Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First Two Weeks, The Neighbors

In terms of raw numbers, the highest-rated series premiere of the traditional premiere week was ABC's much-lambasted comedy newbie The Neighbors. Compared to most of what we've seen this season, a 3.2 demo looks pretty amazing. Why'd this happen? That one's easy: it was leading out of the season's highest-rated entertainment telecast to date, the season premiere of Modern Family (5.5).

The Neighbors had a much better than usual situation in week one, but it had a worse one than usual in week two. It moved to 8:30 and aired after a pretty weak episode of The Middle (2.2), plus there was no Modern Family to "lift all boats" on the evening; ABC had debate coverage starting at 9:00. All that added up to a brutal-looking 41% drop to a 1.9.

The tough thing about this post is that I don't think either of the first two weeks are all that telling about the show's situation moving forward. There's something to the idea that a really big hit can lift up the other programs, even the ones earlier in the night. That doesn't make a ton of sense to me as a TV viewer, but it seems somewhat real. NBC's comedy lineup has collapsed in the past, even the 8:00 shows, when NBC aired a repeat The Office at 9:00. And remember how How I Met Your Mother struggled in the spring of 2011 after Two and a Half Men ran out of episodes? Perhaps this is something I need to research further.

That said, I don't think either of these results showed all that much promise. Weak as The Middle may have been, The Neighbors was still 0.3 lower, and I would think that gap gets larger if anything should Modern Family help The Middle rally next week. This may be a little premature, but I'm gonna go ahead and say Cancel.

"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.

1 comment:

Spot said...

If you only consider the ratings, I think this would be the ideal case to defer because last Wednesday was so atypical.

That said, given the overwhelmingly negative buzz surrounding the show, I can't help but agree that it's going to be cancelled. The only possible complicating factor is that it seems like ideal TGIF-fodder, so ABC might give it a second chance even if it falls significantly after The Middle.

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