Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/30/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Fox dominated Wednesday (at least on broadcast) as So You Think You Can Dance benefited by a couple tenths in its first airing on Wednesday (and free of Duets competition).
  • CBS tried a rare early summer premiere and didn't do much with Dogs in the City.
  • NBC got off to a terrible start with the Stanley Cup Finals, down more than a third from the 1.7 and 1.8 demos for Game 1's in the last couple years.
  • Finally, the CW wrapped up its spring programming with a rare out-of-sweeps finale for America's Next Top Model. Avoiding the American Idol finale seems to have benefited the show at least a little bit, as this result was above average, but it capped off what was still a horrifically-rated season overall.
  • Cable had the top 18-49 show on TV for the fourth straight evening as the amazing History miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (14.287m, 4.0 A18-49) wrapped up on a high note, beating its own record for largest ad-supported non-sports cable audience. It also scored its first outright nightly victory in 18-49, edging Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals (3.9).

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/29/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • NBC got a nice bounce-back from America's Got Talent after its relatively soft rating from the previous night. The show faced basically no resistance from the other broadcasters, but things will ramp up next week as Gordon Ramsay comes to town.
  • The CW's summer of originals did not exactly roar out of the gate, although I guess you can at least say The Catalina premiered to about 300,000 more viewers than earlier CW debuts from The LA Complex and Remodeled. Meanwhile, Complex wrapped up its first run on an above-average note and is for some reason reportedly returning for 13 more season one episodes later in the summer.
  • The one-hour finale of Cougar Town was also up in its last airing before the upcoming move to TBS.
    • Got Talent managed to tie night two of History's remarkable Hatfields & McCoys (13.127m, 3.7 A18-49) for demo leadership. Game 2 of TNT's NBA Western Conference Finals (3.2) lagged a bit behind but still crushed most of the broadcasters.

    Spotted Ratings, Monday 5/28/12


    WHAT MATTERS:
    • The first Monday of summer was a pretty brutal one for the broadcasters as all three originals were down double digits week-to-week. There didn't appear to be much of a Memorial Day viewing drop, so the only other explanation is that...
    • ...everything big was happening on cable, where History debuted miniseries Hatfields & McCoys and obliterated the previous record for largest audience in ad-supported non-sports cable history (13.866 million viewers). Despite an also highly impressive 18-49 rating (3.7), the show didn't top the night thanks to Game 1 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals (4.1) on ESPN.

    War of 18-49 Update, The Big Bang Theory (2011-12)


    Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the fifth overall) of The Big Bang Theory on CBS.

    The True Top 25, Week Ending 5/27/12 (2011-12 Week 36)


    The 36th and perhaps final True Top 25 of the 2011-12 season features the last three days of the regular season plus a handful of shows from the first four days of summer. With quite a few of the typical heavyweights sitting out, it was all about American Idol finale week, as the special Tuesday telecast and the Wednesday finale led the field pretty easily. It was slim pickings among scripted originals, where Modern Family easily beat The Middle and the series finale of House.

    The final Friday/Saturday Watch featured a solid showing from the NBA's Celtics and 76ers in a Game 7 on Saturday, and 20/20 took a rare turn on this list even in what is typically one of its only repeat weeks of the whole year.

    Spotted Ratings, Memorial Weekend Roundup (5/25-5/27/12)


    WHAT MATTERS:
    • Memorial Day weekend was about sports, reruns and burn-offs (including the return of How to Be a Gentleman, tying an all-time CBS demo low in its first airings in over seven months). The NBA's Western Conference Finals (3.4) on TNT easily beat the broadcasters on Sunday.
    • Overall viewing was a tad depressed on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday was the only evening that took a significant viewing hit due to the holiday; my estimates say about 30% of 18-49ers were using TV on Sunday night from 8:00 to 11:00 compared to about 37% the previous Sunday.

      Wednesday, May 30, 2012

      War of 18-49 Update, American Idol (2011-12)


      Let's take a look at the 2012 season (the eleventh overall) of American Idol on Fox.

      2012 Summer Matchups, Wednesday


      Originals are in bold; new shows are in ALL CAPS; "Average" is Live + SD A18-49 average from this season to date if already ongoing, from summer 2011 or, if neither of those are applicable, from most recent non-summer season

      More Summer Matchups: Thursday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

      Net 8:00 8:30Premieres Average
      ABC The Middle (R) Suburgatory (R)

      CBSDOGS IN THE CITY 5/30NEW
      NBC Off Their Rockers (R) Up All Night (R)

      Fox So You Think You Can Danceongoing2.4 premiere
      CW America's Next Top Model (R)


      ABC Fam Melissa & Joey BABY DADDY 5/30 | 6/200.47 | NEW

      While CBS has run original episodes of Flashpoint early on in the last couple summers, their last series premiere in the early summer was another scripted offering, Swingtown (June 5, 2008). That one started fairly promisingly but faded significantly. CBS also failed with its last dog reality show, as Greatest American Dog couldn't really get anything going in the summer of 2008. They'll try to buck both those trends with tonight's premiere of Dogs in the City.

      Tuesday, May 29, 2012

      War of 18-49 Update, NCIS (2011-12)


      Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the ninth overall) of NCIS on CBS.

      2012 Summer Matchups, Tuesday


      Originals are in bold; new shows are in ALL CAPS; "Average" is Live + SD A18-49 average from this season to date if already ongoing, from summer 2011 or, if neither of those are applicable, from most recent non-summer season

      More Summer Matchups: Thursday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday


      Net 8:00 8:30Premieres Average
      ABC Last Man Standing (R)


      CBSNCIS (R)
      NBC America's Got Talent (R)

      Fox Hell's Kitchen6/52.64
      CW THE CATALINA5/29NEW

      ABC Fam Pretty Little Liars 6/50.97

      With just two original hours on a ten-hour schedule, I'm sure the CW has some good reason for throwing one of those hours up against what will likely be ABC Family's biggest hour of the whole week. I'm just not sure what it is...

      Monday, May 28, 2012

      The War of 18-49, Parks and Recreation



      PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC)

      Scheduling history: Through five seasons, Parks and Recreation was almost always been a bottom-of-the hour show. It did get a handful of tries leading off the 10:00 hour during the 2010-11 season, but the vast majority of its eps have come at either 8:30 or 9:30. That changed in a big way as it led off the Thursday lineup in fall 2013, but it returned to 8:30 at midseason. The final season was the first that didn't air on Thursday, with back-to-back episodes in the Tuesday 8:00 hour.

      2012 Summer Matchups, Monday


      Originals are in bold; new shows are in ALL CAPS; "Average" is Live + SD A18-49 average from this season to date if already ongoing, from summer 2011 or, if neither of those are applicable, from most recent non-summer season

      More Summer Matchups: Thursday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

      Net 8:00 8:30Premieres Average
      ABC The Bachelorette ongoing2.49 to date
      CBS How I Met Your Mother (R)
      2 Broke Girls (R)


      NBC America's Got Talentongoing3.53 to date
      Fox Hell's Kitchen6/42.64
      CW Breaking Pointe (R)


      ABC Fam The Secret Life of the American Teenager ongoing0.76 to date
      USA WWE Raw 7/23NEW at 8/7c

      Despite the talk about how Howard Stern hasn't helped out Got Talent, this show has been down only about 15% year-to-year thus far. Not good, but still a far cry from the 25-30% decline for virtually every other talent show this year. And that's come against the full-fledged broadcast competition. So maybe he really has helped, and it was just unrealistic to expect him to actually lift the show so heavily that it'd totally reverse the larger trend.

      Sunday, May 27, 2012

      2012 Summer Matchups, Sunday


      Originals are in bold; new shows are in ALL CAPS; "Average" is Live + SD A18-49 average from this season to date if already ongoing, from summer 2011 or, if neither of those are applicable, from most recent non-summer season

      More Summer Matchups: Thursday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

      Net 8:00 8:30Premieres Average
      ABC Secret Millionaire 6/32.75
      CBS Big Brother 7/152.71
      NBC Datelineongoing1.09 to date
      Fox The Simpsons (R) Bob's Burgers (R)


      TNT Leverage 7/150.91

      I guess Secret Millionaire was sort of the Fear Factor of the 2010-11 season: a reality show with good ratings that for whatever reason hasn't become a main player. At least Secret Millionaire gets to return at some point, though. It'll become that rare show to weather multiple hiatuses of more than a year. It got canned after a pretty decent first season on Fox and was out of the picture for over two years before making its return on ABC, and now its second ABC run will show up over 13 months after the first one ended.

      Spotty Summer 2012


      Another regular season is in the books! Thanks to all readers and commenters old and new. Been a fun season. If you've been around awhile, you may remember how I used to brag that this blarg is actually busier in the summer than during the regular season. I'm hoping that will not be the case this time, mostly since I did so much more stuff than usual during the regular season. But we're not exactly going dark. There's no huge game-changing project this summer, but all the oldies are back. Here's very roughly how the summer will go:

      Friday, May 25, 2012

      Spotted Ratings, Thursday 5/24/12: A Minor Music Series


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • ABC began the summer in very disappointing fashion as Duets proved it is indeed possible to create something less than a big hit in the singing competition genre. The show was routed head-to-head by the So You Think You Can Dance premiere and didn't even manage good-for-summer numbers. ABC rounded out the evening with Rookie Blue, down a couple ticks from last season's premiere, which doesn't seem that bad since its lead-in was surprisingly much weaker than last year.
      • As for SYTYCD, it didn't exactly shine either as it came in 27% below last season's premiere, a year-to-year drop that's pretty reminiscent of most returning music competitions this season. This one was predictable considering how sharply the show dropped over the course of last summer. That drop had led Fox to cancel the second weekly airing of the show for this season. So Fox and ABC will both hope that separating these two shows will be beneficial, as SYTYCD airs only on Wednesdays starting next week.
      • On cable, ESPN's final game of the Heat/Pacers NBA playoff series (3.0) comfortably topped all the broadcasters. TBS had a decent-looking start from Men at Work (1.3), which retained almost all its 9:30 The Big Bang Theory lead-in (1.4), but the second Men episode (1.1) took a somewhat worrisome dip at 10:30.

      Demos Year-to-Year, May Sweeps 2012 Week Four Winners/Losers


      As usual with my year-to-year posts, at the end of each week I take a look at the biggest gainers and losers among adults 18-49. I stick to only original-vs.-original comparisons for these lists.

      Top 5 year-to-year show losers
      1. Dancing with the Stars Mon -38%
      2. Glee -37% 
      3. American Idol Tuesday -31%
      4. American Idol Wednesday -30%
      5. American Idol Thursday -30%

      This is not a week of particularly useful comparisons, since so many shows sat out the final week of the season. But this one paints a pretty good picture of some of the biggest falls from grace of the 2011-12 season, especially if you add in #6 (the DWTS finale, -28%) and #7 (Celebrity Apprentice, -27%).

      Thursday, May 24, 2012

      Updated for 2011-12: Network Averages in the 2000s


      Most of my averages on the blog are my own home-brewed Live + Same Day averages, but this yearly post is the one time I use Nielsen's "Most Current" averages. Here are how the big four networks have lined up over the last twelve years. 2011-12 marked the first time since 2003-04 that NBC beat another big-four network outright, though they owe most of the credit for that to the Super Bowl. Fox won its eighth consecutive season but appears vulnerable next season as fast-closing CBS gets the Bowl.

      Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 5/23/12



      2012 Summer Matchups, Thursday


      Originals are in bold; new shows are in ALL CAPS; "Average" is Live + SD A18-49 average from this season to date if already ongoing, from summer 2011 or, if neither of those are applicable, from most recent non-summer season

      More Summer Matchups: Thursday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

      Net 8:00 8:30Premieres Average
      ABC DUETS5/24NEW
      CBS The Big Bang Theory (R) Rules of Engagement (R)

      NBC The Office (R) Parks and Recreation (R)

      Fox TAKE ME OUT 6/7NEW
      CW BREAKING POINTE 5/31NEW

      Though the glut of music competitions has taken an enormous toll on the veteran players in that space, the new ones just keep hitting. Eventually, it seems like that's gonna have to end. Will tonight's Duets premiere officially signal an over-saturation or yet another hit?

      Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/23/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • The final day of the regular season, as usual, was dominated by the American Idol finale, which put Fox ahead of the combined broadcast competition. The 6.4 demo after finals was down 30% from the huge year-ago finale, and that was a tiny bit smaller than Idol's typical year-to-year declines all season.
      • ABC also wrapped up for the season, with The Middle and Modern Family barely up from last week and Apartment 23 and Revenge seeing pretty nice bounces in their last original telecasts before they head to new timeslots in the fall.
      • NBC had some originals and was also relatively unaffected by Idol as Off Their Rockers put up fairly typical numbers and Law and Order: SVU had a solid increase.

      Wednesday, May 23, 2012

      Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 5/22/12



      Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 5/21/12



      Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/22/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • It's been pretty clear all season that this has been a really bad season for the returning musical competitions, but this is one of those days where it's really noticeable. The final performance edition of American Idol and the Glee finale were both down over 30% from the year-ago editions, while Dancing with the Stars wrapped up for the season down about 30% even though the year-ago edition had to face The Voice. DWTS lost to America's Got Talent in the 9/8c hour but (in the prelims) got as high as a 3.6 by 10:30.
      • NBC got Fashion Star-esque numbers out of a 20th anniversary special for Dateline.

      The True Top 25, Week Ending 5/20/12 (2011-12 Week 35)


      In the last full week of the 2011-12 season, the show formerly known as Death Star got back on top, as its penultimate week telecasts sat in the #1 and #2 positions for the first time in four weeks. A tip of the cap to The Big Bang Theory for sitting out the final week. That left Modern Family as the top scripted program, though it was seriously challenged by a couple extremely strong drama finales from NCIS and Grey's Anatomy.

      Shark Tank gave Friday night one last look at this list as it held off the penultimate episode of House by a hundredth of a point. A surprisingly big finale from Grimm had its third-biggest TRUE of the season (2.08) and finished in 32nd.

      Spotted Ratings, Monday 5/21/12: Burning Down the House


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • For the second time in nine days, a former megahit member from the class of 2004-05 signed off for good as House hit its highest number since January 30 (the week before The Voice premiered). That was well above average for this season and a nice 32% ahead of its penultimate episode but still well behind the year-ago season finale. Leading in was a House retrospective special which got about the same ratings as a typical late spring House original.
      • Most other networks are already in summer mode. NBC got a pretty good start out of G4 import American Ninja Warrior, which did significantly better than in its one-off tryout last summer (1.7 on August 22, 2011). Week two of America's Got Talent was down double digits in a one-hour form.
      • The final Dancing with the Stars performance was up despite airing for just one hour, and The Bachelorette had a smaller than usual post-premiere drop.

      Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 5/20/12



      Spotted Ratings, Sunday 5/20/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • ABC won the season's last Sunday with the Billboard Music Awards, but the show was down a few ticks from last season's edition (3.0). I guess we're too far removed now to see much of a bounce from another Whitney Houston tribute.
      • NBC was above average with the finale of Celebrity Apprentice but both the finale and the season as a whole were down nearly 30% year-to-year. I wouldn't be surprised if next season is the show's last.
      • Fox got small bounce-backs from The Simpsons and a one-hour Family Guy on finale night.
      • CBS massacred everyone in total viewers and was a distant fourth in the demo thanks to made-for-TV movie Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (12.77m total viewers, 1.2 A18-49), which as usual skews as old as pretty much anything you'll ever see in primetime. It was a tick weaker in 18-49 than last year's Jesse Stone movie on the same night. 

      Spotted Ratings, Saturday 5/19/12 (FINALS)


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • The big four were all fairly closely bunched, with ABC's Spider-Man 3 and NBC's encore evening in a virtual dead heat at the top. Fox had a fairly underwhelming start to their Saturday night baseball series.
      • Year-to-year: ABC +10% (vs. the same movie last year), CBS -14%, NBC +14%, Fox -38% (also baseball last year), broadcast as a whole -11%.

      SpotVault - American Ninja Warrior (NBC) - Summer 2012


      American Ninja Warrior
      Mondays, 9/8c, NBC

      Saturday, May 19, 2012

      Spotted Ratings, Friday 5/18/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • With CBS and Fox both sitting out the final Friday of the season, the only show to really capitalize was NBC's Grimm, which tied for the top rating of the evening and was significantly up over its last few eps to its best number since April 13. It tied Grimm's fourth-best number ever.
      • ABC's unscripted lineup had a fairly soft finale week despite the diminished competition, with Shark Tank down a tick and Primetime: What Would You Do? and 20/20 taking a beating.

      Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 5/17/12


      This -29% evening was the worst weeknight of the sweep-to-date. A lot of the blame for that goes to CBS (no Big Bang Theory) and NBC (no Office) for not trying nearly as hard this year.

      Friday, May 18, 2012

      2012 Upfront Answers, General Thoughts


      Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions. I'm wrapping it up by coming full circle and revisiting my "General Thoughts" from the beginning of last week.

      Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

      For further reference: General Upfront Questions

      Spotted Ratings, Thursday 5/17/12: Growth's Anatomy


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • In the last couple weeks of this year of the sitcom, the dramas have started fighting back. The remarkably strong second half of the Grey's Anatomy season came to an end with noticeable year-to-year growth for the second straight week.  ABC also had a very promising season one finale from Scandal, which easily exceeded its previous 1.9/2.0 level even after a finals drop. It would appear ABC made the right choice in the Scandal / GCB debate.
      • CBS aired its final evening of series originals this season, with last-of-the-bubble-shows Rules of Engagement suffering by a larger-than-expected amount with no original The Big Bang Theory lead-in and Person of Interest and The Mentalist seeing no real finale bounce.
      • NBC didn't do much at 9/8c with an extra hour of Community, but it was still clearly the right call to air that in sweeps rather than another hour of Awake. So Awake will wrap things up on what should be a wild first day of summer next Thursday.

      Demos Year-to-Year, May Sweeps 2012 Week Three Winners/Losers


      As usual with my year-to-year posts, at the end of each week I take a look at the biggest gainers and losers among adults 18-49. I stick to only original-vs.-original comparisons for these lists.

      Top 5 year-to-year show losers
      1. Cougar Town (Tu 8-9pm vs. W 9:30-10pm) -50%
      2. America's Next Top Model -50%
      t-3. Dancing with the Stars Mon (M 8-9:30pm vs. M 8-10pm) -43%
      t-3. The Cleveland Show (Su 7:30-8pm vs. Su 9:30-10pm) -43% 
      5. Nikita (F 8-9pm vs. Thu 9-10pm) -43%

      While DWTS has been on the fringes of this list all season, it got even worse this week since the episode was just 90 minutes long and it had to face a similar-skewing America's Got Talent. Otherwise, this is a fairly familiar group of faces (get used to me saying that in this last full-strength week of the season), with three of them undergoing major timeslot downgrades from this time a year ago.

      Thursday, May 17, 2012

      Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 5/16/12



      Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 5/15/12



      2012 Fall Matchups


      As in the past couple years, I like following up the network-by-network analysis with a quick look at the schedule as a whole. I'll revisit this stuff in the fall preview late in the summer, but here are some observations off the top of my head. Tomorrow, I'll wrap all this up with one last Upfront Answers post (answering the General Thoughts questions).

      Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/16/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • CBS got a major bounce out of the two-hour Criminal Minds season finale, which was up big over the last few episodes of the season (biggest number since January) despite a diminished lead-in with no Survivor and grew year-to-year as it bid adieu to Paget Brewster.
      • ABC remained soft as it threw non-finales up against finales for one last night. Revenge certainly has an excuse as Minds was nearly a point and a half bigger than its recent 10/9c competish. But it was pretty bad for the comedies, especially The Middle and Suburgatory  (which had less competition with Survivor gone).

      2012 Upfront Answers, The CW


      Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

      Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

      For further reference: CW True Power Rankings | CW Upfront Questions

      Wednesday, May 16, 2012

      The True Top 25, Week Ending 5/13/12 (2011-12 Week 34)


      Even though we've still got another week and a half of sweeps, Week 34 was really the last full-strength week of the season, since perennial contenders The Big Bang Theory and The Voice both wrapped things up. Big Bang topped the charts for one last time, while The Voice bounced back in finale week with its two best performances in about a month. ABC had a good week as their Sunday drama finales both posted their Truly strongest performances of the whole season on a crowded yet oddly low-viewed Sunday. But fellow Sunday finale Survivor did not get its typical spike and thus Truly suffered.

      Nobody from Friday/Saturday made it this week, but Shark Tank was in 26th place and should have a shot next week when several of this week's top 25 will be out of the picture.

      Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/15/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • As usual, NCIS knows how to get people to show up for a finale. It got kicked up in finals to the show's biggest number since February. The two-hour finale of NCIS: Los Angeles helped create a much stronger than usual night for CBS.
      • Night two of America's Got Talent was down a few ticks from the Monday premiere but put NBC in a strong second place. That led into the finale of somehow renewed Fashion Star
      • As has become a trend during the penultimate week of the season, the lineups that aren't all big finales seem to get left behind. ABC was a disaster at 8/7c with a Cougar Town hour, but Private Practice bounced back in its finale. And a two-hour Glee on Fox didn't really impress.

      Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 5/13/12



      Spotted Ratings, Saturday 5/12/12 (FINALS)


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • Fox dominated with a fairly average result from NASCAR. 
      • Even though Fox was way up year-to-year (vs. a year-ago baseball game), the night as a whole was way down. Much of the blame goes to ABC, which programmed the exact same movie as last year but did less than half the numbers. Year-to-year: ABC -58%, CBS -17%, NBC -46%, Fox +48%, broadcast as a whole -19%.

      2012 Upfront Answers, CBS


      Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

      Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

      For further reference: CBS True Power Rankings | CBS Upfront Questions

      Tuesday, May 15, 2012

      Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 5/14/12



      Spotted Ratings, Monday 5/14/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • Summer arrived a couple weeks early, as NBC premiered the new season of America's Got Talent with Howard Stern. That's down 14% from last year's premiere (a 4.3 on May 31) but a little ahead of the previous couple premieres. So Stern didn't produce a game-changing splash, but he didn't really bomb either, and the competition is gonna clear up fast in the coming weeks.
      • And ABC had summer staple The Bachelorette premiering a week earlier than usual. It's actually pretty encouraging that it's only down a couple tenths from last year's 2.8 premiere, because this time it matched lead-in Dancing with the Stars, while last year DWTS was about two full points stronger.
      • It was finale Monday on CBS, where a one-hour How I Met Your Mother supported my "it's Truly stronger than 2 Broke Girls" theory (2BG got a 3.3 in the same slot last week). They also got a bounce with the wedding on Mike and Molly, while Hawaii Five-0 seemed to enjoy not facing Castle.

      2012 Upfront Answers, ABC


      Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

      Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

      For further reference: ABC True Power Rankings | ABC Upfront Questions

      Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 5/11/12


      The overall decline is a little exaggerated since the CW had to go up against the two-hour Smallville finale, but CBS' total meltdown on the evening in the last few weeks also gets a lot of the blame.

      Spotted Ratings, Friday 5/11/12: Underwhelming Boss


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • CBS has been airing finales of various stuff for several days now, but last night began their self-imposed last week of original series programming. And what a dreadful start it was, as the finale of Undercover Boss dropped for the fourth straight week, this time by a massive amount. CSI: NY also had a bad finale night but managed to score a renewal anyway. Blue Bloods rounded out the trio of new lows, but it dropped less than the other two.
      • That left ABC on top in every hour (and now with the outright three biggest programs) for the second straight week, as Shark Tank and Primetime: What Would You Do? were both above average.
      • The penultimate Grimm was soft, and Fox's finales of The Finder and Fringe each got back a tenth.

      Monday, May 14, 2012

      Spotted Ratings, Sunday 5/13/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • ABC's finale night dominated Sunday as Once Upon a Time was up to its highest levels since early March. The two-hour end to the eight-season run of Desperate Housewives tied a season high, but it predictably did not get anything near a Lost or ER-sized bounce; it was only up about 20% from last week.
      • CBS had a really underwhelming finale night as viewers didn't flock to see perhaps the most inevitable winner ever on Survivor. It's the first time since Survivor started butting heads with Fox reality competitions on Wednesday that it didn't get a huge spike on Sunday finale night.
      • The two networks without finales were left behind as Celebrity Apprentice downticked for the fourth straight week and the Fox animation got pretty ugly, with The Simpsons going sub-2.0 for the first time ever.

      2012 Upfront Answers, Fox


      Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

      Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

      For further reference: Fox True Power Rankings | Fox Upfront Questions

      Sunday, May 13, 2012

      2012 Upfront Answers, NBC


      Last week, I did a series of pre-upfront posts called "Upfront Questions" in which I posed one question for each night of the schedule. My post-upfront coverage is called "Upfront Answers," in which I take a look at how they addressed my questions.

      Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

      For further reference: NBC True Power Rankings | NBC Upfront Questions

      Friday, May 11, 2012

      Spotted Ratings, Thursday 5/10/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • It was a fairly dull penultimate Thursday of the season, and most of the season finales didn't see any bounce. The only up finale was also the only show to get cancelled, The Secret Circle. The Big Bang Theory remained on top of the evening but was actually down a few ticks for the #WolowitzWedding.
      • What a late-season run Grey's Anatomy is having, as it gained a couple more ticks in its penultimate episode and was actually on the year-to-year upside this week. We'll see if it can hold off the Once Upon a Time and Desperate Housewives finales on Sunday for top drama of the week once again.

      Demos Year-to-Year, May Sweeps 2012 Week Two Winners/Losers


      As usual with my year-to-year posts, at the end of each week I take a look at the biggest gainers and losers among adults 18-49. I stick to only original-vs.-original comparisons for these lists.

      Top 5 year-to-year show losers
      1. America's Next Top Model -60%
      2. Nikita (F 8-9pm vs. Th 9-10pm) -50%
      3. Bones (M 8-9pm vs. Th 9-10pm) -41%
      4. Private Practice (Tu 10-11pm vs. Th 10-11pm) -39% 
      5. American Idol Wednesday -37%

      This list is almost completely overhauled from last week, with only disastrous Top Model returning. Nikita has been a fixture on the list all season thanks to its Friday move, while Bones and Private Practice (which faced the Voice finale) join the list this week thanks to major timeslot downgrades vs. last year. American Idol, which was dominating this list during February, sneaks back on this week, and the Thursday edition was a very close sixth.

      Thursday, May 10, 2012

      Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 5/9/12



      Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/9/12


      WHAT MATTERS:
      • Apartment 23 was even in its last pre-upfront result despite Modern Family gaining a few ticks.
      • It got adjusted away in finals last week. Not this week. America's Next Top Model hit the dreaded 0.4 for the first time. Rock Center took a big dip following a couple (by its standards) pretty good weeks and finally got pulled by NBC.

        2012 Upfront Questions, The CW


        Last year, I did a series of "Upfront Questions" posts during the pre-upfront week, and I used those questions plus the revealed schedules for "Upfront Answers" during upfront week. I liked that format, so I'm gonna try generally the same thing this year.

        This network's upfront happens just one week from today!

        Other Upfront Questions: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

        For another reference, see the April CW True Power Rankings.

        Wednesday, May 9, 2012

        Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 5/8/12



        Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 5/7/12



        2012 Upfront Questions, CBS


        Last year, I did a series of "Upfront Questions" posts during the pre-upfront week, and I used those questions plus the revealed schedules for "Upfront Answers" during upfront week. I liked that format, so I'm gonna try generally the same thing this year.


        This network's upfront happens just one week from today!

        Other Upfront Questions: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

        For another reference, see the April CBS True Power Rankings.

        Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/8/12


        WHAT MATTERS:
        • NBC's two-hour finale of The Voice signed off on a strong note with its biggest numbers on any night since March (and easily its biggest on Tuesday this season). Airing for several weeks on the second night seemingly did a better job of conditioning the audience for the finale, as it was up year-to-year (from last summer's 3.7) even though the performance shows have been down toward the end of the season. An 8/7c tryout for Fashion Star put it a couple ticks below previous results.
        • It was a good finale week for the struggling Tuesday sitcoms as New Girl got a big bounce and Last Man Standing signed off with its own double-digit gain. Rumors abound of a TBS landing spot for Cougar Town but it was also up a couple ticks in its last airing before the ABC upfront.
        • The Voice had a mixed effect on the other 10/9c players. Private Practice totally crashed but Unforgettable was up in its probable series finale.

        Spotted Ratings, Monday 5/7/12


        WHAT MATTERS:
        • Finale week began on a relatively positive note for The Voice as it finished up three tenths from last week. That bounce also caused struggling Dancing with the Stars to drop again.
        • ABC did have good news at 10/9c as the Castle finale hit its biggest number since early November and pulled ahead of Hawaii Five-0.
        • CBS tested out the one-hour finale of 2 Broke Girls in the lead-off role and probably wasn't too enthusiastic about the results, as the show hit a series low and was significantly below the typical How I Met Your Mother results in the 8:00 half-hour (where 2BG preliminarily averaged a 2.9, might have gone up to 3.0 in finals). Hard to say how much stock CBS puts in these results, but it would at least seem to suggest HIMYM is Truly stronger than 2BG, as I've been saying for most of the season; we'll see how a one-hour HIMYM does next week against the America's Got Talent premiere.

        The True Top 25, Week Ending 5/6/12 (2011-12 Week 33)


        I've had The Big Bang Theory as the Truly strongest show on TV for a good chunk of the season. So now that it's that way in raw numbers too, of course it's going to widen its margin on the True Top 25. The show hit its highest TRUE of the season this week and finished nearly two whole points ahead of both American Idol airings.

        The penultimate Monday airing of The Voice continued the show's downward trajectory, as it now Truly ranks behind five scripted shows. It should bounce back next week for its finale airings.

        The Friday/Saturday Watch welcomed Shark Tank to the True Top 25 for just the second time this season, even though it only made it by seven thousandths of a point. (It had a 2.522 vs. 26th place Family Guy's 2.515.)

        Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 5/6/12



        Spotted Ratings, Sunday 5/6/12


        WHAT MATTERS:
        • Despite an OK bump for Desperate Housewives in the penultimate week of its eight-season run, there was no growth from the season finale of GCB. That's not a great way to head into the upfronts, but I wouldn't say it has zero chance either.
        • The Amazing Race capped off an approximately even year-to-year season with an approximately even year-to-year finale. After finals, the bigger lead-in ended up helping NYC 22 not a damn bit.
        • Harry's Law got a tick back in finals but still tied a low and remains well below the 1.0 threshold. Celebrity Apprentice was down for the third straight week. Next Sunday's Survivor and Desperate Housewives finales won't make things any easier.

        Spotted Ratings, Saturday 5/5/12 (FINALS)


        WHAT MATTERS:
        • Fox won the evening with their third UFC telecast of the season, but its 1.2 demo was drastically weaker than the first two (a 3.0 on November 12 and a 2.4 on January 28).
        • Broadcast as a whole was down nearly 50% year-to-year. ABC had the NBA playoffs on this evening a year ago, and Fox was a lot stronger with NASCAR.

          Tuesday, May 8, 2012

          2012 Upfront Questions, ABC


          Last year, I did a series of "Upfront Questions" posts during the pre-upfront week, and I used those questions plus the revealed schedules for "Upfront Answers" during upfront week. I liked that format, so I'm gonna try generally the same thing this year.

          This network's upfront happens just one week from today!

          Other Upfront Questions: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

          For another reference, see the April ABC True Power Rankings.

          Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 5/4/12



          Spotted Ratings, Friday 5/4/12: Shark Attack


          WHAT MATTERS:
          • The big winner of the evening was ABC, as Shark Tank surged to finish 0.3 ahead of everyone else on the evening and tie its Friday high. Tank finished up a Big Bang Theory-esque 50% on its year-ago performance. They actually won every hour with Primetime: What Would You Do? and 20/20 also up.
          • The Avengers effect was not all that significant, at least not for the shows you'd think. Fringe knocked down by just a tick and the other genre shows (NBC's Grimm and CW's Nikita and Supernatural) were unaffected.
          • CBS got a little bit back in finals but still saw the whole lineup lose another tick from last week's already soft performances.

          Monday, May 7, 2012

          2012 Upfront Questions, Fox


          Last year, I did a series of "Upfront Questions" posts during the pre-upfront week, and I used those questions plus the revealed schedules for "Upfront Answers" during upfront week. I liked that format, so I'm gonna try generally the same thing this year.

          This network's upfront happens just one week from today!

          Other Upfront Questions: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

          For further reference, see the April Fox True Power Rankings.

          2012 Upfront Questions, NBC


          Last year, I did a series of "Upfront Questions" posts during the pre-upfront week, and I used those questions plus the revealed schedules for "Upfront Answers" during upfront week. I liked that format, so I'm gonna try generally the same thing this year.

          This network's upfront happens just one week from today!

          Other Upfront Questions: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

          For further reference, see the April NBC True Power Rankings.

          Sunday, May 6, 2012

          2012 Upfront Questions, General Thoughts


          Last year, I did a series of "Upfront Questions" posts during the pre-upfront week, and I used those questions plus the revealed schedules for "Upfront Answers" during upfront week. I liked that format because 1) the lack of a formal prediction kept me from getting bogged down in things that ultimately didn't come to pass; 2) not predicting every single timeslot means I don't have to spend a ton of time reading about and wildly speculating on pilots; and 3) since I'm just "discussing the issues" and not making a formal prediction, I can't be wrong...! Gotta love that. So I'm gonna try generally the same thing this year.

          I'm kicking it off this time with a "General Thoughts" post addressing a few big picture observations, and we'll come full circle and do the "General Thoughts" answers at the end of next week. Starting tomorrow, the network-specific posts, each one coming one week to the day before its network's upfront.

          Other Upfront Questions: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

          Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 5/3/12



          Friday, May 4, 2012

          The Depreciating Rerun


          In case you didn't know, this spring has been pretty bad for TV ratings. The pundits take a couple different approaches to this:

          1) OMG! These series lows are unfathomable!
          2) Nothing to see here. Happens every spring.

          The people in Camp #1 often propose stuff like a shortening of the traditional TV season to cut down on the late spring ratings pain. As Deadline notes, CBS is actually self-imposing something along these lines this year; their last original series programming airs six days before the end of the regular season.

          Is a more formal solution feasible? Admittedly I'm not privy to all the logistics, but I would think that if all parties insist on it, they could make something happen. Will there actually be such a movement? I think it's pretty unlikely. After all, Camp #2 has a point; there is a spring downturn every single year. But in terms of looking for warning signs within the numbers, there are two things worth keeping an eye on:

          1) Are the spring declines getting meaningfully worse? The spring declines are unfortunate but also nothing new. If they've been OK for all of TV history, that means they have to be getting bigger to become a real part of the discussion, so big that there is an extremely compelling case to concentrate originals more in the highest-viewed parts of the year.

          2) Are the "filler" options that round out a 36-week season less valuable? We all know that new technologies are chipping away at the ratings of... well, everything. But it intuitively seems like those technologies should be having an even greater impact on repeat telecasts. Watching an original episode on live TV still at least has the immediacy going for it, but why bother with the networks' erratic repeat schedule when there are umpteen other ways to catch up on your own terms?

          I'm holding off on the first question till all the spring data is in the books, but it certainly looks to me like there's at least an interesting debate as to whether this spring is worse than previous springs. For today, we're hitting #2: are reruns getting significantly weaker?

          Spotted Ratings, Thursday 5/3/12


          WHAT MATTERS:
          • I guess last week's NFL Draft did matter, as the seemingly most-damaged network (CBS) bounced back. The Big Bang Theory was up double-digits and widened its head-to-head thumping of American Idol. It also tied the Wednesday Idol for tops on all of TV this week. Rules of Engagement and The Mentalist also rallied by multiple ticks. Their only bad news: it is rather concerning that Person of Interest didn't make much of a comeback.
          • NBC saw 30 Rock drop from its live episode ratings last week but was even to a little up with Community, The Office and Parks and Recreation.
          • On Fox, Touch mercifully stopped bleeding, but it was a really weak episode for ABC's Missing, which dropped well below previous results and could only tie The Vampire Diaries.

          Demos Year-to-Year, May Sweeps 2012 Week One Winners/Losers


          As usual with my year-to-year posts, at the end of each week I take a look at the biggest gainers and losers among adults 18-49. I stick to only original-vs.-original comparisons for these lists.

          Top 5 year-to-year show losers
          1. The Office (Th 9-9:30pm vs. Th 9-9:53pm) -50%
          2. America's Next Top Model -44%
          3. Cougar Town (Tu 8:30-9pm vs. W 9:30-10pm) -41%
          5. The Voice (M 8-10pm vs. Tu 9-11pm) -39% 
          5. Dancing with the Stars Monday -38%

          As I said on Thursday, The Office comparison for this week is a bit exaggerated because last year's episode was the Steve Carell finale, but I'd expect it to be a contender for this list the next two weeks too. Top Model will be lucky if it ever doesn't make this list. Cougar Town never made this list during February sweeps because it was on hiatus at that time last year, but the Tuesday pairing with Last Man Standing has obviously not been good to it. And Dancing with the Stars would probably be down big even without The Voice, but that show's presence makes the declines big enough to make this list. Fading The Voice gets compared to week two of the blind auditions in season one.

          Thursday, May 3, 2012

          Demos Year-to-Year, Wednesday 5/2/12


          I was wrong (barely) on my negative double digits prediction! Fox running 120 minutes of Idol this year vs. 90 plus Breaking In last year sure helps.

          Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 5/2/12


          WHAT MATTERS:
          • Week four of ABC's Apartment 23 bounced back up with a Modern Family lead-in, but the extent to which that's encouraging is up for debate. After a finals drop, the show is now a tick below the late-season level of Happy Endings with an original lead-in (though Modern was also stronger in February). How safe that makes it depends on how safe you think Happy Endings is.
          • Not much happened elsewhere; a bunch of shows were even or barely down. NBC got major improvement at 8:30 by plugging in Off Their Rockers for axed Best Friends Forever, and the positives continued later in the evening with Rock Center and Law and Order: SVU. But overall, Off Their Rockers had a bad outing, finishing well behind previous results.

          First Two Weeks, The LA Complex



          THE LA COMPLEX (CW)

          Wednesday, May 2, 2012

          Demos Year-to-Year, Tuesday 5/1/12


          In February, Tuesday was really the only night where every network was in negative territory, and that should continue in May. Arguably the healthiest network (at least compared to the rest of the current schedule) is NBC, but the year-to-year comparisons have to deal with the breakout opening weeks of The Voice.

          Demos Year-to-Year, Monday 4/30/12


          These days, up is up is up. But if you recall back in February, this night was typically up well into the double digits. A +5% evening does not do much to offset the problems on almost every other night.

          Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 5/1/12: Blue Girl


          WHAT MATTERS:
          • Glee got back to what appears to be its post-hiatus level without a Whitney Houston bounce. That number doesn't look very good, but it's gold compared to what happened to New Girl, which plummeted below even the worst of its numbers during the Glee hiatus.
          • The other tanking comedy on Tuesday is ABC's Last Man Standing. It got a tick back after finals but was still down a bit and continues to get more worrisome, even though it looked totally safe for essentially its first 20 episodes. It did just two tenths better than a repeat last week.
          • CBS got no discernible bounce from the Hawaii Five-0/NCIS: Los Angeles crossover on Monday, but it sure seems to have helped Tuesday's NCIS: LA. But a finals uptick for NCIS prevented LA for matching the mothership for just the second time ever (the only time it's happened was when they both got a 4.1 on 2/9/2010).
          • I forgot when doing the prelims that it was a finale for The Biggest Loser. Apparently so did the viewers, as a show that used to be among the biggest finale spikers saw zero uptick this time.

            Spotted Ratings, Monday 4/30/12


            WHAT MATTERS:
            • CBS won Monday for the first time since January and has to be happy about finally scoring a relatively steady evening after a few weak days to open sweeps. Their worst news was the non-bounce from Hawaii Five-0 in the first night of its crossover with NCIS: Los Angeles.
            • The other big four members all headed downward against the return of CBS, with Dancing with the Stars and Smash taking double-digit hits. But Castle looked good for ABC at 10/9c.

            The True Top 25, Week Ending 4/29/12 (2011-12 Week 32)


            Week 32 was a "semi-sweeps" week, as many of the big Monday to Wednesday lineups sat out their last pre-sweeps opportunity but everyone was back in action starting on Thursday. Despite some (relative to previous results) awful showings from the CBS Thursday block, The Big Bang Theory was still able to comfortably top the charts. Grey's Anatomy, showing some late-season signs of life, was tops among dramas. Though The Voice had its first up rating in seven results, its TRUE descent continues (as it faced little competition on Monday).

            In this week's edition of the Friday/Saturday Watch, Undercover Boss was back on the list, while Blue Bloods, 20/20, Shark Tank and strong Saturday performers The Blind Side and NASCAR all congregated right around 30th place and missed this list by about 0.2 points.

            Demos Year-to-Year, Sunday 4/29/12



            Spotted Ratings, Sunday 4/29/12


            WHAT MATTERS:
            • From a schedule standpoint, this was pretty much the last "normal" Sunday of the season. Desperate Housewives was back for the first time in four weeks, albeit in fairly underwhelming fashion as it begins the charge to the finale. That certainly helped GCB relative to its numbers after the Titanic miniseries, but a finals drop took it a tick below where it last rated post-Housewives.
            • CBS had another bad evening as the penultimate The Amazing Race rated two tenths below any previous result this season except for the one against Oscar on February 26. The Good Wife signed off for the season tying a low. And CBS must be questioning whether they want to burn next week's two-hour Race finale lead-in on NYC 22, which shed a couple tenths in week three.

            Spotted Ratings, Saturday 4/28/12 (FINALS)


            WHAT MATTERS:
            • ABC's encore of 2009 theatrical The Blind Side tied as the biggest repeat movie rating this season (with ABC's The Ten Commandments three weeks ago and NBC's It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve). The half-hour breakdowns show an incredible amount of people showed up throughout; it had just a 0.8 rating at 8:00 but was up to a 2.0 by the end, and it grew in each half-hour.
            • Fox took the night with NASCAR, but by a much thinner margin than usual.
            • I still don't think Saturdays are interesting enough to clutter things up with an additional year-to-year post, but I can do the network numbers: ABC +36%, CBS -5%, NBC -32%, Fox -2%, broadcast as a whole +3%.

            SpotVault - The LA Complex (CW) - 2011-12


            The LA Complex
            Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW

            Tuesday, May 1, 2012

            Demos Year-to-Year, Friday 4/27/12



            Spotted Ratings, Friday 4/27/12


            WHAT MATTERS:
            • Though upward finals adjustments for the dramas tempered the damage somewhat, CBS still had its second straight bad day of sweeps. Undercover Boss and Blue Bloods hit season lows.
            • Another show seemingly running out of steam late in the season is ABC's Primetime: What Would You Do? Shark Tank also took a double-digit hit. ABC's only good news was that 20/20 pulled back ahead of Dateline at 10/9c. (Its "Last" number compares it to the special on Monday, but it was up two ticks from last week's Friday edition.)
            • The Finder followed up last week's spike with a one-tenth drop as all three reality franchises returned to the 8/7c hour.
            • The combined ESPN/NFL Network rating for night two of the NFL Draft (1.6) was slightly down from last year (1.7) but the NFL Network remained on the positive side (up from 0.3 to 0.4).

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