Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 10/30/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • It might have seemed off-base when I suggested Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project were essentially the same show despite Mindy's considerable raw numbers advantage. But give them the same competition thanks to a two-hour The Voice and that's pretty much what you get. 8:00's Raising Hope and Ben and Kate were even, but New Girl and The Mindy Project each took a significant hit. Of course, it also probably didn't help Mindy that she'd been off for three weeks. And I'm not saying kill off any of the 9:00 comedies because of this atypical evening. Just saying this kinda illustrates that the normal Tuesday 8:00 situation is much tougher than the normal Tuesday 9:00 one. We'll see how it goes on the other side of yet another pre-emption for the election next week.
  • Speaking of comedies getting slammed against The Voice, ABC's Happy Endings and Apartment 23 took even bigger hits in their second weeks.
  • Week five of CBS Tuesday finally stopped the bleeding with NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and Vegas all even or up a little.
  • Not expecting finals adjustments as significant on Monday, but Sandy was still in play with 10/9c news specials on NBC (2.9 post-Voice) and ABC (1.3).

The True Top 25, Week Ending 10/28/12 (2012-13 Week Five)


Sunday Night Football won the True Top 25 once again, holding off the top comedies on ABC and CBS. Modern Family held off The Big Bang Theory in a week when TBBT didn't have very much competition. Outside of those usual suspects, it was a highly irregular week; most of the Monday programming was shortened or off the air due to a debate and Fox had five nights fully devoted to baseball. All four World Series games and both NFL games made the list, and a huge result from Grimm put it on the list for the first time.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/28/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The broadcast night was again dominated by sports; Sunday Night Football held off game 4 of the World Series, but the fourth and final game of the Series was the highest-rated by a long shot. Thanks to the NFL lead-in, extra innings and an ultimately decisive game. Those factors helped it beat the year-ago Game 4, the first positive trend in what had been a reliably down-low-teens series. Though Fox is certainly sad to only get four games, even though it was a historically low-rated Series, at least they avoid potentially huge scheduling headaches had future games been rained out (which seemed quite possible).
  • At 10/9c, the 100th The Mentalist was the weakest of the show's three start-on-time results this season, and 666 Park Ave gave back a tenth following its bounce last week.
  • On AMC, The Walking Dead (5.4) was up a few ticks and topped the week in entertainment programming once more. Showtime's Homeland (0.9) hit a series high for the fourth time in five episodes this season.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 10/27/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • ABC finally had a truly marquee matchup on Saturday Night Football with Oklahoma/Notre Dame and had a huge week-to-week upswing. It edged Fox's World Series on the busiest sports Saturday of the season to date; both these programs were well within the top 25 for the week. It was a rare game on the year-to-year upside for ABC, while the World Series was (as usual with the Saturday game) the lowest-rated of this series and down in the low double-digits year-to-year for the third straight game. Usual contender ESPN managed a 1.5 with Alabama/Mississippi State.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Monday 10/29/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Hurricane Sandy made for a crazy evening in the TV ratings world on many levels. Power outages surely brought down overall viewing somewhat, but people shut into their houses by the weather and viewing of hurricane coverage on cable and on local broadcast affiliates appears to have more than made up for that, even by already-high Monday viewing standards. These things are tough to gauge in the True2 scores, so I wouldn't read a ton into those for this week. Three of five networks eschewed their regular programming, helping the competitive situation for ABC and NBC. All of this stuff combined somehow added up to somewhat normal numbers from those remaining originals.

First Two Weeks, Emily Owens M.D.


WEEK ONE
Compared to the low-1's premieres of the CW's other fall dramas, Emily Owens M.D. looked like rather disastrous. It managed just a 0.5 demo against a presidential debate simulcast on the big four. The only qualifiers worth mentioning are that the show didn't have much of a lead-in (Hart of Dixie had a 0.6) and it actually built by a bit from Hart in total viewership.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Friday 10/26/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • For the first of two straight Fridays, the majority of the excitement will take place in the 8/7c hour. NBC did well by my way off-base standards with the pilot of Mockingbird Lane. Good number, but I kinda doubt it's eye-popping enough to reverse NBC's passing on the show. Shark Tank remained on top in the hour and absolutely mowed down the return of Kitchen Nightmares, down by nearly half year-to-year.
  • The much better lead-in and the Halloween theme vaulted Grimm atop the night. It tied the show's biggest number of the season and was its biggest Friday number since the pilot exactly 52 weeks ago.
  • It remains troublesome in CW land as America's Next Top Model dropped to 0.4 for the first time in a couple months and Nikita ticked down to zero point TWO.
  • The finals were a big help to CSI: NY and Blue Bloods, each of which were up double digits to at or tied for season-high levels. Undercover Boss joins next week, but it's noteworthy that those shows sure did a lot better airing after NCIS than after Hawaii Five-0.

Friday, October 26, 2012

CW 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


The Question, Friday 10/26/12: Is NBC Missing Out on a Ratings Munster?


Tonight, NBC will shift its supposedly dead The Munsters remake Mockingbird Lane into holiday special mode. They've actually promoted the busted pilot a decent amount, and I would guess that there is a certain ratings level at which NBC reconsiders their decision not to pick the show up. I also don't think it's getting to that level, but maybe I am way underestimating The Munsters appeal among 18-49 viewers. I say it does better than a Grimm repeat would but doesn't make it up toward Grimm original numbers (which is where it would probably start to raise some eyebrows).

Over/Under: 1.05.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 10/25/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Fox again had a historically low-rated World Series in place of normal programming. It took a larger upward adjustment in finals to better than the relatively typical 10% drop from Game 1 to Game 2. Being a much better game surely helped. But it's still on the double-digit downside year-to-year.
  • I said yesterday that I was taking longer to give up on Last Resort than on 666 Park Ave. Apparently one day longer. The show had a dreadful fifth week. I'd blame the World Series, but female-skewing lead-out Grey's Anatomy unbelievably lost four tenths plus for the third straight episode. Only Scandal was able to hold serve for ABC; apparently it will get a 2.0ish almost completely regardless of the size of the Grey's lead-in.
  • Other tidbits: CBS had another rock-solid opening two hours including a season-high The Big Bang Theory but continues to see Elementary trickle downward; NBC was mostly on the upswing even after the NFL pre-emptions were taken out, but The Office went sub-2.0 for the first time ever; Beauty and the Beast dropped even more in week three; and the NFL Network hit a Thursday Night Football season low (2.2) with a blowout, a bad matchup and World Series competition.

Fox 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 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


Thursday, October 25, 2012

CBS 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


ABC 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


Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 10/24/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • It was another atypical Wednesday with Fox airing Game 1 of the World Series. It ended up at a 3.6 demo, about in line with a typical 3.5ish Wednesday The X Factor. That was down 14% year-to-year and easily the lowest-rated Game 1 since the move to the current Game-1-on-Wednesday scheduling.
  • NBC perhaps got a boost from the 300th episode of Law and Order: SVU, and that then helped Chicago Fire tick up significantly in a potentially promising week three.
  • ABC had a relatively steady night week-to-week, which was something of a sigh of relief for week three of Nashville.
  • The worst night was had by the CW, where Arrow and Supernatural both came down by large amounts. Lot of baseball fans on the CDub?

First Two Weeks, Beauty and the Beast


WEEK ONE
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.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ad Rates: Is There a Thursday Premium? Does Total Viewership Matter on CBS?


I'm going to add a couple more notes onto my big ad rates post from Monday, examining a couple notions that get thrown around with respect to advertising. Another tip of the cap to the original Ad Age article, and thanks to reader Mike Stein for these two questions:



The Question, Wednesday 10/24/12: How Much of the TV World Will the Series Attract?


I'm not going to do many sports Questions because 1) many of you probably don't care much about sports ratings and 2) the logistics are a bit funky because sports ratings are often tied up in "game quality." (See the special time rule at the bottom.) But Game 1 of the World Series is one of the most important data points in the sports TV ratings world, and this will be a nice excuse to re-link to my past World Series ratings info. If you're just into scripted TV, you can look at it as a question of how much competition your shows will have tonight, I guess! How much of the TV world will the Series attract? That's The Question for Wednesday, October 24, 2012.


Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 10/23/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • ABC finally completed its incompatible Tuesday lineup. Happy Endings and Apartment 23 returned at a tick or two better than my super-low expectations in their first airings on a new night. Does that mean they did "well"? Not really, but it might be a level that ABC could at least stick out for the season, if this is in fact the level. The biggest downside for ABC appeared to be the further damage to Private Practice.
  • It was another day of carnage for the newbies. Vegas seemed to have steadied the ship in week three but took a huge shot on the other side of the week-ago debate preemption, and CBS' NCIS pair also took drops. The CW's Emily Owens M.D. was way down from the already basically DOA week-ago 0.5 premiere.
  • On NBC, Go On and The New Normal took hits against the arrival of additional comedy competition. Fox's anchor comedies remained fairly steady, and Ben and Kate rallied a bit back inside the New Girl halo, but the special 9:30 The X Factor did not really work.

First Two Weeks, Chicago Fire


WEEK ONE
Like ABC with Nashville, NBC waited on Chicago Fire's premiere till after the presidential debate in week two, meaning it was in a head-to-head showdown with Nashville. And Chicago Fire pretty much met its low expectations, hitting a 1.9 demo and fully holding onto its Law and Order: SVU lead-in. That's not great, but it's certainly not the worst "conventional" drama they've launched in recent years. Last year's Prime Suspect had just a 1.6 with a much bigger (though less compatible) lead-in.


First Two Weeks, Nashville


WEEK ONE
ABC waited till week three of the season to premiere Nashville due to a week two debate. While the show had a seemingly decent 2.8 demo and was easily ABC's biggest drama premiere of the fall, that was below most expectations and represented a huge drop from its lead-in (the 4.9 demo from Modern Family at 9:30). It was 15% weaker than last year's Revenge premiere in the same slot, though Modern Family was 20% weaker than on that night.


The True Top 25, Week Ending 10/21/12 (2012-13 Week Four)


Sunday Night Football won the True Top 25 once again, but a season low matchup between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati meant it wasn't on top by all that much. The Big Bang Theory was back into the entertainment programming lead, rather easily holding off The Voice and Modern Family which had very similar raw numbers but easier situations.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 10/22/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • On the last and least-watched of the presidential debate nights, the atypical circumstances were a boon to ABC (where a shortened Dancing with the Stars perked up by 14%) and a bane to NBC (where a shortened The Voice dropped by 10%). CBS' repeats equaled the week-ago Partners original numbers.
  • Fox sat out Debate Night in America in favor of Game 7 of the NLCS. It was the highest-rated game of the series but still not much of a standout on a crowded night. And Detroit and San Francisco should certainly make for another "have-not" matchup for World Series ratings. (More on that later.) Baseball lost out to ESPN's Monday Night Football (4.5), but that game was at season-low levels.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/21/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • ABC had a solid bounce-back on Sunday #4, with Once Upon a Time, Revenge and 666 Park Ave all back up by multiple tenths.
  • Rounding up the other networks: on CBS, The Mentalist remains as affected by the NFL overruns as anything we've seen. Starting at 10:56, it dropped huge from last week's in-pattern 2.1 all the way down to 1.5. NBC's Sunday Night Football had a season low up against Fox's NLCS.
  • The top entertainment option was again The Walking Dead (5.1) on AMC, which dropped by 14% from last week's through-the-roof premiere. That's about the same-sized post-premiere drop as it took last season.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 10/20/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Fox college football can't seem to catch a break. They got what looked like another game of national interest, with undefeated Kansas State at West Virginia, and it ends up a 41-point rout. Fox had a 1.0 demo in the 8:00 half-hour but was as low as 0.5 by 10:00! ABC's regional coverage (most of the nation got Florida State/Miami) more than doubled up Fox and also held off the Alabama blowout on ESPN (1.5).

Spotted Ratings, Friday 10/19/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • It was another bellwether evening for ABC's unscripted Friday. Prior to this week, Shark Tank was arguably the most successful show on broadcast TV that had never broken a 2.0. Now, that label's gone, as it cracked the mark for the first time ever. It also helped Primetime: What Would You Do? swing upward.
  • But the evening's scripted options were another story. Nikita bombed bad, down 50% year-to-year and hitting an outright series low in its return, and much of the post-Made in Jersey bounce fizzled on CBS with Hawaii Five-0 the repeat option at 8/7c this week. CSI: NY and Blue Bloods each dropped.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 10/18/12: Beauty and the Bust


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The CW's Thursday strength was fun while it lasted. Week two of Beauty and the Beast took a 42% punch in the gut against the return of nearly full-fledged scripted competition on broadcast. And The Vampire Diaries didn't fare much better, dropping 19% to a number more in line with the pre-premiere expectations.
  • The CBS Thursday Power Hour finally lived up to its name. The Big Bang Theory was the outright biggest scripted show of the week and tied The Voice as the #1 entertainment show. Perhaps even more importantly, Two and a Half Men rose to well above its previous results this season. But Person of Interest and the increasingly underwhelming Elementary were on the downside later in the CBS evening.
  • ABC might get adjusted somewhat due to a San Francisco NFL pre-emption, but either way the takeaway seems that Last Resort did not get much of a rally from last week's pre-debate numbers. And Grey's Anatomy took a second straight big drop.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 10/17/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Start with the good: the CW's Arrow had a very promising week two, holding its week-ago demo rating completely and staying ahead of NBC's comedy duo. Back-nine time.
  • The bad? Almost everyone else. Nashville took a huge 29% tumble in week two. It's not Truly as bad as it looks because its lead-in was more than two full points weaker; the final True2s say it was down about 15%. But it's still pretty discouraging, because Revenge didn't drop nearly this much with a week two lead-in drop. ABC also underwhelmed at 9:30 with the premiere of Suburgatory, which had a seemingly better slot but was down more year-to-year than the other ABC comedy premieres. I'd argue the 20%+ drop from Chicago Fire was even worse than what Nashville did, though it too had little lead-in help as Law and Order: SVU lost a couple ticks from last week. Both shows fell well behind CSI at 10/9c even though that was down as well.
  • Both of the 10/9c newbies also lost head-to-head with FX's American Horror Story premiere (2.2), which was a relatively close second behind CSI. AHS is yet another buzzy cable drama on the rise, but unless it grows post-premiere it looks to remain a bit behind Sons of Anarchy on the FX totem pole. (Sons has settled at approximately this low-2's level this season.)
  • The weak new show results came despite a chaotic Wednesday on Fox, where they had rain-delayed baseball, a Ben and Kate repeat, an hour of original The X Factor and a partial The Mindy Project repeat before returning to baseball. The ratings for X ended up at only about two thirds of typical levels, but I wouldn't read much into that mess.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Question, Tuesday 10/23/12: Do We Trust the Ratings to Have a Happy Ending?


Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B- in Apartment 23 both aired their 2011-12 runs after the biggest scripted show on TV, Modern Family. But they're not in Kansas anymore; tonight they'll be asked to find a pulse on a very weak ABC night vs. brutal competition. Do we trust the ratings to have a happy ending? That's The Question for Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

First Two Weeks, Arrow


WEEK ONE
The CW's Arrow had a strong premiere night, with over four million viewers, a 1.3 A18-49, and a 1.1 A18-34 rating. It skewed pretty old by the CW's standards, but it certainly proved that the network can bring a broader audience in to sample a new show. The 1.3 was about on par with CW drama premieres in the last few seasons, but considering it didn't have a huge lead-in and considering the CW entertainment average dropped 23% last season, 1.3 feels like a pretty big win.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Ad Rates 2012: Six Big Takeaways


It's that time of year again! The great Brian Steinberg over at Ad Age has released his look at the 30-second spot costs for primetime. As every year, I will advise not to read too much into them because they are very rough estimates. Then I will proceed to read too much into them! A lot of this is pretty repetitive with past years, but I suppose it's a good thing that there's some consistent logic. Here are a few of the big things I took away from this year's edition:


Friday, October 19, 2012

The Question, Friday 10/19/12: Will Nikita Spy Respectable Ratings?


I kind of hate doing Questions with numbers this low, but this one seems close enough to a coinflip that I'll run with it. Nikita returns tonight after posting mostly 0.6's in the first half of last season, mostly 0.5's in the third quarter, all 0.4's in the fourth quarter. The HUT is higher now, but it airs against NBC's strong genre drama Grimm. The America's Next Top Model lead-in will probably be worse for this show than local programming was. I'm torn between 0.4 and 0.5, so hopefully I'll get some guesses on both sides.

Over/Under: 0.45.

Revisiting The Live+Same -> C3 Difference


We don't often get a good look at the C3 numbers, otherwise known as the "real" ratings in terms of setting advertising rates. They measure viewing of only the commercials both live and on DVR for three days beyond the airdate. So I feel obliged to mention even this little nugget. Yesterday, MediaPost's Wayne Friedman looked at the premiere week C3 ratings on the big four.

The ultimate conclusion is the same as it usually is when we've seen the C3 numbers in past years: Live + Same Day is still a better indicator than the networks would like to have you think.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Question, Wednesday 10/17/12: Will Modern Family Viewers Say Welcome to Suburgatory?


Tonight, Suburgatory becomes the fifth different show to regularly lead out of Modern Family. But it's the first show to bring a truly established audience to this situation, as Suburgatory had a pretty solid debut season airing between The Middle and Modern. The only other show that had aired at all before getting this slot, Happy Endings, had a 56% year-to-year bounce in its post-Modern slot. I'm not expecting that much from Suburgatory, which is coming from a much better situation, but it should have a good shot to benefit. Will Modern Family viewers say, "Welcome" to Suburgatory? That's The Question for Wednesday, October 17, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 10/16/12: Emplosion


WHAT MATTERS:
  • You know that a show has done poorly when 14 of 14 people went "over" my expectations and yet the show still went below what I expected! The premiere of Emily Owens M.D. actually dropped by a tick from Hart of Dixie despite facing a presidential debate simulcast. It actually built in total viewers from HoD but, like the other CW premieres this year, it skewed older than expected. This is certainly the weakest fall drama premiere on the CDub since their massive fall 2009 flop The Beautiful Life: TBL (which scored a 0.6 with a 1.4 Top Model lead-in). Unless Emily drops to 0.3 or something next week, it should easily air more than the two eps that TBL: TBL did. But it's not looking like a long-term option thus far.
  • The only of the other 8/7c entertainment shows to make a big move was a relatively heavily promoted Ben and Kate, but it moved in the wrong direction on a New Girl-less evening for Fox.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 10/14/12 (2012-13 Week Three)


Sunday Night Football won the True Top 25 once again, this time holding off the entertainment options fairly easily. A Modern Family doubleheader took the next two spots. Thursday's vice presidential debate held several top 25 mainstays off the list, while seemingly depressing the numbers of the 8/7c occupants that were left over (like The Big Bang Theory and Thursday's The X Factor).

Spotted Ratings, Monday 10/15/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Usually Fox's coverage of the Championship Series is a benefit to the other networks; the big ratings don't come till World Series time. But the NLCS actually ended up doing a bit better than the typically weak Bones/The Mob Doctor lineup. The game was still noticeably weaker than yesterday's post-NFL game 1.
  • NBC had another big Monday, with The Voice continuing its impressive hold into its second week of battle rounds and Revolution taking a multiple-tick upswing.
  • CBS was even to a bit up despite a San Diego pre-emption for Monday Night Football, and the CW mercifully had a rally from 90210 after last Monday's premiere disaster.
  • Monday Night Football (5.2) was, as usual, the top show of the night, but this week it held off The Voice by only 0.4.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/14/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The Walking Dead ratings are in, and they're legendary. The premiere posted 10.9 million viewers, which was a basic cable record for a drama series. But you almost feel like they're going easy on the opposition by just bragging about the total viewership, because the even more amazing part is how young those viewers are. 7.3 million fell in the 18-49 demo, which will wind up as a 5.8ish rating. The show added a cool 20-25% to its most recent airing, the 4.7 rating for the season two finale on March 18. And it's the biggest entertainment telecast of the 2012-13 season to date, broadcast or cable, edging the September 26 Modern Family premiere (5.5). Beating everything entertainment on broadcast was one of the only ceilings this show hadn't broken through. Now that, too, is achieved. Next stop, beating the NFL???
  • The ABC Sunday downswing continued with Once Upon a Time and 666 Park Ave each dropping double digits again. The only show to actually hold up week-to-week was, amusingly enough, the one that had to face The Walking Dead head-to-head, Revenge.
  • On CBS, The Mentalist aired on time for most of the country and thus bounced back to exactly its two-weeks-ago numbers.
  • An NFL lead-in probably helped out game 1 of the NLCS, but it still only did four tenths better than the year-ago ALCS game 1 on Fox (which aired on a Saturday). NBC had its first real blowout of the year on Sunday Night Football, but a good Texans/Packers matchup meant it still bounced back a bit from last week. It was still the second-weakest game of the season.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 10/13/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Fox had the broadcast college football landscape to itself, but a comfortable USC win in a game that wasn't nationally relevant meant the game was still among Fox's weakest of the season. It decisively lost to ABC's NASCAR coverage.
  • The top college football option in primetime was on ESPN with a tight LSU/South Carolina game (2.2).

Spotted Ratings, Friday 10/12/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • CBS began the post-Made in Jersey era in a positive way, with the return to 9/8c for CSI: NY and Blue Bloods both picking up a couple ticks from last week. The 8/7c NCIS encore rounded out an evening that was up nearly three tenths vs. last week for CBS.
  • But those shows remained behind steady Friday stalwarts Grimm and Shark Tank. As mentioned in the prelims, it was TBS and its baseball that won the night as a whole (2.0 for the 8:30 Cardinals/Nationals game).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Question, Tuesday 10/16/12: Will Emily Impress?


Tonight brings the third and final series premiere of the fall on the CW, the medical drama Emily Owens MD.  Unlike the first two, Emily doesn't have a big built-in audience or a huge lead-in to help it on premiere night. But it does have the benefit of a simulcast debate as competition, something that seems to have helped Beauty and the Beast on Thursday. Will Emily impress? That's The Question for Tuesday, October 16, 2012.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 10/7/12 (2012-13 Week Two)


Was late getting my half-hour breakdowns last week, so here's the True Top 25 for week two of the season. I updated the SpotVault without the True2 numbers last week, but everything from weeks two and three will be filled in tomorrow.

Sunday Night Football had another True Top 25 victory, but an underwhelming result on a really high-viewed night meant it just barely held off The Big Bang Theory for the title. Big Bang was a rather unchallenged #1 among entertainment programs thanks to Modern Family being out of the mix. The usual Tuesday edition of The Voice also sat out the week, but the clips show still ranked #12.

Monday, October 15, 2012

First Two Weeks, 666 Park Avenue


WEEK ONE
ABC's 666 Park Avenue wasn't completely dead on arrival, but it was as close as could've been expected. On a night when two sophomore dramas had strong, above-3.0 nights for ABC, 666 Park led out with just a 2.1 demo. It only managed a tie with The Mentalist, which had a 1.4-point lead-in disadvantage.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Question, Sunday 10/14/12: Are the Dead Walking Even Taller?


I was going to say something in this space about how The Walking Dead has broadcast-sized ratings. But that might be an insult to The Walking Dead! AMC's massive-rated zombie drama returns Sunday night and has a great chance to outrate every drama on broadcast TV this week, and quite possibly this whole season. Though broadcast dramas and even most of the cable procedurals have taken a hit in the last few years, several of the cable serials have shown an incredible ability to keep picking up Live + Same Day steam. Are the dead walking even taller? That's The Question for Sunday, October 14, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 10/11/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • All the 8:00 shows on the big four were down week-to-week on an atypical debate night. The size of those drops varied but was around 10% on average. The only one that might mean something is the brutal three-tenths drop from week three of Last Resort, but I can't rule out a bit of a rally when things are somewhat back to normal next week.
  • The CW ended up not dropping that much in finals, meaning they had a second straight really good night. The Vampire Diaries defied CW gravity and actually went up by a tick vs. last year's premiere, tied last season's high and also tied the two-years-ago premiere! The series premiere of Beauty and the Beast dropped by 25% from TVD, which was exactly as expected retention-wise. But since TVD exceeded my expectations by three or four ticks, BatB ended up looking pretty good. Score a victory for the CW's tactic of counter-programming the debates, but we'll have to see how the show deals with Grey's Anatomy and the rest of the 9/8c gang next week.

SpotVault - Beauty and the Beast (CW) - 2012-13 Ratings





Beauty and the Beast
Thursdays, 9/8c, The CW







SpotVault - The Vampire Diaries (CW) - 2012-13 Ratings





The Vampire Diaries
Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW







SpotVault - Chicago Fire (NBC) - 2012-13 Ratings





Chicago Fire
Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC







SpotVault - Nashville (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings





Nashville
Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC







SpotVault - Arrow (CW) - 2012-13 Ratings





Arrow
Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW







SpotVault - Gossip Girl (CW) - 2012-13 Ratings





Gossip Girl
Mondays, 9/8c, The CW







SpotVault - 90210 (CW) - 2012-13 Ratings






90210
Mondays, 8/7c, The CW


SpotVault - The Cleveland Show (Fox) - 2012-13 Ratings





The Cleveland Show
Sundays, 7:30/6:30c, Fox







SpotVault - America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings





America's Funniest Home Videos
Sundays, 7/6c, ABC







Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Question Week Five Results


Here are the results and individual standings through three weeks of the ratings prediction game The Question:

Friday, October 12, 2012

First/Last Two Weeks, Made in Jersey


WEEK ONE
The lowest-rated big four premiere of the fall to date was CBS' Friday night drama Made in Jersey, which scored just a 1.1 demo in the 9/8c timeslot. That made the show noticeably weaker than its CBS teammates on the night, CSI: NY (1.3 at 8:00) and Blue Bloods (1.5 at 10:00), and the show was only able to tie Fringe and a repeat of Last Resort for 2nd place. Pretty bad start.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Question, Thursday 10/11/12: Ratings Beauty or Ratings Beast?


One night after Arrow brought some much-needed promising news to the CW, the network dips right back into the series premiere pool with new The Vampire Diaries lead-out Beauty and the Beast. The reviews have been putrid (35 Metacritic as of this writing), and the CW still hasn't been able to get anything to stick in the post-TVD slot. But the TVD lead-in has helped previous occupants to at least open somewhat respectably, and the big four simulcasting a debate tonight should be an advantage competition-wise. Is this show a ratings beauty or a ratings beast? That's The Question for Thursday, October 11, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 10/10/12: Green Giant


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The CW certainly proved they can still open a show, but Arrow was not quite the massive smash in younger demos that appeared possible based on early metered-market household numbers. It had about four million viewers, a 1.3 A18-49, and a 1.1 A18-34 number. Those numbers get worse the younger you go. It is a fantastic start by current CW standards, and a bit better than I expected; my pick was 1.2, but I set the over/under lower because it seemed like most people were going lower. It's not necessarily a big game-changer, but I'm sure the network will happily take it. The show also helped Supernatural take a noticeable week-to-week upswing; I guess having a 333% bigger lead-in is a good thing.
  • The other point of huge interest was the 10/9c drama battle. Chicago Fire did exactly what I expected, holding onto its Law and Order: SVU lead-in (1.8 overall, 1.9 in the 9:30 half-hour) and going just south of 2.0. Nothing special, but potentially workable on scripted-challenged NBC. Nashville of course rode its three-point lead-in advantage to an easy demo win in the head-to-head battle, but I expected a little better, and it dropped noticeably at the half (3.0 -> 2.5). This matchup should tighten up once Suburgatory takes over at 9:30 on ABC, and a rising CSI has a good shot to finish first by next week.
  • As first reported here, last week's debate situation was a boon to NBC, where Animal Practice and Guys with Kids each dropped by two tenths with no debate, and a bane to ABC, where The Middle and The Neighbors rallied a bit with Modern Family (4.7 at 9:00, 4.9 at 9:30) back in the mix.

First Two Weeks, Elementary


WEEK ONE
It wasn't the biggest raw-numbers premiere of the fall 2012 premiere week, but it was the Truly strongest; Elementary began its Thursday run with 13.41 million viewers and a 3.1 demo rating. That put the show a little ahead of its Person of Interest lead-in, and it was also the second-strongest 10:00 entertainment program of the whole weak (trailing only Revolution, and only by a tenth). By the fall 2012's beaten-down expectations, this looked like a rare genuinely good start.


First Two Weeks, Last Resort


WEEK ONE
The premiere of Last Resort managed roughly the same low-2's numbers of last season's new dramas in the Thursday 8/7c slot. Charlie's Angels and Missing each premiered with a 2.1, while Last Resort had a 2.2 demo, finishing a distant third behind fierce competitors The X Factor and The Big Bang Theory/Two and a Half Men. In what was a generally dreadful week for almost everything on broadcast TV, I think that was a little better result than simply the difference between 2.2 and 2.1, but it was still clearly something less than a breakout.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Question Two, Wednesday 10/10/12: Which Way is the Arrow Pointing?


As I said pre-season, Arrow is about as high-stakes as a series premiere can get for a network. If the CW can't get this kind of show to open with a substantial number, when are they ever going to get anything to open with a substantial number? If this bombs tonight, we may as well start the countdown clock on the demise of the network as a whole. I realize many pundits have started said countdown clock long ago, but I remain naive enough to want to see how this show does first. Which way is the network's arrow pointing?  That's Question Two for Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

The Question, Wednesday 10/10/12: Is Nashville vs. Chicago Fire Much of a Rivalry?


(Note: Arrow Question coming up in 30 minutes, so stay tuned!)

A few years ago, the clash between two series premieres was fairly common. There were five of them in the fall of 2010! But the networks have shied away from such showdowns in the last couple years; the weak new show results in 2010 probably had something to do with it. There was only one such battle in 2011, and tonight marks the only one of 2012, at 10/9c between ABC's Nashville and NBC's Chicago Fire. (And even this one probably only happens because last week's debate screwed with scheduling.) The shows' lead-ins would suggest one show has a big situational advantage. So is Nashville vs. Chicago Fire much of a rivalry? That's The Question for Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 10/9/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • NBC had a strong Tuesday #3, as it looks like Monday's The Voice viewers approved of the new battle round tweaks. The Tuesday edition was also on the upswing vs. the last fully original episode two weeks ago. Go On and The New Normal mercifully got back to about their two-weeks-ago numbers, and Parenthood had a big week by its standards, winning the 18-49 race at 10/9c (6 share vs. Vegas' 5) and cracking a 2.0 for the first time since 2011.
  • The other new shows pretty much stabilized. A steady Vegas probably pretty much sewed up its back nine considering the NCIS pair took declines earlier in the evening.
  • The return of a full-strength Voice may have taken a bite out of several 8/7c occupants, including NCIS and especially Hart of Dixie, which took a big drop from last week's 0.7 but thankfully got back up to a 0.5 after finals.

First Two Weeks, The Neighbors


WEEK ONE
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).


First Two Weeks, Guys with Kids


WEEK ONE
As with all the other NBC comedies, I'm not counting the preview ratings (a 2.2 demo after America's Got Talent, airing two weeks before the timeslot premiere). In its debut at 8:30, Guys with Kids scored a pretty weak 1.6 demo. The good news is that this was better than what its Animal Practice lead-in managed (a 1.4).


First Two Weeks, Animal Practice


WEEK ONE
Animal Practice had some sampling after the Closing Ceremony of the Summer Olympics on August 12 (12.8 million viewers, 4.1 demo), but the show couldn't parlay that into a respectable beginning in its Wednesday lead-off role. Animal Practice debuted with just a 1.4 demo, a considerably weaker number than NBC had with the timeslot premiere of Up All Night (2.4) a season ago. And it tied Up All Night as NBC's lowest-rated scripted show during the traditional premiere week.


Spotted Ratings, Monday 10/8/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • One of the lessons of the early part of the season is that the "throwaway" lineups are always even more disastrous than the previous ratings suggest they'll be. If you bail on a night, so will the viewers. First, there was the NBC Thursday ugliness, and now we've got the CW Monday ugliness. 90210 and Gossip Girl both did a tenth to two tenths worse than I expected, and I didn't think I was expecting that much. Both those numbers were down more than 40% year-to-year (and the finals drop means 90210, at least in our heavily rounding-influenced numbers, was down more than half).
  • Most of the big four shows were relatively close to unchanged, with a season-high Castle an exception. The CBS lineup was up a bit in prelims but ended up down a bit after finals due to an NFL pre-emption.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 10/7/12: 666 Puke


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Yet another new show had a bad week two as ABC's 666 Park Ave dropped by 19%, ensuring that none of ABC's three premiere week newbies will even break a 2.0 demo in week two. While Park is in trouble, it was perhaps even more disheartening for ABC that the night's sophomore dramas also took double-digit declines. Once Upon a Time dropped by 13% and Revenge by a 666-esque 19%.
  • The winner of Sunday number two had to be Fox's animation lineup. Last year, the only episode of The Simpsons that had post-NFL level ratings without the nationwide NFL lead-in was the Treehouse of Horror episode. While this year's edition didn't quite do that well, I still expect it'll be the biggest ep of the season without that lead-in. Family Guy's Nielsen ratings-themed episode was up a tick from last week's premiere, and American Dad! also picked up a tick. The premiere of The Cleveland Show held up after finals and had a very good showing by 7:30 standards, though it was no doubt helped by regional NFL lead-ins (The Simpsons rerun at 7:00 did crash after finals).
  • Welcome to the 10:30 start times, The Mentalist. This was a pretty good illustration of how the NFL overrun generally works: great for 60 Minutes, good for The Amazing Race, relatively meaningless for the 9:00 show and a big hurt to the 10:00 show.
  • Saints/Chargers on Sunday Night Football was, despite a relatively close game, easily the weakest result of the season.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 10/6/12


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Fox's West Virginia/Texas pulled into a tie with ABC's Nebraska/Ohio State and ESPN's Georgia/South Carolina (1.5) on a football-packed Saturday night. Considering it was the only close primetime game down the stretch, though, Fox probably could've reasonably expected better.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Question, Tuesday 10/9/12: Will Any of Three Week Three Newbies Drop By 0.3?


If there was one day where there may have been a shot for a broadcast entertainment programming renaissance, I'd have said Tuesday. The incumbents don't provide a ton of competition, it's one of the very few nights without football in the fall, and the new shows on this evening were well-reviewed. Instead, the new offerings on Fox and CBS have pretty much limped out of the gate. Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project may have gotten full season orders, but both dropped by a half point in week two and are now sub-2.0. Ancient-skewing Vegas also shed a half point and continues to drop big at the half, and yet it too is likely to get picked up because of the big names and the CBS problems elsewhere. So they'll have some time, but if there's any long-term promise, we need to see if they can actually settle down at somewhat workable levels. Will any of the three week three newbies drop by 0.3 more? That's The Question for Tuesday, October 9, 2012.

First Two Weeks, Vegas


WEEK ONE
There was a lot of interest in the premiere of CBS' new period drama Vegas. Unfortunately, it was mostly age 50+ interest. The 14.85 million viewers on premiere night got CBS advertising the show as TV's #1 new drama, but in the all-important 18-49 demo, Vegas was not close to that title. It averaged just a 2.5, blowing about a fourth of its NCIS: Los Angeles lead-in (3.3 at 9:30). It also took a big drop in the second half (2.7 at 10:00 -> 2.3 at 10:30).


First Two Weeks, The Mindy Project


WEEK ONE
Most people felt the best hope among Fox's fall 2012 newbies was comedy The Mindy Project. And it did have the best premiere ratings (a 2.4 demo on premiere Tuesday), but that was weaker than most expectations. It held onto 86% of its New Girl lead-in (2.8) and was three tenths ahead of the 8:30 Fox newbie Ben and Kate (2.1).


First Two Weeks, Ben and Kate


WEEK ONE
On Fox's underwhelming premiere Tuesday, the weakest show of the bunch was 8:30 newbie Ben and Kate, which managed just a 2.1 demo and lost a quarter of its New Girl (2.8) lead-in. It was three tenths below the launch of fellow Fox newbie The Mindy Project (2.4), which launched at 9:30 with the same size lead-in.


Monday, October 8, 2012

The Question, Monday 10/8/12: Does the CW's Big Week Begin Weak?



It's go time, CW. This week they have what feels like a very high-stakes premiere on Wednesday (Arrow), then they trot out their latest post-Vampire Diaries attempt on Thursday (Beauty and the Beast). While the returns of Hart of Dixie and Supernatural last week went all right, that was kind of expected; Hart of Dixie is a young program that may have picked up some audience over the summer, while Supernatural was moving from Friday to Wednesday and facing a simulcast on the big four. If it's gonna be another brutal season on the CW, the first big warning sign probably comes tonight, when the CW goes with low-rated veterans 90210 and Gossip Girl. Does the CW's big week begin weak? That's The Question for Tuesday, October 8, 2012.

First Two Weeks, Partners


WEEK ONE
You could certainly argue that CBS' whole comedy lineup underpeformed on premiere Monday, but Partners in particular stuck out to the negative. The show premiered with just a 2.4 demo, dropping a full third of its How I Met Your Mother lead-in. That's probably already at a number where a repeat of The Big Bang Theory would do better in the short term.


First Two Weeks, The 2012-13 Lineups


Here are my yearly lineups of each new scripted show's premiere rating and its week two drop. I will add the "system" scoring method once I get a few more numbers in. This page will be linked on all of the individual First Two Weeks posts.

SpotVault - 30 Rock (NBC) - 2012-13 Ratings





30 Rock
Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC







SpotVault - Supernatural (CW) - 2012-13 Ratings





Supernatural
Wednesdays, 9/8c, CW







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