Friday, October 26, 2012

NBC True Power Rankings, October 2012

The much-beloved True Power Rankings are BACK. I line up every entertainment program in broadcast primetime by network/category using my timeslot metric True2, offering my take on the ratings strength of the shows.

Two changes of note this year. First: next week, I will create a separate page for each network, and I will update those every week when I do all the SpotVault updates. This will keep the numbers linked on the right sidebar much more up to date than last year. But the full-fledged versions in which I actually write stuff will be considerably less frequent. The current plan is to do those four times: now (beginning of November sweeps), early January (beginning of midseason), late February (end of February sweeps) and late April (beginning of May sweeps/pre-upfront). Subject to change!

Second change: I'm trying yet another new "formula" for the averages below. The A18-49 and True2 averages now average the last third of the season's episodes to date, rounded up. This seems like a decent way to quickly remove the value of inflated series premieres and give a show a larger sample if it's aired a larger number of episodes. I list how many episodes have aired (through the last full week, ending October 21) and how many of those are counted in the averages for each show.

Other October True Power Rankings: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

NBC ComediesTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
Still in the Game
1The Office2.282.1524
2Parks and Recreation1.801.7524
3Go On1.702.3525
4The New Normal1.561.8526
5Guys with Kids1.461.4025

This is one of those rare cases where my True2 numbers tell a very different story than the raw numbers. Go On looks like a success in the raw numbers (where it's 0.2 ahead of even The Office), but True2 thinks it is pretty fraudulent. It's a weaker show than not only The Office but even (narrowly) Parks and Rec. Getting a low-to-mid-2 out of a megahit program will do that. Bottom line is the show would be much lower in virtually any other situation, and we saw this in the one episode it aired after a (still pretty high-rated) Voice clips show. Still, it does Truly edge the other NBC new shows in worse situations, and it'd probably get renewed even if it were getting a 1.7 in a "normal" situation.

With all that being said, the main reason why other people get away with ignoring lead-ins is because networks tend to give the big lead-ins to the shows they really like. Go On is almost certainly getting renewed. It's just not a show that I'd feel comfortable moving into an anchor role anywhere else at this juncture.

The Dunzo-in-Waiting
6Up All Night1.311.2025
730 Rock1.241.2013
8Animal Practice1.071.1024

The bottom two are definitely ending. Is Up All Night definitely ending? I think so, but then I thought so for most of the stretch run last year. We know 30 Rock will be leaving the Thursday mix; is it a given that Community will take its place? Do they also add a newbie like 1600 Penn or The Farm in place of Up All Night? Or might they even contract the lineup to one hour so they can fit in something like The Biggest Loser?

NBC DramasTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
4Law and Order: SVU1.581.6013
5Chicago Fire1.441.5012

Unlike Go On, Revolution has big enough numbers that it seems fairly legit even after you strip out the huge boost from The Voice. There are only a couple dramas on TV (NCIS and Grey's Anatomy) that at this point appear definitively Truly stronger than Revolution. There's still a whole lot of season to go, but at the moment it looks like it could possibly be a show that NBC could consider to anchor another night in season two.

While the bottom three dramas all had pretty good results this week (not included above), my guess is that they will still line up in close to the same order on next week's version. Parenthood routed its broadcast competitors and may be as safe as ever right now, and Chicago Fire definitely helped its odds in week three.

NBC UnscriptedTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
1The Voice Mon4.114.8026
2The Voice Tue3.944.5526
3Dateline Fri1.471.3026
4Rock Center0.980.9525


Spot said...

Unlike CBS, NBC will take the raw numbers victory that Go On gives them. But it'll be interesting to see how it holds up between Voice cycles in the Winter; I feel like a future Question could be will Go On be able to go on without a powerful lead-in.

Much like ABC, NBC's True Power will be more interesting at midseason when The Voice filler and Sunday night open up to programming. I would think that The Biggest Loser would be headed to Monday or Tuesday to be used like The Bachelor is used between Dancing with the Stars cycles. The only shows I could see NBC plugging into Thursdays once Up All Night and 30 Rock end are Community and The Farm, with Parks & Recreation going back to 8:30.

Spot said...

Cycles of The Voice are longer than DWTS, and there's only likely to be a few weeks between them (and much of that will be eaten up by the holidays). Certainly not long enough to run a cycle of TBL. There's no inherent reason why Go On/Revolution needs to be broadcast without an episode of The Voice, but it'll be interesting to see if NBC goes out of its way to test the waters.

I think the smart move is to put TBL on Thursday at 8 and move the veteran comedies to Wed 8pm. You then have a lead-in for a new comedy at Thursday 9pm. Move the under-performing TNN to Thursday at 9:30 and you have two good timeslots for the mid-season comedies (1600 Penn and Save Me).

Hold Community back as spackle in case one of them fails (it would partner well with TNN or Go On).

The Farm doesn't (yet) have a series order. I believe it's currently only an Office backdoor pilot and will likely only get a 6 episode order if it makes it to series.

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