Thursday, February 16, 2012

First Two Weeks, The River


ABC's The River kicked off with a 2.4 demo average in its two-hour premiere. That's a pretty weak series premiere number, but it's certainly not the weakest thing ABC's ever programmed on Tuesday between Dancing with the Stars seasons. What I found even worse than the average was the breakdown by half-hour: it went 2.6 -> 2.5 -> 2.3 -> 2.2. Usually, I don't put a lot of stock in those because a lot of it is just people falling away from a big lead-in. But The River didn't have a big lead-in; Last Man Standing averaged a 2.5 at 8:30. There was really no reason why that many people should've fallen away from the show other than rejection.

And those breakdowns were a big harbinger of things to come, as The River tanked to a 1.7 demo in week two. That's a massive 29% drop, and it was ABC's only show of the evening to finish down vs. the year-ago occupant (V).

After the agony that was the previous post, it's nice to have a relatively easy one. Now, week two fell on Valentine's Day, so I guess it's technically possible the show could rebound a bit. But I'm guessing The River probably wouldn't be renewed even if it stuck at its week two numbers. That's never a good sign, especially since week two is usually not the stopping point for the declines when they're this big. Overall, ABC would probably be a lot better off financially bringing back previous occupant Celebrity Wife Swap for another between-DWTS run in the timeslot, even if this show can maintain the 1.7. No season two for The River.

"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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