Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The True Top 25, Week Ending 1/22/12 (2011-12 Week 18)


Welcome back, Death Star. Fox's NFC Championship Game towered over everything, but American Idol then occupied the next three spots both in 18-49 and in TRUE, despite the show being down over 20% year-to-year on both nights. But as I've said, this could be the year it joins the "mere mortals" of television; the Thursday edition lost head-to-head with The Big Bang Theory but did well enough in the 8:30 half-hour to beat it out overall. It doesn't seem ludicrous to think Big Bang could out-TRUE the Thursday Idol show by season's end (though I do think it got a bit of a bump this week from the 100th episode stuff).

The originals facing the NFC Championship will be an interesting case study for the off-season. The number typically cares more about overall viewing than competition, and the game brought a huge overall viewing inflation. Once Upon a Time feels like it "deserves" more than a 2.61 for going against a game of that size, but it's not that dissimilar to its December and early January TRUE numbers. So we'll see what it does in subsequent results.

Rank Name TRUE A18-49 ARank
1Sports: NFL Playoffs17.8121.41
2American Idol Wed7.897.43
3American Idol (Sun)6.857.92
4American Idol Thu6.625.74
5The Big Bang Theory6.405.35
6Modern Family5.795.16
7How I Met Your Mother4.234.49
8Two and a Half Men4.084.67
92 Broke Girls3.994.67
10Criminal Minds3.483.215
11Grey's Anatomy3.323.511
12Rob3.103.511
13Mike and Molly3.053.810
14Alcatraz3.013.314
15New Girl2.943.413
16Glee2.903.118
17CSI2.902.822
18Person of Interest2.843.215
19The Office2.703.019
20The Middle2.642.528
21Once Upon a Time2.613.215
22The Mentalist2.583.019
23Revenge2.552.528
24Last Man Standing2.542.625
25Special: Betty White's 90th Birthday2.462.724

Missing the True Top 25 but in the A18-49 list: Hawaii Five-0 (t-#22 in A18-49, #27 in TRUE) and Happy Endings (#21 in A18-49, #28 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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