Friday, August 3, 2012

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.

When there was hope: Early in Jericho's run, it appeared to be breathing some serious life into an oft-problematic Wednesday 8:00 hour for CBS. It premiered with a respectable 11.66 million viewers and 3.4 adults 18-49 rating on September 20, 2006, then grew its demo audience (to 3.6) in week two. In mid-October, it became the first broadcast newbie to score a full-season order. Though it dropped from the mid-3's level of its opening weeks, it settled at right around a 3.0 for the rest of fall 2006.

When hope was lost: Jericho was never the same after a three-month hiatus in the middle of season one, returning with just 8.30 million viewers and a 2.3 demo rating on February 21. Excluding the Thanksgiving Eve episode (which itself was higher than that with a 2.5), that return was more than a half point behind any fall result! While Jericho did stick right in the 2.2 to 2.3 range for pretty much the entire post-hiatus run, that ended up not being good enough.

When hope was lost, part II: As usual with this kind of show, there was a pretty passionate Internet campaign to get the show revived. The most extraordinary thing about this one? It actually worked. About a month after the upfront, CBS decided to order eight episodes of Jericho for midseason. As it turned out, midseason fell right in the middle of the significant drain on scripted product during the WGA writer's strike. So Jericho actually returned in relatively respectable fashion, with the 2.6 demo for the February 12, 2008 season premiere marking the largest number since before the season one hiatus. This time, though, things soured much more quickly. Week two brought just a 2.0 demo, and then three of the subsequent six episodes went below the 2.0 mark. Another cancellation followed, but there would be no second resurrection.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

Seas Year Timeslot Avg y2y Lo Hi Results Grade
12006-07Wednesday 8:002.682.13.6

22007-08Tuesday 10:002.01-25%1.72.6

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

Seas Year A18-49+ Label Now15 y2y Lo Hi Premiere Finale
12006-07 71 marginal1.20 56 96 90 56
22007-08 61 flop1.02 -15% 51 78 78 54

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

1 comment:

Spot said...

Bring Jericho back please

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