Thursday, February 23, 2012

The True Top 25, Week Ending 2/19/12 (2011-12 Week 22)

Last week, The Big Bang Theory finished just 0.05 behind the Wednesday edition of American Idol for the entertainment programming lead. This week, that gap shrunk to 0.04, but it's still there, and the race at the top remains a pretty tight three-pronged one with The Voice still very much in play as well.

On the whole, it was one of broadcast TV's most down weeks of the season. Some of the drops were weird, but many were Truly explicable; for example, a below-average NCIS in raw numbers actually had its biggest TRUE since September due to Valentine's-depressed viewing levels. Modern Family was not significantly Truly affected despite its 0.8 drop in raw numbers because American Idol's arrival ramped up the competition.

Undercover Boss may have a shot to become the first Friday show to regularly make this list. It could even drop a tick or two from its huge Friday premiere levels and probably keep making it most weeks.

Rank Name TRUE A18-49 ARank
1American Idol Wed6.826.11
2The Big Bang Theory6.785.13
3The Voice6.496.02
4American Idol Thu5.935.13
5Modern Family5.494.75
7How I Met Your Mother4.233.49
8Two and a Half Men3.993.96
92 Broke Girls3.743.88
11Grey's Anatomy3.463.211
14Criminal Minds3.103.114
15Undercover Boss2.922.430
16New Girl2.893.114
17The Middle2.842.430
18Mike and Molly2.813.49
19Once Upon a Time2.793.114
20Person of Interest2.792.818
21NCIS: Los Angeles2.683.211
23The Mentalist2.642.723
24The Bachelor2.612.529
25Hawaii Five-02.582.723

Missing the True Top 25 but in the A18-49 list: The Simpsons (t-#25 in A18-49, #26 in TRUE), The Amazing Race (t-#18 in A18-49, #29 in TRUE), CSI (t-#25 in A18-49, #33 in TRUE), Celebrity Apprentice (t-#25 in A18-49, #36 in TRUE) and Smash (t-#18 in A18-49, #37 in TRUE).

For more on the True Top 25, click to expand.
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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