Saturday, January 21, 2012

First Two Weeks, The Finder


As I said in a post earlier this week, a spin-off of the always-solid Bones had to feel like a fairly high-percentage play for Fox. So I was surprised when The Finder couldn't even get anything at all going on premiere night. It premiered to a horrible 1.7 demo, which outrated just two non-Friday big four scripted premieres this season (The Playboy Club and The Firm). It dropped nearly 30% of the 2.4 demo from its original Bones lead-in. Everyone else in the timeslot was original, but it didn't seem like a terribly prohibitive hour.

But what worked in The Finder's favor was its particularly unique timeslot situation. In week two, Bones headed to the shelf and Fox brought in the Thursday premiere of American Idol and its 5.7 demo. That helped boost The Finder to a 2.2 demo, meaning a really rare 29% increase. However, retention of American Idol was already below 40%. (Incidentally, the last show to get this kind of lead-in boost in week two was Fringe back in the 2008-09 season. Because of that artifical inflation of the week two number, what I did on that "system" post was just include the first two post-House episodes, and I may end up doing that again here later on.)

Don't be fooled by the big increase; the 1.7 was a horrific starting point and the 39% post-Idol retention isn't really any better. Comparing the preliminary TRUE numbers, the week two result looks like a relatively normal -17% rather than that artifical +29%. If it had aired in the same situation in week two, it probably would've dropped to a 1.4 or so and it may not have even aired a third episode. But because of this increase, however artificial, The Finder will probably stick around a little while longer. With that kind of lead-in, it could have a chance to build into something, but these are two very weak results we have right now. There's no way I can pick a season two.

"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line all of these numbers up to do an objective analysis in what I call "the system."

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