Monday, December 3, 2012

The Question, Monday 12/3/12: Is Castle Fortified Against a Bad Lead-in?

It's become a reliable holiday tradition at ABC; each year they air one original episode of Castle after pretty much the worst lead-in they can possibly think of. We're talking megabombs like Find My Family, Skating with the Stars and You Deserve It. (You remember all those, right?!) But it's always a fun opportunity for us ratings junkies to see where Castle is really at. Tonight the "honor" goes to a veteran show, but at this point it looks like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition may be nearly as ratings inept as all the rest. Is Castle fortified against a bad lead-in? That's The Question for Monday, December 3, 2012.

Castle With Bad Lead-ins Previous Episodes
2.7 (11/23/09) (2.5 previous episode)
-- 2.9 Find My Family lead-in (3.9 last)
2.1 (12/7/09) (1.5 Find My Family lead-in)
1.9 (12/6/10) (2.5 previous episode)
-- 0.8 Skating with the Stars lead-in (4.0 last)
2.3 (11/21/11) (2.4 previous episode)
-- 1.6 You Deserve It lead-in (3.4 last)
2.0 (12/5/11) (1.0 YDI lead-in)
2.0 (Castle's last ep on 11/19/12, 2.5 DWTS lead-in)
2.03 Castle average this season, 1.9 low
1.3 at 9:00, 1.2 at 10:00 (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last week, with 2.7 DWTS lead-in at 8:00)

Castle seems to hold up very well when ABC simply puts some lower-rated show between DWTS and it (11/23/09, 11/21/11). I guess the massive audience the two share is willing to wait. The big drops have historically come when DWTS is off the evening entirely, as is the case tonight.

But there are a couple other differences; first, Dancing with the Stars is a much lesser lead-in than in any previous fall. Most weeks it was somewhere in the low 2's at 9:30. Though EM: HE is unlikely to do better than low-1's, that's still only gonna be about a one-point difference. (Compare that to previous years: the lower ep of Find My Family was 2.4 points below the last Dancing, Skating with the Stars was 3.2 points lower, and You Deserve It was 2.4 lower.) Another thing to consider is that one of its big drama competitors, Revolution, won't be in the slot. Not really sure what to expect out of the Blake Shelton special in its place.

Overall, I'm expecting another season low in this spot, but not to as severe an extent as in other years.

Over/Under: 1.75.

No entries accepted after 6:00am ET the morning after the date in the headline. If editing your pick, please leave a separate comment.


Spot said...


Castle is not as much lead-in dependent as some people would like to believe ... but is lead-in dependent.

Spot said...

Over, a 1.8, and I would go for 1.9 but I think the Blake Sheldon thing will hurt it. Hawaii should sustain the past week's rating or rise sans revolution. I think castle will be in major trouble in the winter though, as deception looks to be have a much higher crossed-audience with it than revolution did (in the later case, hawaii was the one most affected). Plus, it will come right when dwts is off.. The show will still be renewed baring a major disaster, but the ratings will be awful. I am talking a1.6s/1.5s here.

Spot said...

I think Castle will hit a series low tonight, but how low I don't know.

Even as a fan of the show I'm going to say under. I think the synergy between The Voice and one of its judges having a holiday special will be strong enough to keep Castle's numbers down. Plus tonight's MNF game involves New York City and DC, two of the top 10 tv media markets.

Spot said...


Spot said...

Against my better judgment, Under

Spot said...

I have no idea.

Under- 1.7

Spot said...

Oh, god, this one is tough.

I'm gonna spitball. Said spitball says "Over".

Spot said...

I'm just guessing here with under at 1.7.

Spot said...

Under. Another three-tenths drop like last year would put it at 1.7. I'm thinking 1.6 though.

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