Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Monday 7/30/12

  • The Summer Olympics in primetime are now exactly on the 2008 pace as the Olympics-to-Olympics trend worsened for the third straight day. Tonight brings day five, which last time around was the highest-rated evening of the Olympics when Michael Phelps broke the all-time gold medal record. Tonight, (SPOILERS!) he breaks the all-time any-medal record, so big things could be ahead.
  • This was perhaps the worst day yet for those originals that went up against the Olympics. Among the casualties were ABC's Bachelor Pad and The Glass House, both down in the 25% vicinity, CBS' repeats (down 20%ish), and male-leaning lineups on USA and Syfy.

The War of 18-49, The Mentalist


Scheduling history: The first season of The Mentalist was part of a significant reinvigoration of CBS Tuesday, a night that had been fairly problematic for CBS in previous seasons. When CBS moved the show to Thursday in fall 2009, most people believed they were setting it up as the heir to CSI's Thursday 9/8c throne. Instead, The Mentalist hung in the 10:00 hour for three seasons and headed to Sunday starting in fall 2012. The short final season in 2014-15 aired five episodes on Sunday to fill The Good Wife's hiatus, then moved to Wednesday to fill Survivor's hiatus.

Spotted Ratings, Olympic Roundup 7/27-7/29/12

Saturday table now added below!

  • Is this what they call "failing upward"? Much-criticized NBC has been nonetheless on the upside relative to 2008 for each of the first three nights of primetime tape-delayed Olympic coverage. But we won't declare overwhelming victory yet, as it is worth noting that the growth has slowed significantly; 18% on Opening Ceremony night, 10% on Saturday and just 4% on Sunday. It looks to be only about even vs. 2008 for the day four prelims (not yet included in the chart below).
  • CBS' 3 was DOA on Thursday and then even DOAer in the second and final airing three days later.
  • Many of the cable options sat out the opening days of Olympic action, though True Blood (2.6) was completely unaffected and owned the Sunday cable evening as usual. Breaking Bad (1.1) shed another tenth in week three but remains hugely up year-to-year.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

The War of 18-49, Southland


Scheduling history: Following its super-short first season on Thursday night, NBC renewed Southland for the 2009-10 season and scheduled it on Friday night. In October 2009, two weeks before it was scheduled to premiere, NBC shockingly flipped course and cancelled the show. With several season two episodes in the can, TNT decided to take a flier on the series, scheduling it on Tuesday night the next winter. It aired three winter seasons on Tuesday for TNT, and the final one was on Wednesday.

Revisiting the 2008 Beijing Olympics Ratings

It's that time of the four years again; starting tonight, the Summer Olympics will overtake primetime for the next seventeen nights. I'm going to take a quick look at the ratings from 2008 as a preview of sorts for this year's edition.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/25/12

  • NBC surrounded America's Got Talent with a couple timeslot-improving specials and got a bit of an uptick. So You Think You Can Dance dropped for the fifth straight week.
  • Speaking of long negative streaks, panic time is setting in for TNT's Dallas, which lost demo audience for the sixth consecutive week since its premiere. This week's drop was a biggie (from 0.95 to 0.75) and means the show has now lost more than half of its premiere viewership and demo. The show is now three tenths behind USA's competing Royal Pains (1.0), and it's not like that show's lightin' the world on fire. ABC Family got a bounce back to typical levels from Melissa & Joey (0.6) and Baby Daddy (0.7).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fall 2012 New Scripted Premiere Dates

ABC's finally made their premiere dates known, so here's a quick rundown of when all the new scripted broadcast shows will be premiering:

War of 18-49 Update, The Office (2011-12)

Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the eighth overall) of The Office on NBC.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 7/22/12 (2011-12 Week 44)

As hinted in my pre-summer post, I'm going to do one last edition of my regular season staple The True Top 25 for the last fully pre-Olympics week of the summer. This will be the last official use of the True Strength 1.0 number (with some info on the True 2.0 project coming very soon, I hope).

In the last couple weeks, Gordon Ramsay has taken over as the face of broadcast this summer. Though Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef have been very similarly rated in raw numbers, TRUE puts such a high value on the 8/7c hour that it gives Hell's the considerable advantage. Hell's is surprisingly now also edging America's Got Talent, which has been king for most of the summer but has really gone into a slump since the live shows began. (Can we finally put a rest to the myth that talent competitions get a boost from going into live episodes?)

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 7/20-7/21/12

  • The newsmagazines didn't get much of a bounce out of their coverage of the Aurora shootings on Friday, and CBS' special 48 Hours only barely outdid typical Undercover Boss numbers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/24/12

  • ABC's Trust Us With Your Life got crushed after ABC took away its Wipeout lead-in (a 1.4 last week). The net is supposed to finish the run with one original each of the next two weeks, and they may go through with that since the Olympics are comin'. In a different world I'd (at best) throw on both next week and be done with it.
  • Hopes for a summer breakout from The LA Complex were dashed, and Hart of Dixie dropped from 0.4 to 0.2.
  • Cable's USA vs. TNT wars saw each network win one hour decisively. Rizzoli & Isles (1.2) crushed a season-low White Collar (0.9), but USA bounced back at 10/9c with a season-high Covert Affairs (1.0) beating Franklin & Bash (0.7).

War of 18-49 Update, Law & Order: SVU (2011-12)

Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the thirteenth overall) of Law & Order: SVU on NBC.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Monday 7/23/12: Bachelor Panned

  • ABC followed up the previous night's impressive The Bachelorette finale with a disastrous start from season three of spin-off Bachelor Pad. The 1.5 is a pretty disheartening result from a show that had never gone below 1.8 in its first two seasons and premiered with a 2.3 last year.
  • Results on the other broadcasters were much more positive, with MasterChef tying a season high and the American Ninja Warrior finale hitting its highest number since America's Got Talent left the evening. Two and a Half Men decided to hit a Monday summer high a week before its last Monday airing.
  • The 1000th episode of USA wrestling franchise WWE Raw owned the cable evening, hitting a 2.0 demo for the premiere of its newly permanent 8:00 hour and then a 2.4 at 9:00 and 10:00. Syfy brought back Powerful Mondays with an about even Warehouse 13 (0.8) and a disappointing Alphas (0.6). Perception (0.8) on TNT took a sizable week three hit following last week's growth.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 7/22/12

  • Despite airing on a special night, ABC had a surprisingly big finale from The Bachelorette, up by three tenths year-to-year for both the finale and the "After the Final Rose" special. That brought the season as a whole up to within 1% of the 2011 season (2.42 vs. 2.44).
  • Fox's Teen Choice Awards was down just a tick year-to-year but continued to rate a lot worse than animation repeats would have. Big Brother took another double-digit drop in week two of its second night.
  • Cable saw a 20%ish week two drop from Breaking Bad (1.2), but that's still the second-biggest number in series history and still way up year-to-year (vs. a 0.9 for last year's second ep). A&E continues to impress with another total viewer high and a near-demo high from Longmire (0.9). Lifetime had the worst Sunday of the big cablers with Drop Dead Diva (0.6) and Army Wives (0.9) way down from last week. USA's mini Political Animals (0.5) was down about 10% from its already weak start.

War of 18-49 Update, The Biggest Loser (Spring 2012)

Let's take a look at the Spring 2012 season (the thirteenth overall) of The Biggest Loser on NBC.

Monday, July 23, 2012

War of 18-49 Flashback, Life (NBC, 2007-09)


Scheduling history: Aside from a few post-Heroes tryouts on Monday, Life made its home on Wednesday in season one and on Friday early in season two. It got promoted back to Wednesday for the second half of season two.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 7/19/12

  • ABC saw no bounce from the finale of certainly-doomed Duets, but they did get a season high out of Rookie Blue.
  • CBS introduced Two and a Half Men to its new Thursday timeslot, and while the The Big Bang Theory lead-in massively helped relative to Men's Monday numbers, it still did a lot worse than Big Bang's usual Thursday 8:30 results, and CBS then followed with a weaker Big Brother at 9/8c.
  • Rock Center followed last week's highs by dropping like a... you know.
  • Cable brought the premiere of TBS' second post-Big Bang sitcom of the summer, Sullivan & Son (1.0 at 10:00, 0.9 at 10:30). Those numbers are much worse than those of the Men at Work premiere (1.3 and 1.1), which isn't that shocking since Men at Work had the endless NBA playoff promotion. They're pretty reminiscent of typical late-season Men at Work numbers. For premiere night, that's not that good.

War of 18-49 Update, Kitchen Nightmares (2011-12)

Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the fifth overall) of Kitchen Nightmares on Fox.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/18/12

  • The Wednesday premiere of Big Brother was the first real red flag for the franchise this season, as it dropped three tenths from the Sunday premiere and was down over 20% year-to-year. It was Big Brother's lowest rating since 2009.
  • But the other Wednesday reality is also struggling. So You Think You Can Dance dropped two more tenths. The only broadcaster on the plus side was ABC's Final Witness, which has (excluding the 4th of July ep) ticked up for two straight weeks since the terrible premiere.
  • Cable also had something of a rough Hump Day. ABC Family's Baby Daddy (0.5) took a significant hit after hitting 0.7's in its first three weeks, and reality effort Beverly Hills Nannies (0.3) crashed from last week's 0.6 premiere. TNT's Dallas (0.9) also downticked once again.

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

Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the seventh overall) of Bones on Fox.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/17/12

  • The annual mid-season slump continues for America's Got Talent, down another couple ticks week-to-week. It nearly lost head to head with the heating-up Gordon Ramsay pair, which surged massively over their last Tuesday telecasts a couple weeks ago.
  • One of the CW's least miserable weeks of the summer continues as Hart of Dixie became the first CW rerun to crack the 0.4 plateau this summer, plus the return of The LA Complex had its biggest original viewership yet. (Though a repeat scored 690k on 4/25/12...)

War of 18-49 Update, Family Guy (2011-12)

Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the eleventh overall) of Family Guy on Fox.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 7/13-7/14/12

  • NBC aired its 22nd and final hour of The Firm, which hit its lowest numbers in nearly three months and tied its demo low. It got no help from NBC's made-for-TV movie.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Monday 7/16/12

  • ABC's The Bachelorette and The Glass House had a rough Monday on The Bachelorette's "The Men Tell All" week, but originals on Fox and NBC were up, especially the spiking American Ninja Warrior. Fox's Gordon Ramsay duo continues to benefit from no America's Got Talent on the night, hitting its second best numbers of the season.
  • I feel I should note that the CW's Batmobile special (even though it was just 1.11 million and a 0.4...) hit the network's biggest numbers since the America's Top Model finale nearly seven weeks ago...!
  • TNT had a pretty promising week two out of Perception (1.0), up by 12% on last week's premiere.

    The War of 18-49, Fringe


    Scheduling history: Season one of Fringe was on Tuesday and had the best situations Fox could possibly provide: after House in the fall, then after American Idol in the spring. Things have gotten progressively tougher since, starting with a season and a half in the tough Thursday 9/8c fray and then a move to Friday in the last half of season three. It remained there for the last two seasons.

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Sunday 7/15/12: Breaking Boom

    • The clear winner of the epic cable showdown at 10/9c was AMC's Breaking Bad, whose season premiere delivered a series high 2.9 million viewers and, much more impressively, a 1.5 A18-49 demo rating. That destroyed the show's previous record of 1.1 for last season's premiere.
    • Meanwhile, USA's miniseries Political Animals had a rough go of it; it had 2.6 million total viewers but barely over a third of Bad's 18-49 viewership (0.5 rating). That means, on premiere night, the show's already squarely weaker than all of USA's other originals. (Even the Friday dramas average a 0.6+.)
    • Elsewhere, TNT brought back Leverage (0.8), down by a couple tenths from the 1.0 it pulled in each of its previous three summer premieres. True Blood (2.7) was up a touch and remained the evening's top program.
      • The only notable on broadcast was the Sunday premiere of Big Brother, which was down two tenths year-to-year just like the The Big Bang Theory-fueled Thursday premiere.

      War of 18-49 Flashback, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox, 2008-09)


      Scheduling history: The massive premiere for Terminator: SCC came on a Sunday after an NFL playoff game, but the rest of season one and the majority of season two aired on Monday. For the winter/spring 2009 run, Fox shoved the show to the lead-off role on Friday.

      Friday, July 13, 2012

      Spotted Ratings, Thursday 7/12/12

      • Big Brother's back with a premiere that lost a couple ticks year-to-year but still topped the ratings for the four BB premieres before that. Seems pretty healthy. But it had considerable help from the highest-rated rerun for anything this summer to date in The Big Bang Theory. We're approaching a point where TBBT (especially at 8:30) is doing about twice as well in reruns as anything else on TV not named Family Guy.
      • Two other big movers on broadcast: The Choice, whose season/series finale got crushed against a likely similar-skewing Big Brother; and easily a summer high from Rock Center, which may have benefited from a piece on Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes/Scientology. Even throwing out this result, though, the show has picked up some steam in its first several weeks of summer originals.
      • On cable, Anger Management (1.0) took another big hit in week three, but MTV's Awkward. (0.8) had a nice bounce-back.

      The War of 18-49, Leverage


      Scheduling history: Leverage premiered with a special Sunday airing and aired the rest of season one on Tuesday. It moved to Wednesday in season two, then to Sunday in season three. It began season five back on Sunday, but the series' final run returned to where it all began: Tuesday at 10:00.

      Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/4/12 & 7/11/12

      • NBC dominated the super low-viewed 4th with the Macy's 4th of July special, and a second showing at 10/9c crushed CBS' competing Boston Pops fireworks show.
      • On the 11th, NBC introduced America's Got Talent results shows in disappointing fashion, hitting a new series low and only tying a season-low showing from So You Think You Can Dance for tops on the night. After getting massacred on the 4th, ABC's Final Witness bounced back to above its premiere number from two weeks prior.
      • TNT got what seemed like an OK result out of an original Dallas (1.0) on the viewing-depressed 4th of July, but then the show saw no rally on the 11th (1.0). ABC Family got its third straight 0.7 out of now certain-to-be-renewed comedy Baby Daddy and then premiered docudrama Beverly Hills Nannies (0.6).

      Thursday, July 12, 2012

      War of 18-49 Update, 30 Rock (2011-12)

      Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the sixth overall) of 30 Rock on NBC.

      Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/3/12 & 7/10/12

      • The originals had a rough go of it on viewing-depressed July 3rd. Officially, viewing was down 12%. America's Got Talent bounced back by a half point on the 10th, but struggling Love in the Wild saw no recovery at all.
      • Fox's MLB All-Star Game dominated the 10th and despite the blowout was up a tick from last year's lowest-ever rating.
      • ABC completed its summer newbie strikeout with weak starts from Trust Us With Your Life and NY Med. It now seems fairly likely that zero of ABC's five newbies will end up settling above even a 1.0 demo!
      • The year-to-year problems continue for USA as the season premieres of White Collar (1.0) and Covert Affairs (0.9) were significantly down from year-ago premieres (1.2 apiece) that had considerably tougher competition (the NBA Finals and The Voice).

      Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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

      Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the eighth overall) of American Dad! on Fox.

      Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 7/6-7/7/12

      • The Yankees and Red Sox helped the finale of Fox's Baseball Night in America tie a season high.
      • CBS joined the burn-off theater fun on Saturday with NYC 22, which managed only about a third of its regular season demos.

      Tuesday, July 10, 2012

      Spotted Ratings Monday 7/2/12 & 7/9/12

      • America's Got Talent aired for the last time on Monday on the 2nd with a 2.5-hour live telecast.  Gordon Ramsay's duo then benefited a bit on the 9th with NBC much weaker. NBC, meanwhile, struggled with a Fear Factor burnoff that rated 42% behind its regular season average and saw American Ninja Warrior finish 26% behind its previous post-Talent low.
      • ESPN's Home Run Derby (2.7) was the top program of broadcast or cable on the 9th. Meanwhile, TNT brought back The Closer for its last run skewing older than ever (an 0.9 with over 6 million viewers) and then premiered similarly ancient-skewing Perception (0.8 with 5.60 million).

      War of 18-49 Update, The Game (2011-12)

      Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the fifth overall) of The Game on BET.

      Spotted Ratings, Sunday 7/8/12

      • Lots of broadcast and cable shows had significant upswings on this Sunday. Most notable on broadcast were Secret Millionaire and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, each returning to their pre-NBA Finals levels from early June.
      • Among the shows up multiple ticks on cable were week three of HBO's The Newsroom (0.9), A&E's The Glades (0.8) and Longmire (0.7) block and Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva (0.8) and Army Wives (1.1) pair. True Blood (2.6) dominated the evening as usual and turned in its fourth straight 2.6.

      Monday, July 9, 2012

      Saturday, July 7, 2012

      Spotted Ratings, Thursday 7/5/12

      Monday thru Wednesday were pretty boring on cable and bee-cast, so in my laziness I'm gonna save those for two-a-day mode next week.

      • People have been asking all week, "Which days do you take off when the 4th of July is on a Wednesday?" I was interested in how that would shake out in the TV viewing world, but the results were fairly inconclusive. There was a significant viewing decline on Tuesday the 3rd, as is typical for the eve of holidays, and of course the 4th saw super-low 18-49 viewing, somewhere in the mid-20%'s. But both Monday the 2nd and Thursday the 5th looked relatively normal, with Thursday seeing several broadcast shows on the upswing. Most notable among these was the growth from Take Me Out, which early in the afternoon got Fox to reverse its previous decision to exile the show to Saturday.
      • Of course, maybe broadcast just benefited because people were fleeing like mad from FX. Anger Management (1.3) was down 38% from its one-hour average a week ago, continuing a tradition of huge week two drops for big cable sitcom premieres. Wilfred (0.7) was also down 38% and Louie (0.6) shed 21%. MTV's Awkward (0.7, -20% week-to-week) had a rough week two as well.

      Friday, July 6, 2012

      Thursday, July 5, 2012

      War of 18-49 Flashback, Reaper (CW, 2007-09)

      REAPER (CW)

      Scheduling history: Most of Reaper's 31 episodes ran on Tuesday nights, though the show got a three-week run on Thursday in March 2008.

      Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 6/29-7/1/12

      • The US Olympic Trials helped NBC dominate Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Particularly impressive were Sunday's women's gymnastics trials from 9 to 11, easily the biggest trials yet and topping the whole week for broadcast.
      • ABC's summer struggles continue as Secret Millionaire and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition both returned from NBA Finals hiatus at 20% behind previous results.
        • On cable, HBO's The Newsroom (0.7) took a 24% drop in week two but still scored a second season renewal. Steady lead-in True Blood (2.6), meanwhile, took a rare second place on the cable evening as the BET Awards (3.2) topped the night and the week for cable.

        Wednesday, July 4, 2012

        Tuesday, July 3, 2012

        The War of 18-49, 90210

        90210 (CW)

        Scheduling history: 90210 has never stayed put in a timeslot for more than one season at a time. In season one, the CW shuffled the show up to 9:00 to avoid the then-dominant force of Tuesday, American Idol. Then the show got a Monday try in season three, went back to Tuesday for season four, and returned to Monday for season five, airing about half the season in both hours. Got all that?

        Monday, July 2, 2012

        War of 18-49 Update, Gossip Girl (2011-12)

        Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the fifth overall) of Gossip Girl on the CW.

        This Spring: Worse than the Other Springs?

        Is the typical 35 or 36-week broadcast season just too long nowadays when the longest-running seasons have about 24 weeks of originals? That was my question when I examined what's still by far the most-used piece of "filler": the rerun.

        What gets the media really asking this question, though, is the ratings declines in the spring. With all the data in the books, now I can really examine that side of the coin: are the ratings declines in the late spring creating enough of an advertising incentive to pile all the episodes of the big-money shows in the highest-viewed parts of the year?

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