Thursday, October 25, 2012

First Two Weeks, Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast was the first of two CW series premieres to air against a debate simulcast on the big four networks. On premiere night, it looked like the strategy worked out OK; Beauty and the Beast got a 1.2 demo, which was about in line with recent CW drama premieres. It did lose a chunk of its overachieving The Vampire Diaries lead-in (1.7 at 8:30), but it was certainly a workable start considering it had at least twice the rating of anything the CDub was airing on three other nights.

In week two, most of the broadcast competition was back, and that apparently mattered big-time. Beauty and the Beast dropped by a whooping 42% to a 0.7 and lost nearly half of its TVD lead-in (1.3 at 8:30). And yet it was still the fourth-biggest show on the CW last week...

Provided the network continues into next season, the CW totem pole is going to be pretty interesting because they have three hours (Wednesday and 8:00 Thursday) that are just miles ahead of everything else. Even if you assume that 0.7 for BatB might be a 0.5 if it aired after local programming, that still may well get the show renewed. The Secret Circle got canned because there was an alternative in Hart of Dixie, a show doing only a bit worse (and, by the very end, not worse at all) in a much tougher situation. It doesn't look like there's any kind of sleeper success lurking in the other CW disaster areas. And yet -42% says a lot about how this pretty awful show was received. While the show's probably likely to get an episode extension, pretty much by default, it's just a bit too early to be trying to game how the totem pole will look in May. So I'm saying Cancel on sheer merit and hoping everything sorts itself out eventually. I could defer to week three, but this doesn't strike me as a show that will become much more obvious next week.

"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line up all of the premiere and week two drop numbers together.

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