, Criminal Minds and CSI were least hit.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 10/30/12

  • It might have seemed off-base when I suggested Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project were essentially the same show despite Mindy's considerable raw numbers advantage. But give them the same competition thanks to a two-hour The Voice and that's pretty much what you get. 8:00's Raising Hope and Ben and Kate were even, but New Girl and The Mindy Project each took a significant hit. Of course, it also probably didn't help Mindy that she'd been off for three weeks. And I'm not saying kill off any of the 9:00 comedies because of this atypical evening. Just saying this kinda illustrates that the normal Tuesday 8:00 situation is much tougher than the normal Tuesday 9:00 one. We'll see how it goes on the other side of yet another pre-emption for the election next week.
  • Speaking of comedies getting slammed against The Voice, ABC's Happy Endings and Apartment 23 took even bigger hits in their second weeks.
  • Week five of CBS Tuesday finally stopped the bleeding with NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and Vegas all even or up a little.
  • Not expecting finals adjustments as significant on Monday, but Sandy was still in play with 10/9c news specials on NBC (2.9 post-Voice) and ABC (1.3).

The True Top 25, Week Ending 10/28/12 (2012-13 Week Five)

Sunday Night Football won the True Top 25 once again, holding off the top comedies on ABC and CBS. Modern Family held off The Big Bang Theory in a week when TBBT didn't have very much competition. Outside of those usual suspects, it was a highly irregular week; most of the Monday programming was shortened or off the air due to a debate and Fox had five nights fully devoted to baseball. All four World Series games and both NFL games made the list, and a huge result from Grimm put it on the list for the first time.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/28/12

  • The broadcast night was again dominated by sports; Sunday Night Football held off game 4 of the World Series, but the fourth and final game of the Series was the highest-rated by a long shot. Thanks to the NFL lead-in, extra innings and an ultimately decisive game. Those factors helped it beat the year-ago Game 4, the first positive trend in what had been a reliably down-low-teens series. Though Fox is certainly sad to only get four games, even though it was a historically low-rated Series, at least they avoid potentially huge scheduling headaches had future games been rained out (which seemed quite possible).
  • At 10/9c, the 100th The Mentalist was the weakest of the show's three start-on-time results this season, and 666 Park Ave gave back a tenth following its bounce last week.
  • On AMC, The Walking Dead (5.4) was up a few ticks and topped the week in entertainment programming once more. Showtime's Homeland (0.9) hit a series high for the fourth time in five episodes this season.

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