Friday, November 30, 2012

The Climate, Week Nine: Holiday Ratings Resiliency

Today in The Climate, a few observations about the ratings downturns during Thanksgiving week.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/29/12

  • The week of broadcast upswing pretty much came to an end, mostly just because this was the first night that wasn't being compared against holiday-deflated results. Compared to two weeks ago, it was generally ABC, CBS and NBC a little down and Fox and the CW a little up.
  • A few noticeable exceptions: 
    • Scandal finished with an outright season high despite a rather meh result from lead-in Grey's Anatomy.
    • Two and a Half Men dropped in finals but still took the smallest percentage drop of the CBS shows despite Angus T. Jones urging viewers not to watch.
    • Parks and Recreation and Last Resort had the night's most terrible results, each going two tenths below their previous season lows.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/28/12

  • The strong season for holiday specials continues. ABC's A Charlie Brown Christmas and NBC's Christmas at Rockefeller Center were slightly up year-to-year, while NBC's two-hour Saturday Night Live Christmas special was up even more vs. last year's SNL special A Very Gilly Christmas (2.1). All those shows were huge improvements over the normal timeslot programming.
  • Everything else was original, and most shows were pretty much in line with the last "normal" Wednesday two weeks ago. CSI followed up its pretty strong Thanksgiving Eve showing last week by tying a season high this week and holding about 90% of the Criminal Minds demo.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/27/12

  • The broadcast upswing continued into another day. The only network with atypical listings was ABC, where holiday specials How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shrek the Halls were just about even with year-ago levels. The finale of Dancing with the Stars, finally given a chance to air fully apart from The Voice, managed to easily outrate all other points this season. Sure, it was still way down year-to-year (vs. last fall's 4.1), but that's been the case all season, and usually to a larger extent. So a generally miserable season for the franchise at least ends on a less miserable note.
  •  CBS saw the mothership NCIS take a big surge, but that upswing didn't really continue into NCIS: Los Angeles and Vegas, which had to face DWTS this time (when it's usually the mothership doing so). This is another piece of evidence that DWTS has an incredible amount of crossover with CBS programming; see also CBS' big surge in the Dancing-free 9:00 hour last Monday.
  • Regularly-scheduled Fox and NBC on average upswung somewhere in the mid-teens vs. last week.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/26/12

  • Everybody gets a prize! Almost every show was up double-digits week-to-week. CBS can thank the 8:30 repeat of The Big Bang Theory for boosting 2 Broke Girls, Mike and Molly and Hawaii Five-0 to season highs. Revolution heads into its nearly summer-length hiatus with an uptick and Dancing with the Stars hit an outright season high too.
  • The only real loser was the short-order return of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, down 40%+ vs. last week in both hours. So that's why they cancelled it! ESPN also laid a relative egg with a dud Monday Night Football (4.0). Those results probably contributed to the magnitude of the increases elsewhere.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/25/12 (2012-13 Week Nine)

Football dominated the True Top 25 in a holiday week. Though the Patriots/Jets Thanksgiving primetime game was actually four tenths weaker than the Giants/Packers Sunday game in raw numbers, it graded out much better Truly speaking because the 18-49 TV usage was nearly ten percentage points weaker on Thursday than on Sunday. And ABC's college game, the best since the network picked up regular primetime football in 2006, was an extremely strong #3.

The holiday meant pre-emptions for the two top entertainment programs, so The Voice was left on top of that pack even with (by its standards) a really horribly-rated week.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/25/12

  • ABC's Once Upon a Time had a bounce-back from its head-scratching drop two weeks ago, but it was still near the low end of its pre-last week results. But ABC had another problem result as this time it was Revenge coming back after the week-ago pre-emption at well below its previous results this season.
  • With the late afternoon NFL game on Fox, its animation was at relatively normal post-overrun numbers. The Cleveland Show had a fairly American Dad!-esque tryout at 9:30. CBS was at pretty typical start-on-time levels with The Mentalist way up from last week when it started super-late.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/24/12

  • ABC is greatly disadvantaged in the overall averages every year due to sports, so it's nice to see them finally have a big day in that realm. Notre Dame's victory over USC was the highest-rated Saturday Night Football of not just this season but any season since ABC picked it up in 2006. A game this big lifts ABC as a whole by several ticks for the week. Fox's Stanford/UCLA got left wayyy behind.
  • CBS commenced its Made in Jersey burn-off, but I have to think it's no guarantee they will even air all the episodes if it continues to drag down the rest of the night like this. The night as a whole was down more than 40% week-to-week, but ABC's strength could also have something to do with that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/23/12

  • The Thanksgiving downturn in overall viewing always behaves about the same way: a small downturn on Monday and Tuesday (though it seemed to have a larger impact on broadcast ratings this year), a significant downturn on Wednesday, a huge one on Thursday, and then... poof. Order is almost completely restored on Black Friday. That meant the few entertainment programs on the evening, Last Man Standing and Malibu Country and 20/20, were basically unaffected.
  • Returnee holiday specials on CBS were even to up year-to-year, but the network got little mileage out of its originals. It's a SpongeBob Christmas! didn't move the needle and the return of Person to Person was way down from the last special CBS tried late last season.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/22/12

  • Thanksgiving Night is the depth of this week's holiday viewing downturn, but NBC provided a nice boost to the broadcast evening thanks to their newly negotiated Thanksgiving football game. The Thanksgiving game was on the NFL Network last season. It had ratings comparable to recent SNF results despite airing on a much, much lower-viewed night.
  • Fox aired its normal Thursday lineup, probably in large part because they had the benefit of an NFL overrun in the late afternoon. That overrun was evident in The X Factor's numbers but clearly out of the mix by the time Glee got going; it was a whooping 29% behind last week's already bad number. I'll include the NFL overrun, if available, as a lead-in in the final True2 number for The X Factor.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/21/12

  • Overall 18-49 viewing was down about 10% week-to-week on Thanksgiving Eve, but as usual most shows were down by more than that, and CBS' older-skewing offerings were most resilient to the holiday. But some of the worst droppers came on cable; American Horror Story (0.9) was down nearly 50% from last week!
  • The best ratings story of Thanksgiving Eve was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, up 22% from last year's telecast on Thanksgiving Night and continuing a great year for ABC's Peanuts specials. (It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was also up four tenths.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Question, Monday 11/26/12: Can ABC Go Home Again?

Though ABC cancelled Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as a regular staple, tonight it returns to serve in more of a holiday special capacity. It'll run for two hours on each of the next four Mondays to help the network bridge the gap in that big plot of Monday real estate between seasons of Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor. Can ABC go Home again? That's The Question for Monday, November 26, 2012.

The Climate, Week Eight

Had a rather unproductive holiday weekend, so just the normal numbers this time:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/20/12

  • Almost everyone was down to some degree on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Like on Monday, it appears there was only a tiny week-to-week downturn in overall viewing. It doesn't really get severe till tonight (Thanksgiving Eve).
  • Again, the most noticeable of the droppers was The Voice (3.3), whose 15% week-to-week fall just about mirrored the Monday drop. The comedy logjam at 9/8c continues to get worse; this week saw Apartment 23 (0.9) plunge sub-1.0 and New Girl (2.0) and The Mindy Project (1.3) each drop well below their previous lows. The only shows up week-to-week were 10:00 dramas Vegas (1.8) and Private Practice (1.2).
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted. Full table forthcoming!

SpotVault - Whitney (NBC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/18/12 (2012-13 Week Eight)

Sunday Night Football easily topped the True Top 25 and a big surge by The Big Bang Theory helped widen its lead over the rest of the entertainment programming field. In a fall full of pre-emptions, there were shockingly few this week; the only usual top 25 contenders to sit out were the ABC Sunday shows, but their replacement (the American Music Awards) cracked the top ten.

The only Friday/Saturday representative this week was ABC's strong Saturday Night Football, while Revolution and Elementary were the only new shows on the list.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/19/12

  • The yanking of Partners was of only minor help to CBS at 8:30 (where the Two and a Half Men repeat scored a 2.0, actually a bit below what Partners was pulling prior to last week's big drop) and at 9:00 where 2 Broke Girls was up a couple ticks. And the 8:00 and 9:30 comedies actually ticked down.
  • The Voice had a really bad night. It was over 10% below its worst Monday results this season, and it seems Dancing with the Stars picked up some of the pieces.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/18/12

  • The American Music Awards were down a drastic 21% year-to-year, which lined up exactly with the CMA Awards year-to-year drop from a two and a half weeks ago.
  • Fox animation went low again with The Simpsons and Family Guy and everything else at or near their timeslot season lows.
  • Most CBS shows were on the low end of normal, but The Mentalist again had a near-worst case scenario, starting at 10:53, and it took a huge week-to-week hit.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/17/12

  • An overtime epic between Stanford and Oregon posted one of ABC's best football numbers this season, and the Stanford win re-opened the national title picture to the big-money SEC. Great night for ABC/ESPN. Meanwhile, Fox somehow got stuck sub-1.0 again with nationally irrelevant (yet very entertaining) Oklahoma/West Virginia. They lost to ESPN, where Kansas State (1.1) finally cracked a 1.0 demo. But that's surely not much consolation to the school, which lost by 28 to Baylor and dropped out of the title race.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/16/12

  • From potential Friday game-changers to marginal-for-Friday ratings, in just two weeks. Last Man Standing dropped two more ticks and Malibu Country followed its week two 26% drop with another -18% in week three! Next week they'll be pretty much the only original entertainment options on all of Black Friday, but they'll have to fight off a bevy of holiday specials.
  • The comedy collapse has left Shark Tank, Undercover Boss and Grimm as the clear Friday leaders, but they too were down a bit on the last Friday of sweeps.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Question, Monday 11/19/12: Will CBS Monday Man Up?

The era of Partners patience finally came to an end last Monday, as a 1.8 in a lineup of otherwise 3.0+ programs was just too much for CBS to take. In the short term, they'll hope that repeats of the Thursday sitcoms will help resuscitate a Monday that's been well below expectations all fall. That starts tonight with a Two and a Half Men repeat at 8:30. Will CBS Monday man up? That's The Question for Monday, November 19, 2012.

The Climate: How Much is The Voice Boosting NBC?

We'll start with the weekly update on the climate numbers intro'ed last week:


Week Ending TPUT y2y bc y2y LeAv y2y
19/30/201232.4 -6% 9.2 -16% 2.50 -15%
210/07/201232.8 -5% 8.7 -15% 2.26 -17%
310/14/201233.7 -1% 8.6 -10% 2.33 -9%
410/21/201233.4 -3% 8.6 -6% 2.30 -6%
510/28/201234.2 -0% 9.1 -3% 2.12 -16%
611/04/201234.5 -0% 9.2 -9% 2.32 -11%
711/11/201235.1 +1% 9.3 -9% 2.30 -7%

In week seven, overall viewing ticked up yet again and was on the year-to-year upside for the first time all season, and broadcast viewing was at its highest level of the season, even beyond premiere week. Much of the credit on both fronts goes to the very high-viewed Tuesday election night.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Question Results through 11/14/12

Here are the results and individual standings through November 14 for the ratings prediction game The Question:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/15/12

  • Bazinga. The Big Bang Theory swung up to easily its biggest number of the season and, after a finals boost, actually beat its highest Thursday demo rating ever. It also had a series high in total viewers. That good mojo continued for CBS with Two and a Half Men and Person of Interest also at season highs. Elementary is still rather modest but it was up a touch as well.
  • The only other noticeable changes came on Fox. The X Factor finished off a week of upswing, but it looks like Glee was just waiting till the episode after the return from hiatus to take its big dip.

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2012 Week Three Winners/Losers

Though I've retired the formal daily year-to-year posts, after the premiere week I did pledge to shoot for at least one year-to-year summary for each sweeps period. I'm trying to pick out the most "normal" week from each period, and it looked like week three was by far the best this time. (No weather-related pre-emptions, no election pre-emptions, no awards shows, no Thanksgiving Eve.)

Top 10 year-to-year SHOW losers
1. Private Practice (Tu 10-11pm vs. Th 10-11pm) -61%
2. Happy Endings (Tu 9-9:30pm vs. W 9:30-10pm) -59%
3. Nikita (F 9-10pm vs. F 8-9pm) -50%
4. Last Man Standing (F 8-8:30pm vs. Tu 8-8:30pm) -38%
5. Whitney (W 8-8:30pm vs. Th 9:30-10pm) -38%
6. New Girl -37%
7. Hawaii Five-0 -36%
8. How I Met Your Mother -35%
9. Dancing with the Stars Mon -34%
t-10. Gossip Girl (M 9-10pm vs. M 8-9pm) -33% 
t-10. 2 Broke Girls (M 9-9:30pm vs. M 8:30-9pm) -33%

As always with the show lists, many of these numbers were inevitably going to be bad because of timeslot downgrades: namely Private Practice, Happy Endings, Last Man. But I don't think anyone would argue any of these shows (except maybe Last Man?) are doing "well." There's a big CBS Monday presence on this list, and Mike and Molly (at -32%) just barely misses.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DVR: Three Days vs. Seven Days

We know that networks love to tout huge DVRing gains from Live + Same Day to Live + three days after the airdate. We also know that networks love to tout huger gains from Live+SD to Live + seven days. And finally, we know that (frustratingly for the networks) all those gains do not end up translating to huge gains in the actual money numbers, the ratings for commercials within three days (C3).

Facing a bad year pretty much any way you realistically slice it, the networks have turned their public attentions to new frontiers, a faraway land where the numbers aren't so bleak. Namely, they want more DVR viewing counted. They want a switch from C3 to C7, or commercial viewing within seven days. As Cynthia Littleton notes in that article, they hold big presentations at the upfronts about the pressing need for this switch. And they sure seem to love to talk to people who want to write articles about huge +7 DVR gains.

However, the number that matters in this argument is not huge gains relative to Same Day numbers. It's about the difference between C3 and C7, and pretty much nobody ever talks about what those numbers really are. Some may even look at it like, "Seven days vs. three days! That's more than twice as long an opportunity to view, thus more than twice as much viewing!"

So what's the C3 -> C7 difference really like? We can't know for sure, since C7 is unseen in public settings. But what we can look at is the Live+3 -> Live+7 difference in program ratings. If the switch to seven days is such a big deal, there should at the very least be big bumps from three to seven there.

Unfortunately, as is usually the case when we drill down into DVR ratings, the reality is underwhelming, especially relative to the amount of press.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/14/12

  • NBC's Wednesday fix wasn't much of a fix. While Whitney returned to better ratings than recent Animal Practice episodes, it was less than half of its year-ago series premiere rating, below last spring's level and provided no help whatsoever to fellow multicam Guys with Kids or 9/8c drama Law and Order: SVU. It was way below what I expected, but everyone else was more realistic. And the week after a big The Voice boost, Chicago Fire reverted right back to its Halloween series low.
  • ABC also saw most of its shows return to softer Halloween-esque levels, while The X Factor, finally free of pre-emptions and Halloween and The Voice, managed to bounce back somewhat.

First Two Weeks, Malibu Country

On premiere night, the Reba McEntire fanbase brought a serious reinvigoration to Friday night. Malibu Country opened with 9.13 million viewers and a 2.3 demo rating, the highest number for a Friday series premiere in years. It did even better than the last couple shows that went on to become Friday staples, Blue Bloods (2.2) and Grimm (2.1), it built from its Last Man Standing lead-in (an also overachieving 2.0) and it helped boost Shark Tank to a series high (2.3). It was as strong a start as ABC could've possibly hoped for.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Question, Wednesday 11/14/12: Is NBC Wednesday Getting a Whit Knight?

For the second straight season, NBC had an obvious pairing with sitcom Whitney that for some reason they ignored in the fall. Tonight, for the second straight season, they're bringing that pair together later in the season as Whitney returns at 8/7c to lead into the network's other multicamera comedy Guys with Kids. Is NBC Wednesday getting a "Whit" knight? That's The Question for Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/13/12

  • The Voice may have left the 9/8c hour, but the horrible sitcom ratings remain, as New Girl and Happy Endings and Apartment 23 saw no rallies from their ratings against Voice the week before the election pre-emption. Only The Mindy Project showed any bounce-back whatsoever. It was really the first time yet that Mindy looked like a definitively stronger show than fellow Fox newbie Ben and Kate, which took a big dip.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/11/12 (2012-13 Week Seven)

Pretty standard week for the True Top 25. Sunday Night Football was tops, The Big Bang Theory held off Modern Family again for top entertainment program, The Voice was next, then everything else.

A big drop in the 8:00 hour for ABC Friday meant that Shark Tank was the only Friday/Saturday show on the list this week (with a surging Undercover Boss just barely missing). Revolution was the only new show thanks to Elementary and Malibu Country both dropping out of the mix this week.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/12/12

  • It's official: the only new network hit this fall, Revolution, is in a slump. Its 2.6 demo last night marked a third straight episode to dip by at least 0.2 points. With just two eps left before a four-month hiatus, it would sure be nice from the NBC perspective to see this level off or get back a bit.
  • The one show to have a really bad relative result last Monday, How I Met Your Mother, picked back up by a couple ticks this week. And just as I was starting to wonder, "Huh. Maybe Partners is starting to edge its way back into this thing" following some steadiness amid the HIMYM struggles, it took a 0.3 drop to 1.8 and looks dead all over again.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/11/12

  • An NFL overrun well into the 8:00 hour provided a big boost to Fox's average. That extra NFL competition seemingly clobbered ABC's Once Upon a Time, down about 20% from its recent level and at a series low. Even if the NFL was to blame, that's a terrible result for Once, which last season held up pretty well against the worst of NFL competition (like the AFC Championship Game on 1/22/12). Lending credence to that theory was the fact that the ABC problem lessened as the evening wore on, with Revenge and 666 Park Ave down in the single digits.
  • Fox usually doesn't have to deal with starting their shows late due to the NFL, but on this day they did. Like with CBS, it was a good news/bad news situation: good for The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers, bad for the 200th Family Guy, particularly the second half.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/10/12

  • ABC got back on top of the primetime college football world with Boston College and Notre Dame. Kansas State won the Fox game and claimed the #1 spot in the BCS, but you can tell from these ratings and the ones last week (when ABC was the one with K-State and finished a distant third) that the ESPN execs would muuuch rather have Notre Dame in the title game.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/9/12

  • The new TGIF fell back to Friday reality in week two, with Last Man Standing down 20% and Malibu Country plunging by 26% from last week's 2.3. But ABC still won Friday with first place finishes at 9/8c from Shark Tank and at 10/9c from 20/20, and they remain up by at least a third year-to-year in every half hour.
  • With the competitive situation finally clearing up somewhat at 8/7c, Undercover Boss had a huge surge in its second week back and Kitchen Nightmares grew for the second straight week and is getting back toward a more respectable level.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Question, Tuesday 11/13/12: Will Endings Get Happier?

We're not sure who the "real" Happy Endings is yet. It premiered to a relatively as-expected 1.8 on October 23, then tanked to a 1.4 the next week with The Voice haunting the 9/8c hour. Was the 1.4 blip or trend? The drop was severe enough that I'm fairly sure it's not getting back to 1.8 tonight; it was gonna have a post-premiere drop regardless of The Voice. But I do expect some rally this week with NBC over 2 points weaker. Since it was pre-empted last week, I'm saying it only makes up a tick or two for now.

Over/Under: 1.55.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Climate: Are We Waking Up from the Premiere Week Nightmare?

This is "The Climate," a weekly look at the "big picture" numbers of broadcast primetime. I will provide a few "big picture" numbers both week-by-week and from the season-to-date. These numbers will be the starting point for this post every week, and some weeks they will be pretty much the whole post. But I'm also hoping to do a column of sorts on a fairly regular basis, examining the big picture in much the same way I did in the A18-49+ posts last spring. I have a lot of big-picture observations that don't really fit into any of the "regular" posts around here, so hopefully this will provide an outlet for some of that.

Since I never really had the time in the crazy opening 6+ weeks of the season to get this off the ground, it means we have a lot of numbers in the books. So here's where we'll begin this. We all know that premiere week, when TV ratings get a ton of attention, was pretty hellish. But is this TV season still as nightmarish as premiere week suggested, or are things "evening out" somewhat?

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Question, Friday 11/9/12: Will Week Two of Malibu Stay Above Two?

I said earlier this week that I thought ABC's showing last Friday was the best regular-programming night any network has had on a Friday in several years. I'm probably missing something but I don't think anyone's averaged a 2.0 for a full night of regular programs on Friday since Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs were around, and "best in three years" is hard to find in today's Live+SD TV ratings world. Now we're left to wonder if all of this has legs. Will week two of Malibu stay above two? That's The Question for Friday, November 9, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/8/12

  • The latest of the The Voice / The X Factor duels again went decisively to The Voice. While The Voice again provided a triple-digit timeslot improvement, yet another special night led to yet another huge drop. The Voice provided a significant boost to The Office, whose 8:30 lead-in was about two points better than it had been all year. Factor out the fact that its lead-in was a point weaker than in early October and it looks like Glee was pretty close to the same show as in its last episode pre-hiatus.
  • On CBS, it looks like "The Miley Cyrus Effect" might be an actual thing; Two and a Half Men has now broken a 4 in each of its Miley-starring eps and averaged about a 3.6 in the non-Miley eps. And ABC's Last Resort was able to get back one tenth after its extreme drop last week.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Question, Thursday 11/8/12: Will Glee's Post-Baseball Return Strike Out?

What sucks about Fox's baseball arrangement is that they have to "sacrifice" some part of the schedule to fit in all those pre-emptions. Last year, they protected The X Factor at the expense of Tuesday, and Glee/New Girl/Raising Hope were never the same when they came back in November. This year, they tried to minimize Tuesday pre-emptions and essentially had to derail X Factor to do so. The show that got screwed both times was Glee, which returns tonight after four Thursdays off and has to be praying it goes better this year than last. Will Glee's post-baseball return strike out?  That's The Question for Thursday, November 8, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/7/12

  • NBC brought The Voice into the Wednesday mix and grew by over 100% vs. the typical Wednesday 8:00 to 10:00 results. But the special night and the X Factor competition meant this was still a much weaker Voice than the one we usually see on Monday/Tuesday. The lead-in boost helped Chicago Fire become the first new show this season to exceed its series premiere results, and it did so by a decent amount. It did basically what I expected even though The Voice was a tad weaker than expected. Given the same big lead-in, it's about what we thought it was; no Revolution, but probably stronger than something like the later eps of Smash. Now we'll see if this helps at all when SVU is the lead-in.
  • Despite the added competition, most other shows were even to up vs. last week's Halloween numbers and very close to even with the last "normal" Wednesday two weeks ago. ABC looked particularly good with The Middle up for its fourth straight episode and The Neighbors and Suburgatory beating any previous results in their timeslots this season. Nashville got back to its pre-Halloween level and (like fellow 10/9c newbie Chicago Fire) now probably looks pretty safe for some kind of extension.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Question, Wednesday 11/7/12: Will The Voice Fire Up Chicago's Ratings?

Tonight begins NBC's effort to finish off Fox's sagging The X Factor by airing The Voice against all three of its hours this week. That'll be a matchup to watch, but I'm more interested in seeing what that Voice lead-in does for NBC's new drama Chicago Fire. It's probably not done as poorly as it could have, but it's still been a pretty "meh" performer thus far, dropping a bit from struggling Law and Order: SVU. These one-offs are rarely game-changers, but this will undeniably be an opportunity for a lot of new exposure for this show. Will The Voice fire up Chicago's ratings? That's The Question for Wednesday, November 7, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/6/12

  • Preliminary ratings for Election Night coverage pretty much lined up the way the news organizations always do: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox. Strangely most of the coverage got about the same ratings as week-ago regular series except for ABC (which was wayyy stronger). Everything (including the CW's repeats) got adjusted down by 0.2 to 0.4 after finals due to local coverage being removed.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/4/12 (2012-13 Week Six)

Let's hope, for everyone's sake, for no more natural disasters. With the exception of Halloween on Wednesday, this was an extremely high-viewed week of television, yet that for the most part did not show up in the entertainment programming ratings. This is particularly evident in the True2 numbers toward the beginning of the week, when coverage of Hurricane Sandy appeared to drastically lift viewing levels yet much of that local affiliate coverage was not quantifiable in national ratings.

A best-in-a-month Sunday Night Football easily topped the charts. (And by more than it previously would have thanks to a recent fix in the sports program calculation!) In a reversal of what we've come to expect from their situations, The Big Bang Theory only barely held off Modern Family for top entertainment program despite a full point raw-numbers advantage. TBBT's Thursday 8/7c slot was (on CMA Awards night) easily the highest-viewed it's been all season while Modern Family's Wednseday 9/8c slot on Halloween was easily at its lowest-viewed.

ABC had what I think I'm safe in calling the best Friday night with regular programming for any network in several years, and three of those programs made it onto the list for at least this one week. CBS also joined the Friday/Saturday Watch thanks to a huge college football game on Saturday. Malibu Country also joined usual Top 25ers Revolution and Elementary as a third show on what's been a pretty thin year for new shows on this list.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/5/12

  • Most shows were even to down a bit in the first totally normal Monday in quite some time. Somehow-still-airing The Mob Doctor was amusingly the only show on the rise, while How I Met Your Mother was really the only show to finish well below previous results.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/4/12

  • Fox began its effort to revive its schedule on the other side of the baseball hiatus, and it didn't go so well with everything including The Simpsons and Family Guy well below prior results. They'll look to the NFL for a shot in the arm next week.
  • Some kudos to Once Upon a Time for three straight weeks of growth, and it looks like it will end up as broadcast's #1 drama this week. (Though it lost handily to AMC's The Walking Dead (4.9).) But the bottom seems to have finally fallen out for previously lingering 666 Park Ave.
  • CBS ended up with relatively normal numbers after finals, with The Mentalist seemingly having settled in after its early-season schizophrenia. NBC's Sunday Night Football had a big upswing thanks to a close game, no sports competition and the Dallas Cowboys.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/3/12

  • It was an extremely sporty evening with three nationally relevant football games in broadcast primetime plus NBC airing Breeder's Cup coverage and the movie Rudy. While CBS won by a mile with both the best game and the best matchup, LSU/Alabama, the game was still down 44% from the absurd ratings this matchup pulled in last year's "Game of the Century." Despite the competition, USC/Oregon ranked among Fox's best football ratings of the year and crushed a season low for Kansas State/Oklahoma State on ABC.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/2/12

  • Pretty good news on all the broadcasters, but it must start with ABC, where Last Man Standing returned very well, a couple notches above last season's post-DST level on Tuesday, then the series premiere of Reba's Malibu Country also did big business with the expected multiple-tick growth at 8:30. The latter ended up tying Shark Tank, which picked up even more steam in its debut at 9/8c and (along with Malibu) did the best numbers for any Friday entertainment show since the Undercover Boss debut in February. All three of those shows were up at least 100% year-to-year in their timeslots. So far so good for ABC Friday.
  • Against remarkably heavy 8/7c competition, Undercover Boss was back in reasonably respectable fashion, though it was near the low end of last season's numbers. If it fades throughout the season as is Boss tradition, look out, but I don't know that CBS could've expected much more considering how last season ended.
  • NBC found yet another strong option in its patchwork Friday 8/7c plan, this time going with a last-minute Hurricane Sandy benefit concert; it was sustaining programming so it won't count in official averages, but preliminarily it did somewhere in the mid-1's, fairly Mockingbird Lane-esque numbers. That helped keep Grimm pretty high, though it did come down a bit from last week's Halloween surge.
  • Even some of the usual ratings losers of Friday night were on the upswing, with Kitchen Nightmares and Nikita each picking up a tick.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Question, Friday 11/2/12: Is Friday Reba Country?

I said pre-season that ABC's Last Man Standing and Malibu Country had the best chance for success among the four scripted options in the Friday 8/7c hour. I guess I win by default, since two of those four lineups were rescheduled elsewhere before even airing and a third (CSI: NY) lasted for just two weeks before moving. LMS and Malibu are still a go starting tonight, but it remains rather questionable whether ABC's rearrangement of an already successful Friday will be a net positive. Is Friday Reba country? That's The Question for Friday, November 2, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/1/12

  • ABC won the evening and was 81% stronger than last week with The CMA Awards, but it was down by a full point year-to-year.
  • Fox's The X Factor problem persists, with its two-hour return to the Thursday schedule down by about 20% from its last Thursday airing. It was perhaps hurt somewhat by NBC pulling its comedies in favor of The Voice, which repeated the Monday episode that many may have missed because of Sandy. It was 16% weaker than the usual comedy numbers but certainly had more overlap with its music-themed competitors. NBC then had its highest result since the season premiere from a Sandy-themed Rock Center.
  • Elementary finally reversed its downward trajectory, while The Big Bang Theory began its seemingly annual November upswing. The Vampire Diaries also had a big night.

CW Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are the CW's Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

Fox Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are Fox's Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

NBC Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are NBC's Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

CBS Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are CBS' Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

ABC Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13

These are ABC's Weekly True Power Rankings for 2012-13. This is a leaner, analysis-free edition that gets updated every Wednesday when I do all my other archive updates.

I would expect these pages will be fancied up somewhat in the coming weeks. A couple ideas that come to mind are some explanations and perhaps a number for week-to-week changes. For now, it's just the same tables from the analysis-filled posts of last week.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 26.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 10/31/12

  • We'll probably get official numbers on the week-to-week HUT declines on Halloween from a network press release, but my estimates suggest there were about 7 or 8% fewer adults 18-49 watching TV than last Wednesday, and as expected the drop was more than that early in the evening and less later. (EDIT: A network press release said adults 18-49 usage was -7% from last Wednesday.)
  • As is holiday tradition, you drop more the younger/family-friendlier you skew. Fox's The X Factor only barely did better than its recent erratically-scheduled episodes and was down a whooping 26% from its last "normal" Wednesday episode. The last-minute scheduling following a short World Series may have also hurt. Regular shows on ABC and NBC were all down in the general 10% vicinity, but ABC had good news at 8/7c as the yearly special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (2.7) was up noticeably from last year. And the oldest-skewing shows of the evening, Criminal Minds and CSI were least hit.

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