Friday, June 22, 2012

The War of 18-49, Army Wives



ARMY WIVES (Lifetime)

Scheduling history: Army Wives aired in the Sunday 10:00 timeslot for its first four seasons. Lifetime finally moved it to 9:00 starting in season five to lead into new shows, though the back half of season six returned to 10:00.

See (who saw) how it all began: The premiere of Army Wives was the biggest drama debut in Lifetime history, seen by 3.47 million viewers and scoring a 1.2 demo on June 3, 2007. The show dropped a bit in week two, to 3.27 million and a 1.1, but those ended up being the low points of season one. The show rose to a 1.4 in week three and spent the rest of season one in the 1.2 to 1.5 range.

The best of times: Army Wives was at its biggest right at the beginning of season two, as the show followed up its 1.5 season one finale with a whooping 4.52 million viewers and 1.9 demo in the season two premiere on June 8, 2008. It followed that up with a 1.8 demo the next week, tied as the second-biggest rating in show history, but season two went on to settle in the mid-1's. It remains the show's biggest overall season.

The worst of times: Army Wives hit its lowest ratings in season seven, when it said goodbye to most of its original cast. It hit its first 0.7 for the second episode of the season on 3/17/13, then hit the mark four more times over the course of the year.

Then vs. now: For a few seasons, Army Wives has felt to me like it is right on the verge of ending. The weak-rated season four led to season five having a decided "final season" feel to it, but then came the ratings resurgence in 2011. Season six and season seven have seen the show transition into a mostly new cast, and the ratings have fallen off noticeably across that time. But the show still hung decent numbers in season seven, especially compared to some of the scripted duds Lifetime has launched around Army Wives over the years. Down the stretch of the season, it even pulled back ahead of its promising lead-out The Client List. That means we may see this show yet again, especially if the new cast has brought costs down significantly. But there's no official word as of this update in June 2013.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

Seas Year Timeslot Avg Lo HiResults Grade
12006-07Sunday 10:001.321.11.5
22007-081.481.21.9
32008-091.21.01.311/18
42009-101.030.81.3
52010-11Sunday 9:001.181.01.7
62011-12Sun 9:00, Sun 10:000.990.81.2
72012-13Sunday 9:000.780.70.9C-

Year A18-49+ Year-to-Year In-Season
Premiere Average Finale P -> F
2006-0735+25%
2007-0845+58%+12%+7%-16%
2008-0941n/a-18%-19%n/a
2009-1037n/a-15%+0%+18%
2010-1146+27%+14%-8%-14%
2011-1241-12%-18%-16%-18%
2012-1337-32%-21%-28%-16%

For more on The War of 18-49, my look at the history of primetime TV's veteran shows, see the Index.

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