Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall 2012 Best Case/Worst Case, Friday 8/7c

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Friday 8:00 5.3 19 -1% 6 28.3 20 19% 19

It's kinda amazing to see so much scripted programming in the second-least viewed hour of primetime. But Friday as a whole was pretty remarkably healthy on a year-to-year basis, so maybe the networks are beginning to see opportunities on this evening.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 8/29/12

  • The late summer remains good to Big Brother, which hit its best Wednesday numbers by a couple tenths this year.
  • The Fox News coverage of the Republican National Convention (7.70m, 1.2 A18-49) this time beat all the broadcasters even among 18-49ers. But TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (1.3) came out on top at 10/9c.

Fall 2012 Best Case/Worst Case, Thursday 8/7c

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Thursday 8:00 11.3 7 -6% 12 32.8 15 34% 4

A brutally difficult weeknight hour, with the lowest overall viewing of any of the 15 weeknight hours yet the seventh-most broadcast viewing. Fox, CBS and the CW are at or near their strongest levels of the whole week in this hour. That means a string of mediocrity at best out of NBC and ABC for the last several years.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 8/25/12

  • The NFL preseason barely held off NASCAR on the last Saturday before the return of college football. But it was down a couple ticks from the year-ago game (1.8 on 8/27/11) while NASCAR and NBC's WrestleMania special were up a bit.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 8/28/12

  • The week of Ramsay rolls on as the third Gordon Ramsay series to air this week, MasterChef, posted the third outright season high. Only last season's finale (2.9) has done better in series history.
  • The 10:00 hour had coverage of the Republican National Convention on all three broadcasters but Fox News had by far the biggest total viewer average for the RNC (6.88m) and the second biggest 18-49 rating (0.8) and 25-54 audience (1.68 million).
  • On cable, Pretty Little Liars (1.3) had yet another big finale, hitting an outright season high.

Fall 2012 Best Case/Worst Case, Wednesday 8/7c

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Wednesday 8:00 10.8 9 -8% 16 33.1 14 33% 7

A fairly competitive hour, but to finish with the sixth-biggest year-to-year decline even after Fox introduced X Factor was disappointing. Credit the major problems with American Idol, a couple relatively weak Survivor seasons, a string of NBC flops (especially at 8:30) and the CW pretty much sitting out the fall after canning H8R.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Monday 8/27/12: Hellwether Moment

  • The second half of the summer has belonged to Gordon Ramsay, and this was one of his best nights yet. Hell's Kitchen hit an outright season high and Hotel Hell had another big evening, now a whooping half point ahead of its premiere just two weeks ago. Book Ramsay for all three shows next summer, Fox.
  • On the other hand, it remains negative on NBC, with Stars Earn Stripes down yet another two tenths in its penultimate airing and Grimm also inching down again
  • The Big Bang Theory continues to prove CBS can throw it anywhere and it can make good things happen. It vaulted all the surrounding comedies to well above average rerun numbers. It's too bad it can't air both on Monday and Thursday in originals!
    • It's becoming harder to ignore VH1's ascendant Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta (2.4). Not that I was intentionally ignoring it, it's just kinda off my radar as a viewer! But it's now crushing usual Monday cable tentpoles like WWE Raw (1.8 in its best hour) and Pawn Stars (1.7). It wraps up with the second half of the reunion next week. It's also really helped out its lead-out Single Ladies (1.6), which was among the cable elite on finale night. ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager (0.8) wrapped up a pretty rough season with some major finale growth of its own.

    Fall 2012 Best Case/Worst Case, Tuesday 8/7c

    The Basics:

    bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
    Tuesday 8:00 10.2 11 -14% 21 33.9 12 30% 10

    The Tuesday 8:00 hour took the biggest year-to-year dip of all 21 hours in 2011-12 and was the least competitive weeknight 8:00 hour. Credit big drops from mainstays The Biggest Loser and Glee. Both those guys are gone, and things should get a little more interesting in fall 2012 as two big reality franchises move their second nights down to the 8:00 hour.

    Spotted Ratings, Sunday 8/26/12

    • It was another strong Sunday as Big Brother hit a season high, the Tebows vs. Panthers on NBC did the best numbers of any game this NFL preseason, and several repeats also had solid gains including Once Upon a Time and The Good Wife. But most notable among the encores was the Fox animation, which was at or very near summer highs across the board with another NFL preseason game leading in.
    • True Blood (2.8) signed off for the summer. It had no real week-to-week movement but was still above average to cap off a season that held up very well. Its The Newsroom lead-out (1.0) hit a series high on finale night. Leverage (0.8) moved up to the 9:00 hour and picked up a bit.

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Friday 8/24/12: Bottom Model

    • I never thought I would see the day when America's Next Top Model premiered at a 0.5 demo rating and people would say it's actually not that bad. I didn't really agree, but I guess the idea was that if you just compared it to the 0.5 premiere from the spring, it was somewhat impressive to be flat considering the drop in viewing levels. Of course, that disregards that the spring's 0.5 was itself a complete disaster. And even that spin was out the window when the show dropped in finals to a mere 0.4, marking a second straight Top Model premiere to drop by more than half year-to-year (vs. fall 2011's 0.9). It was lucky to even have this season, as it was renewed before the total bomb of a spring cycle even premiered. If it's not completely dead after this result, I'm not sure what it's going to take.

    Fall 2012 Best Case/Worst Case, Monday 8/7c

    The Basics:

    bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
    Monday 8:00 11.6 6 +3% 2 35.8 7 32% 8

    Monday 8/7c had the second-best year-to-year trend out of 21 hours on broadcast (behind only its lead-out Monday 9/8c) thanks to huge growth on the part of CBS with How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls and NBC with The Voice in the second half. Though the competition percentage is a bit behind several other 8:00 hours later in the week, it's arguably the most competitive 8:00 hour when you throw in the Monday Night Football effect in the fall.

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Fall 2012 Best Case/Worst Case, Sunday 7/6c

    I don't have the typical introductory table for Sunday 7/6c, so I'll just say that Sunday 7/6c is essentially a Friday/Saturday hour that gets to pretend it's a real boy during the fall when millions and millions watch the tail end of the 4:00 NFL block. Here goes!

    Best Case/Worst Case: The Intro

    In 2009, I began a yearly tradition of posting about every single hour of primetime TV to preview the fall season. In year four, I completely overhauled it, and the new format (Best Case/Worst Case) became one of this blog's most popular formats. There's a ton more content, with more focus on predictions and some of the numbers I've developed in the last couple years. Let me show off a couple of these loaded sample tables so I can explain a few things.

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Thursday 8/23/12

    • The CW's all-original Thursday basically maintained its week-ago premiere audience.
    • Cable brought season highs for Awkward. (1.0) and the season finale of Suits (1.5). Burn Notice (1.3) was also darn close to a season high in capping off what was by far USA's strongest drama night of the summer. GSN had a game-changing premiere out of Jeff Foxworthy's The American Bible Challenge (1.70m, 0.4), as that did nearly three times the typical top weekly programs on GSN and about 50% better than the network's previous viewership record.

    True2 Week: The Wrap-Up

    True2 Week: Viewing | Lead-ins | Competition pt1 | Competition pt2 | Wrap-Up

    EDIT (8/29/13): For the 2013 updates to the formula, please see The 2013 True Tweaks post. At the moment, I'm NOT adding the 2013 updates to the formula listed below.

    Let's put together all of the adjustments I have laid out over the past four days. I don't 100% guarantee that this will be the final formula when the blog returns to full-strength mode in about 2.5 short weeks, but I am so worn out on this that it seems pretty likely. First, one last tweak that (at least for this year's version) doesn't really seem to fit under the other three banners:

    Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 8/22/12

    • Another late-season collapse from So You Think You Can Dance is in full swing, as it dropped three tenths and is now nearly halfway down from numbers it was pulling early in this season.
    • Though the CW's Oh Sit! lost a tick and 160k viewers from last Wednesday's premiere, it still did better than the Thursday episode (as well as almost everything else on its network this summer), perhaps suggesting there was some Wipeout crossover for the Thursday ep.

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    True2 Week: The Competition Adjustment part 2

    True2 Week: Viewing | Lead-ins | Competition pt1 | Competition pt2 | Wrap-Up

    Last time, we put together the formula for what I would refer to as "TV competition." But in doing the viewing and TV competition phases it became clear that I also needed what I would refer to as "non-TV competition"; in other words, on weekends and holidays there's a different kind of "competition" with TV viewing that better-adjusted people than I might call "real life." Y'know, "I'm not watching TV because I'm going out or traveling or something."

    That kind of competition is somewhat approximately explained by a simple comparison of ratings to overall viewing, but the problem is that we need a number that goes even beyond that to account for the fact that there's very little "TV competition." Worst case scenario, I could do what I did last year: simply create two separate baselines for expected competition, one for weekends/holidays and one for weeknights. But I wanted a number that could actually pick out a viewing-depressed period so I wouldn't have to.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 8/21/12

    • The late-summer struggles continue for America's Got Talent, shedding a couple more ticks and now down more than 20% year-to-year. Encores of the Olympics previews of Go On and Animal Practice did a little worse than the week-ago Stars Earn Stripes repeat (which got a 1.5 at 10:00 and a 1.2 at 10:30).
    • Free of TNT competition, White Collar (1.1) on USA hit a season high.

    True2 Week: The Competition Adjustment part 1

    True2 Week: Viewing | Lead-ins | Competition pt1 | Competition pt2 | Wrap-Up

    As I've said, most of my work this summer has gone into working on a competition adjustment that would give a fair shake to low-viewed, low-competition periods like weekends and holidays. I'm saving that portion for tomorrow and just focusing for today on the adjustment based on the actual competition level.

    Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 8/17-8/18/12

    • The NFL preseason was in the mix on both nights, as Fox's Lions/Ravens game edged the ABC repeat unscripted lineup on Friday and the NFL Network's Giants/Jets game on Saturday (0.7) was right there with the top broadcasters.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Monday 8/20/12: Stars and Stumbles

    • If last week was a disappointing start for NBC's newbie Stars Earn Stripes, this week and a 29% drop saw the show step into flop-land. That was of no help to Grimm, itself down 15% but now sticking out even more relative to its lead-in. Just three weeks till The Voice!
    • For whatever it's worth, CBS got its best Monday numbers of the summer from 2 Broke Girls and Mike and Molly.
    • On cable, Major Crimes (0.9) made its regular 9/8c debut looking a little weaker than The Closer's typical numbers this summer, and it was joined by a typically mediocre showing out of recently renewed Perception (0.7). Syfy's Alphas (0.5) picked up a bit in its move to 8/7c.

    True2 Week: The Lead-In Adjustment

    True2 Week: Viewing | Lead-ins | Competition pt1 | Competition pt2 | Wrap-Up

    It's part two of the week of vomiting out True2 info! Lots of big changes in the lead-ins portion of the equation.

    Spotted Ratings, Sunday 8/19/12

    • The Sunday regulars saw big rallies from their against-Olympic numbers, with Big Brother (2.4) hitting its best Sunday numbers this season. NBC got some strong numbers out of the NFL, though this continued the preseason's down year-to-year trend (vs. a 3.7 last year).
    • It was also a nice Sunday for cable as the summer slate winds down, with the finales of Falling Skies (1.4) and Political Animals (0.5) both upticking to best-since-premiere numbers. The penultimate True Blood (2.8) and the third-to-last Army Wives (1.2) also did their best numbers since their season premieres.

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    True2 Week: The Viewing Adjustment

    True2 Week: Viewing | Lead-ins | Competition pt1 | Competition pt2 | Wrap-Up

    A weekend full of tinkering has left me with a number that's... maybe a little bit better than the one I had when I wrote last week's post! It's still not quite where I'd like it, but it's definitely better than what I had last year. So I'm gonna go ahead and start into these posts. I'll hold the competition portion for later in the week (after viewing/lead-ins) since that's where my efforts remain concentrated, just to give myself a bit more time to tinker around and hope for a real breakthrough. In the event that I actually have some hope I can make it better but am not there yet, I may hold off on the last few posts, but I'm getting to a point where I'm not sure I actually have the mathematical capability to take it much further.

    I spoiled the big change in the viewing portion of the number last time, so this post will be a relative quickie to get us started.

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Thursday 8/16/12: Sit Down

    • So much for the CW's summer surge, as Oh Sit! was down substantially from Wednesday's premiere numbers and newbie The Next again showed us (like Duets earlier this summer) that not every talent competition is gold.
    • An uninspiring NFL preseason matchup between Cincinnati and Atlanta on Fox was down nearly 50% from the year-ago telecast (a much more appealing Eagles/Steelers affair (3.1) on 8/18/11).
    • Once again, most shows roughly settled back into without-Olympics levels, generally meaning significant gains for the shows that had to face the Olympics. USA had a season high from the summer's penultimate episode of Suits (1.4).

    The War of 18-49, The Secret Life of the American Teenager


    Scheduling history: Aside from the first chunk of episodes in summer 2008, Secret Life aired its whole run on Mondays at 8:00.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 8/15/12: Not That Sitty

    • Can't say this too often during the summer: LET'S LEAD OFF WITH THE CW! They debuted new game show Oh Sit! to numbers that were actually kind of surprisingly good. Perhaps we should just credit phase one of the CDub's "Aggressive Summer Slate" (henceforth acronymed ASS) with making Oh Sit! look good by comparison. Remember The Catalina (which premiered to 940,000 viewers and a 0.3 on May 29) and Breaking Pointe (930,000 and a 0.3 on May 31)? Oh Sit! was a big step up from those along with every rerun the network has aired this summer. There's more of this Sit on the CW airwaves tonight, followed by another piece of ASS called The Next. Boy, I'm funny.
    • Everybody else was back into without-Olympics pattern, as the three reality tentpoles were all up a touch.

    War of 18-49 Update, Jersey Shore (Winter 2012)

    Let's take a look at the Winter 2012 season (the fifth overall) of Jersey Shore on MTV.

    True Strength 2.0: The New True Brew So Far

    Last summer, I did a post about the development of my timeslot metric True Strength almost every week. This summer, not so much; my last one was an introductory post about two months ago!

    Does this mean I'm slacking? Maybe? But I'd say I have been slaving over a hot spreadsheet a pretty hefty amount. I just haven't been blogging about it. As I've said on a few occasions, the creation of True 1.0 was not very "photogenic"; in other words, very few people even by my very low traffic standards seemed to want to read about it. The True2 project feels even worse in that regard. It's not about starting from scratch and laying out lots of theory-type stuff. I initially thought that was how it was gonna be, but I decided pretty early on that repeating the whole process and blogging every minute of it was not a very efficient way to go about this. This is about making changes and digging deeper into things that tripped me up last summer. Tweaking ain't that pretty.

    So anyway, I'm gonna begin my rollout of True2 information today, talking a bit about what has taken up most of my True2 time this summer to date.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 8/14/12

    • All's back to normal on Tuesday, with NY Med and America's Got Talent and MasterChef getting back to almost exactly their pre-Olympics levels.
    • Fox had a very encouraging day two out of Hotel Hell, up a couple ticks from Monday's premiere, while NBC got sampling out of a Stars Earn Stripes encore that was pretty close to Monday's 1.7.
    • The finales keep coming on TNT, where Rizzoli & Isles (1.3) signed off for the summer at a season high. Franklin & Bash (0.9) also had a big finale night rebound after struggling against the Olympics.

    War of 18-49 Flashback, The Moment of Truth (Fox, 2008)


    Scheduling history: The Moment of Truth aired five episodes in early 2008 after American Idol on Wednesday (plus a special episode on Monday). It then moved to the lead-off role on Wednesday for four weeks in March. The show then left the airwaves for two months, returning for a summer run on Tuesday.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Monday 8/13/12

    • NBC came back to post-Olympic reality with a relatively unimpressive start out of military-themed competition reality program Stars Earn Stripes. The news was better at 10/9c with the season two premiere of Grimm, which hadn't broken the 2.0 threshold since its series premiere in October. It also did a lot better than its mid-1's level on Friday late last season. It's a fine result compared to its previous ratings but it doesn't necessarily scream that the show should've been permanently scheduled in the middle of the week (especially if it drops in the coming Mondays).
    • Fox didn't have the Olympics platform for their own series debut on the first post-Olympics night, but apparently the Gordon Ramsay platform is even better as Hotel Hell edged Stars Earn Stripes. But that number still paled in comparison to the other Ramsay shows, including Hell's Kitchen, which picked up some more steam coming off of its Olympics hiatus.
    • ABC's badly struggling Bachelor Pad and The Glass House only barely recovered from their respective 1.1/0.6 against-Olympics levels. 
    • TNT bid adieu to one of the most important shows in the rise of cable television, The Closer, which found over nine million viewers and a 1.6 demo rating. It was a massive spike from the rest of the season (which had typically hovered around 6 million/1.0) and the week-to-week growth was in the same ballpark as what USA got from similarly iconic Monk in 2009 (it averaged 9.44 million viewers and a 2.4). Leading out of The Closer was the premiere of spin-off Major Crimes (1.2), which took a dip but still delivered enough total viewers (7.18 million) to edge Dallas (6.86m) as the most-viewed series premiere of the cable summer.

    Spotted Ratings, Olympic Roundup 8/10-8/12/12

    • As usual, the final Friday and Saturday (6.2) were the two lowest-rated evenings of the Summer Olympics in primetime. But they dropped off much less than in 2008, and thus those two evenings had the largest vs. Beijing percent growth (+20% vs. a 5.5 on Friday and +22% vs. a 5.1 on Saturday) of the whole fortnight.
    • NBC then wrapped things up in style with Sunday's Closing Ceremony, up by 12% on the 8.2 rating for the Beijing Closing Ceremony. They got a bit of an assist again by not having to count the lower-viewed first 90 minutes of the evening, when they aired a "London Gold" recap special. (That managed a mere 5.7.)
    • The Animal Practice preview after the Closing Ceremony scored 12.8 million viewers and a 4.1 demo rating. That was marginally worse retention out of a significantly worse lead-in than Wednesday's Go On (5.6). It's definitely an inferior performance to that of Go On, for whatever that is worth.
    • On cable, Comedy Central attacked the Closing Ceremony with the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr (1.4). That was a mere shadow of the ratings for Charlie Sheen roast from last September (3.8) and also noticeably below the more typical roast level (most others have gotten a high 1-ish). AMC brought back Hell on Wheels (0.6) at, unfortunately, pretty close to the underwhelming level it achieved once it lost its The Walking Dead lead-in last year.

    War of 18-49 Update, Celebrity Apprentice (Spring 2012)

    Let's take a look at the Spring 2012 season (the fifth celebrity season overall) of Celebrity Apprentice on NBC.

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Spring 2008

    Big Brother
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays on CBS

    SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2011

    Big Brother
    Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS

    SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2010

    Big Brother
    Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS

    SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2009

    Big Brother
    Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS

    SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2008

    Big Brother
    Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS

    SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2007

    Big Brother
    Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS

    SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2006

    Big Brother
    Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Thursday 8/9/12

    • The Summer Olympics began their usual late-Games downturn with Night 14 finishing more than a point behind any previous evening. This rating also fell behind the corresponding night in Beijing (7.3) for just the third time.
    • Despite the big Olympics drop-off, many leftover originals on broadcast and cable (including usual leader Burn Notice (1.1)) were also down double-digits. I blame the arrival of the NFL preseason, including a national telecast on ESPN (1.4) which topped the cable evening but also several local telecasts (pre-empting broadcasters) as well as live look-ins on NFL Network (0.4).

    War of 18-49 Update, The Bachelor (Winter 2012)

    Let's take a look at the Winter 2012 season (the sixteenth overall) of The Bachelor on ABC.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 8/8/12: The #Goon Boon

    • Unofficially, NBC's preview of Go On (5.6) after the Olympics was the first piece of programming for the 2012-13 season, though I don't think the commercial-free preview will count in any official averages or anything. As for the rating: 5.6 (retaining about 55%ish of the 10:30 Olympics audience) seems pretty decent, but I don't put a ton of stock in it either way.
    • Leading in was night 13 of the Summer Olympics, which had this Games' third-biggest nightly growth vs. Beijing (+12%) despite cutting out the usually high-rated 11:00 hour and having what I felt was a pretty unappealing menu sports-wise. I guess everybody showed up for the beach volleyball final?
    • The big story on cable was the season finale of Dallas (1.3), which had a huge spike from the typically sub-1 level at which it'd been mired for the last few weeks. So that's a very good way to end what was mostly a fairly disappointingly-rated season.

    War of 18-49 Update, Grey's Anatomy (2011-12)

    Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the eighth overall) of Grey's Anatomy on ABC.

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 8/7/12

    • Riding the last few individual gymnastics events, the Summer Olympics were +5% vs. night 12 in Beijing. Expect a downturn in the coming days.

    War of 18-49 Flashback, Pushing Daisies (ABC, 2007-09)


    Scheduling history: Season one and the vast majority of season two of Pushing Daisies aired in the lead-off role on an ABC Wednesday night of three new dramas. ABC burned off the last three episodes of the show on Saturday in early summer 2009.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Monday 8/6/12

    • Summer Olympics. They hit their lowest levels this year and dropped back behind the 2008 pace (7% behind an 8.9 on Night 11 in 2008).
    • CBS quietly aired its first comedy Monday without Two and a Half Men in a very long time, with 2 Broke Girls posting a fairly Men-esque result in its 9/8c debut.

    War of 18-49 Update, Private Practice (2011-12)

    Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the fifth overall) of Private Practice on ABC.

    Spotted Ratings, Olympic Roundup 8/3-8/5/12

    Should add Saturday full table tomorrow.

    • Olympics and more Olympics as we cross the halfway point. Despite Michael Phelps' last Olympic race, Saturday (8.6) became the first night of the Games to date to trail the corresponding 2008 evening; it was -19% vs. 2008's 10.6 demo when Phelps won his eighth gold medal of that Olympics. But they got some of that back with an 11% gain vs. 2008 on Sunday. NBC benefited to some extent on that night because the 7:00 half hour (a Michael Phelps special) wasn't counted.
    • The only other real notable on Sunday night was another ABC lineup getting absolutely crushed vs. the Games; Secret Millionaire and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition put up rerun-esque numbers.

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    The War of 18-49, Castle


    The Olympic Competition Effect

    There's been a lot of debate about NBC's Olympics coverage over the last week plus. The question that really seems to underlie it all, at least from my perspective, is, "Are the Olympics 'sports' or are they 'entertainment'?" They're different things for different people, but NBC's approach in primetime is clearly the "entertainment" one to a large extent.

    I thought an interesting way to try to examine the nature of the primetime Olympic audience would be to look at the shows most affected by the Games' arrival. So here are the week-to-week changes against the Olympics for a large selection of broadcast and cable originals. These only include shows that aired both the week before the Olympics (July 20-26) and the first week of the Olympics (July 27-August 2).

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Thursday 8/2/12

    • The Summer Olympics had another huge night thanks to Phelps/Lochte II and the women's gymnastics all-around. And following four straight days of just barely topping the 2008 pace, Thursday's NBC telecast surged to 14% ahead of night seven in Beijing. That's the biggest Olympics-to-Olympics gain since the Opening Ceremony (which was +18%).
    • Among the hardest-hit Thursday originals vs. the Olympics: ABC's Wipeout and the Anger Management (0.7) / Wilfred (0.4) / Louie (0.3) combo on FX. All those shows shed about a third of their demo audience week-to-week.

    War of 18-49 Flashback, Jericho (CBS, 2006-08)


    Scheduling history: The first season of Jericho aired in two big chunks in the Wednesday 8/7c timeslot. Season two saw a move to Tuesday at 10/9c, where it aired after the only regular season edition of Big Brother.

    Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 8/1/12

    • Though down a lot from Day 5, the Summer Olympics were still on the upside vs. the corresponding night in Beijing (+5%).
    • A slower Olympics night seemed to mean generally smaller hits to the broadcast and cable competition, though ABC's Melissa & Joey (0.5) and Baby Daddy (0.4) had a really bad week.

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/31/12

    • The 2012 Summer Olympics had their best night yet with lots of American medals in swimming and gymnastics, surging to more than a half point ahead of Friday's Opening Ceremony rating. NBC's coverage was also back on the upside vs. Beijing in 2008, finishing 3% ahead of the fifth night in 2008 (12.4), which ended up being the highest-rated night of that Games.
    • As usual, a pretty mixed bag for those who dared go original vs. the Games. Among the biggest casualties were ABC's NY Med, TNT's Rizzoli & Isles (0.8, way down vs. a 1.2 last week) and Comedy Central's Tosh.0 (1.0, down from last week's 1.4).

    War of 18-49 Update, Criminal Minds (2011-12)

    Let's take a look at the 2011-12 season (the seventh overall) of Criminal Minds on CBS.

    SpotVault - 3 (CBS) - Summer 2012

    Sundays, 9/8c, CBS

    SpotVault - Olympics (NBC) - Summer 2012

    Summer Olympics on NBC

    Spotted Ratings, Thursday 7/26/12: Failur3

    • CBS got off to an awful start with new dating show 3. They had a bit of a tough time scheduling this once ABC moved The Bachelorette finale on top of 3's skedded premiere date, as they hoped for a premiere that could avoid both Bachelorette and the Olympics. Well, they found a way, but it got out of the gate with numbers well below those of typical post-Big Brother drama repeats, and the Olympics certainly didn't help in what would be its final airing the next Sunday.
    • On the other hand, ABC (finally free of Duets) had one of its best evenings of the summer with a two-hour Wipeout comfortably hitting a season high and Rookie Blue doing its best work in over a year.
    • USA saw a second straight new season high from Burn Notice (1.4), widening its gap over the rest of the network's dramas and getting back to about even year-to-year. Sullivan & Son (0.9) on TBS held on pretty tight in week two.

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