Thursday, March 8, 2012

NBC True Power Rankings, February 2012

It's time for the post-February sweeps True Power Rankings! For this edition, I'm averaging the 10 most recent TRUE results, then I'm dropping both the biggest and the smallest result from that group. Not sure 10 is the magic number for the best possible analysis (as many shows are still somewhat inflated by fall numbers), but I think it will serve us better in the last two editions.

Other networks: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | The CW

The Greg Daniels Division
1. The Office (2.76)
2. Parks and Recreation (1.86)

Parks has gotta be one of the most consistent shows on TV right now. It's in the upper 1.8's to low 1.9's in TRUE practically every week, which is kinda stunning considering the inherent error in the PUT calculations that largely drive any individual data point. In raw numbers, five consecutive 1.7s. Tonight is its last ep for awhile, then it returns in April to air after The Office. If Up All Night is any indication (see below), expect it to inexplicably and completely tank.

The Separating Bubble
3. Community (1.78)
4. 30 Rock (1.69)
5. Whitney (1.64)
6. Up All Night (1.58)
7. Are You There, Chelsea? (1.52)

I put all of these in their own division, at least for this time, but Up All Night and Chelsea are both pretty heavily inflated by early results within the ten episodes being used for each. Lately, they practically belong in their own division, with each seemingly stuck in the 1.3's. That is, as I've noted many times, a pretty huge shocker for Up All Night. At the end of 2011, I considered it perhaps the second-biggest lock on the network. Since then, well... it's gotta be one of the first shows I've ever seen to move into an apparently better situation and do much worse, not just perception-wise but actually raw numbers-wise. I'm not really sure what to make of it, and I'm not really sure what NBC makes of it, but it certainly seems that the show should be axed based on what it's Truly done at 9:30. Also, it's gonna be off the sked for May sweeps, which is never a good sign.

Community's back a week from tonight in that same 8/7c timeslot. The good news: it doesn't have to face The Big Bang Theory (repeat or original) for two weeks. The bad news: all of its airings will come after Sunday's ratings-harmful Daylight Saving adjustment.

The Dunzo
8. Free Agents (0.94)

The Haves
1. Awake (2.14)
2. Smash (2.07
3. Law and Order: SVU (2.04)
4. Parenthood (1.70)
5. Grimm (1.70)

There were really two Parenthoods this season, the 2.00 one of 2011 and the 1.50 one of 2012. The 2011 one (plus the 1.84 for the finale) would be a mortal lock for renewal. I'm not quite as comfortable about the 1.50 one, though I still think it's better than a 50/50 proposition. Right now, it's the closest thing to a "bubble" show that there is in what remains a very "have/have not" set of NBC dramas.

The other obvious question is where the newbies settle. Weeks four and five of Smash (with week four scoring a 1.95 against the Daytona 500 and week five a preliminary 1.85, not included above) seem to be in about upper 1's territory now, which would be a good thing from a renewal standpoint. Upper 1's is probably a best case scenario for Awake, with the worst case scenario of course being all the guys in the next tier.

The Have-Nots
4. The Playboy Club (1.18)
5. Harry's Law (1.06)
6. Chuck (0.97)
7. Prime Suspect (0.96)

8. The Firm (0.63)

The only of these shows still alive in any meaningful way is now Harry's Law. It returns on Sunday and, at its current level, promises to be a real bellwether show for the 18-49 "debate," at least for those still interested in that sort of thing. Will it pull off a miracle and actually start pulling reasonable 18-49's? Will it tank so hard that the total viewership sucks too, providing the 18-49 haters an out? Or will it cause an apocalypse by maintaining its current level and getting renewed anyway???

The Tentpoles
1. The Voice (6.20)
1. Fear Factor (2.32)
2. The Biggest Loser Fall (2.08)
3. The Biggest Loser Spring (2.00)

I've been looking for this on a couple other networks all season, and I've finally found it. Here we have a show that can legitimately double the TRUE average of everything else on its network. Book it.

The Filler
4. Dateline Fri (1.53)
5. Who's Still Standing? (1.41)
6. The Sing-Off (1.36)
7. Dateline Sun (1.04)
8. Rock Center (0.72)

No developments here. Awaiting the upcoming debut of Betty White's Off Their Rockers.

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