Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Question Results Through Fall 2013


Here are the results for the ratings prediction game The Question through the end of fall 2013. We've got a tie at the top heading into 2014! After taking December off, The Question is BACK this Thursday, so mark your calendars!

Schedules Plus, CW Tuesday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

A highlight of the WB's schedule during the Gilmore Girls glory days, Tuesday night became another crumbling frontier during the CW's existence. 90210 began its run with one of the most impressive individual results in the network's history and remained pretty solid through season one. But as it fell, so too did the CDub's Tuesday ratings... until a major rejuvenation in the 2013-14 season.

Schedules Plus, Fox Tuesday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

During the mid-to-late aughts, the definitive primetime lineup took up shop on Fox Tuesdays in the winter and spring: megahit House leading out of giga-hit American Idol. But by fall 2010, both shows were off the night completely, as House shored up Monday during the tail end of its run and Idol moved to Wednesday/Thursday. Fox initially had a stout replacement in Glee, but as that show burned out and moved to Thursday, the network has struggled in its attempts to establish a Tuesday comedy night.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Schedules Plus, CW Monday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

As of the WB/UPN merge, both networks had a reasonably successful Monday lineup; the WB had family dramas 7th Heaven and Everwood, while UPN had a two-hour block of African-American sitcoms. The new CW initially went with the WB approach but quickly audibled into the UPN one. Then in 2008, they set out on their own direction: Dawn Ostroff's infamous teen soaps. While it's not remembered too fondly nowadays, the inaugural lineup in 2008-09 was actually quite successful. But after five years of fairly rapid decline, Monday is now the CW's only major problem weeknight.

Schedules Plus, Fox Monday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

Like much of the Fox schedule, Monday has historically gotten a lot better in the second half of the season. While 24 was a very solid option in the 9/8c option for many years, the shows Fox used to try to get through the fall were almost always much weaker. Fox was never really a major Monday player in the fall until House permanently moved to Monday in 2009.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Schedules Plus, CW Sunday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

The WB/CW Sunday post chronicles the death of a night of primetime programming. While UPN never actually programmed Sunday night, the WB did so pretty successfully with genre drama Charmed. So the powers that be tried to keep the night alive after the CW merger. Unfortunately, nothing the CW put there in its first year had anywhere near the power of Charmed. And things got exponentially more embarrassing in the next two seasons. First, they had megaflop family drama Life is Wild, then they sold the night to Media Rights Capital, whose two dramas were as weak as anything we've ever seen on a big-five network. Starting in 2009-10, the CW gave up on trying to nationally program the night and gave it back to the affiliates.

Schedules Plus, Fox Sunday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

At the beginning of the A18-49+ era, The Simpsons was on a ratings island on Sunday, significantly outrating a bunch of weak/waning comedies. But Fox solidified its Sunday lineup with the 2005 resurrection of Family Guy and successfully accompanied it with fellow Seth MacFarlane show American Dad! Those three have remained in place for nearly a decade, though Dad!'s run on Fox ended after the 2013-14 season.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Top 10 TV Ratings Moments of 2013, 5 to 1


It's time for my fourth annual look at the year's top 10 moments in TV ratings! As always, the criteria are pretty subjective, but I go for a blend of 1) relatively isolated incidents that are impressive for their sheer enormity/cultural impact and 2) moments that exemplify much larger trends in TV this year. The headlines link back to my writings on these moments at the time they happened. Enjoy, please let me know about my most egregious rankings/omissions, and check out the first post from yesterday. Happy New Year!

Here are the three previous years:
2010: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1
2011: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1
2012: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1



Schedules Plus, CW Friday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

When the CW first came together, Friday wasn't much of a problem; they simply threw on the solid-rated WWE's Smackdown! franchise, which UPN had moved to Friday starting in 2005. The CW parted with that franchise two years later, and it may have been a good financial decision, but from a ratings standpoint the night has (almost) never been the same since. Smallville and Supernatural both cycled through the night for a couple years and actually made Friday one of the network's best nights (especially the year they aired together), but otherwise Friday has been a dumping ground for repeats and low-priority stuff.

Schedules Plus, Fox Friday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

Fox Friday has long been a massive wasteland for low-priority programming, burn-offs, movies and repeats. Though this post tries to make sense of it, a lot of other crap not pictured below also cycled through the night, none of it really making a mark. Fox's first decent lineup on the night was really Kitchen Nightmares and Fringe in 2011; prior to that, the only lineup to even break a 50 Plus was an all-repeat night during the 2007-08 writers' strike!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Top 10 TV Ratings Moments of 2013, 10 to 6


It's time for my fourth annual look at the year's top 10 moments in TV ratings! As always, the criteria are pretty subjective, but I go for a blend of 1) relatively isolated incidents that are impressive for their sheer enormity/cultural impact and 2) moments that exemplify much larger trends in TV this year. The headlines link back to my writings on these moments at the time they happened. Enjoy, please let me know about my most egregious rankings/omissions, and check out the now live top five. Happy New Year!

Here are the three previous years:
2010: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1
2011: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1
2012: 10 to 6 | 5 to 1

Schedules Plus, CW Thursday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

In the last year of the WB's existence, it moved Smallville to Thursday, and since then the 8/7c hour has seen by far the least upheaval of any netlet timeslot. Only once has the CW made a move: when they replaced Smallville with a very worthy heir in The Vampire Diaries in 2009. The 9/8c hour has not been quite so steady; after four plus seasons of Supernatural, the network had a new occupant each year for four seasons. Reign broke the streak by staying put in 2014-15, but it's gone for fall 2015.

Schedules Plus, Fox Thursday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

The executive decision is made; there will be separate Fox tables for fall and for winter on the Monday-Friday posts, since their lineups drastically change at midseason much more often than other networks. The winter tables chronicle January/February lineups and may still omit a bunch of spring replacements. We'll start with Thursday, a night on which Fox was completely off the radar during the days of those epic clashes between Survivor/CSI and Friends/ER. It took a move of old reliable Bones to achieve some Thursday respectability, and it took an even more drastic move of American Idol to become a true threat for #1.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Schedules Plus, NBC Wednesday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

For many years, the star of NBC Wednesday was the 20-year procedural Law and Order, which was still quite potent at the beginning of the A18-49+ era. But it really fell hard in NBC's first couple post-Friends years (perhaps owing largely to CBS' competing newbie CSI: NY). That's left a void on Wednesday that NBC's never really been able to fill, even a decade later.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Schedules Plus, NBC Tuesday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

Tuesday was the one NBC night that remained consistently solid even through NBC's very darkest days as a network. While most NBC nights were characterized by crumbling veterans, NBC's relatively young procedural Law and Order: SVU and upstart reality series The Biggest Loser were able to hold up amid the turmoil. And the arrival of The Voice on Tuesday has singlehandedly made the night even stronger than it was at its Biggest Loser/SVU heights.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Schedules Plus, NBC Monday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

In 2003-04, NBC's last truly dominant season, the network had a strong Monday lineup with some unscripted properties and new drama Las Vegas. Then, after a couple years of erosion, it was one of the few nights that NBC was really able to rejuvenate during the network's declining years, riding strong new drama Heroes. As Heroes got softer and then went away, things got very lean on the night for a few years. But Monday became better than ever starting in 2012 when it became the permanent home of very strong reality series The Voice.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Schedules Plus, NBC Sunday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

NBC Sunday started with a respectable duo of Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Crossing Jordan, but the pair weakened as ABC's dramas took over Sunday night starting in 2004. In 2006, NBC acquired the rights to a primetime NFL package aired on Sunday, and it's become an increasingly dominant program as DVRs have eroded entertainment programming ratings.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/19/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The two-hour finale of The X Factor exploded to a whooping 1.7 rating, the series' best Thursday delivery since before the baseball hiatus... but even with this decent finale spike, it was still down forty-five percent from last year's finale. Final verdict on season three as a whole: it was a below-league average show that was down about 40% year-to-year on each night. The wait for official word on its fate begins.

Schedules Plus, NBC Friday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

NBC was a strong player on Friday nights in the first couple years of the A18-49+ era. But as NBC's depth dried up in the post-Friends years, and as CBS developed Friday dynasties Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs, Friday became a much lower priority for the network. A recent surprise Friday success called Grimm has gotten the network back to a respectable level on the night.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/18/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The X Factor joined The Voice in taking an atypical week-to-week dip for its performance finale. That meant this X data point suffered perhaps the ultimate embarrassment: it was down more than 50% year-to-year! It'll have to go above a 1.5 tonight to avoid the same fate for the season finale. Simon Cowell seems convinced this thing is getting renewed; all I can say about that is it'd be fascinating to hear the execs have to justify that decision at press tours. X was also crushed by some special programming on other nets, including ABC comedy repeats and, for the second straight week, NBC's The Sing-Off (itself down from last Wednesday on a low-usage night).
  • The night's real winner was ABC, where The Goldbergs repeated pretty well in its first ever Wednesday tryout. (It was two ticks above last year's corresponding The Neighbors repeat.) And Barbara Walters' final 10 Most Fascinating People special was up a tick year-to-year even though it led out of an original Modern Family last year.

Schedules Plus, NBC Thursday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

NBC Thursday is one of the uglier stories that Schedules Plus has to tell: an epic descent from literally top to bottom. This night was TV's strongest three-hour weeknight lineup in 2003-04 and its weakest in 2012-13 and 2013-14. NBC managed to stop the bleeding in a couple season (the final season of ER and the peak season of The Office), but the general trend is down and fast.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The True Top 25, Week Ending 12/15/13 (2013-14 Week Twelve)


A season-low Sunday Night Football held off The Big Bang Theory for another True Top 25 crown as most entertainment programs finished out their 2013 original runs. A surging midseason finale of Scandal was broadcast's top drama, while Fox had more representation than usual thanks to a really good Sunday for their animated comedies. The Millers joined Agents of SHIELD and Sleepy Hollow to make it a trio of new shows on the list, while Shark Tank was, as usual, the only Friday series.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/17/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • NBC got its usual bounce for the two-hour season finale of The Voice, but (like most of the back half of the season) it was down nearly 20% year-to-year. The trend in the back half of the season might seem somewhat worrisome, but the show should come back strong after all the Winter Olympics promotion.
  • CBS was the only other network in originals, and upward finals adjustments took NCIS and Person of Interest off of season lows and to slightly below average levels.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 12/15/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Leading out of the NFL game of the day and airing opposite a season-low NFL matchup on NBC, Fox's animated lineup had a really big night, with new season highs and double digit growth across the board.
  • CBS was stronger than usual for an NFL-less Sunday with the two-hour season finale of Survivor, down 19% from last fall's finale. (However, given the show had an NFL lead-in last year and only a couple regional lead-ins this year, that's probably not as bad as it seems.)
  • ABC was down on midseason finale night with Once Upon a Time and Revenge.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 12/14/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • On a night full of repeat holiday specials, CBS ruled the roost, riding Rudolph and Frosty to one of its best Saturday nights of the season.
  • Fox was also above average with its first UFC turn of the season, but it was down massively from the 2.1 for last year's December telecast.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 12/13/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • While last week's near-unanimous Friday growth caused some rejoicing, the True numbers from that night were mostly unimpressed, arguing that there was more overall viewing than usual for a Friday. Maybe there was something to that, as most shows came back down on an unlucky Friday the 13th. Particularly jarring were the drama performances; the Grimm roller coaster shot down to a season low 1.2 average across its two original hours, while Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods also hit/tied season low points.
  • The only real winner this Friday was ABC, where a steady Shark Tank stretched its lead over everything else on the night to more than a half point and 20/20 was broadcast's only riser.

Schedules Plus, CBS Wednesday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

At the very beginning of the A18-49+ era, CBS Wednesday was a problem night. But developing CSI: NY and Criminal Minds in back to back seasons cured a lot of ills. The 8:00 hour remained a problem for pretty much those dramas' entire time together, but starting in fall 2010 CBS locked it down by moving Survivor to the night. A second former Thursday megahit joined when the original CSI took over 10/9c in 2011, creating a solid three-hour lineup that was intact for three years.

Schedules Plus, ABC Wednesday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

ABC Wednesday has centered around one signature show in recent years, but those shows have been very different. At the start of the A18-49+ era, reality series The Bachelor was in charge. Then came breakout drama Lost in 2004. And after a brief stop-off with Private Practice, Wednesday then became a comedy-centric night, led by two-time megahit Modern Family.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/16/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The December downturn in overall viewing continued onto the last relatively normal Monday of 2013, as most regular originals were down 10% or a little more. (Mike and Molly and Hostages fared better since their last originals aired after repeats, but M&M was still below all its post-original eps.) The drops were most disappointing for The Voice, down two ticks on its last performance night (when it almost always grows), and ABC's holiday filler The Great Christmas Light Fight, which dropped 29% in week two.

SpotVault - Specials & Movies (CW) - 2013-14 Ratings





Specials & Movies on The CW






SpotVault - Specials & Movies (Fox) - 2013-14 Ratings





Specials & Movies on Fox






SpotVault - Specials & Movies (NBC) - 2013-14 Ratings





Specials & Movies on NBC






SpotVault - Specials & Movies (CBS) - 2013-14 Ratings





Specials & Movies on CBS






SpotVault - Specials & Movies (ABC) - 2013-14 Ratings





Specials & Movies on ABC






SpotVault - The Great Christmas Light Fight (ABC) - 2013-14 Ratings





The Great Christmas Light Fight
Mondays, 9/8c, ABC







SpotVault - The Sing-Off (NBC) - Fall 2013 Ratings





The Sing-Off
Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on NBC







Schedules Plus, CBS Tuesday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

CBS Tuesday takes a long journey from being one of its network's very weakest nights to one of its very strongest, for all eleven years starting with one single four-letter show. NCIS has found a very stable lead-out in its spin-off series, but the 10/9c hour remains one of CBS' most perplexing hours on the sked historically; no series has hit the league average... until this season.

Schedules Plus, ABC Tuesday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

ABC Tuesday, like ABC Friday, starts by chronicling the death of a family comedy night. In its place came the emergence of Dancing with the Stars' second night, along with an incredibly inconsistent cast of characters around it. As you might expect, all the discontinuity came because very little of this stuff worked. Only once in eleven years has this lineup hit league average in the fall, and that was when the 90-minute DWTS performance show inhabited the night.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Schedules Plus, CBS Monday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

CBS Monday is revered for its two-hour comedy block, now the longest-running active block on TV (though it's breaking up in fall 2014!). However, the lineup historically hasn't had anything like the ratings dominance of NBC Thursday during the Must See TV years. In fact, in the years after Everybody Loves Raymond and before How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory came to life, the two-hour average actually went below the league average! But the night's ratings were long propped up by one of the A18-49+ era's strongest 10/9c programs, CSI: Miami.

Schedules Plus, ABC Monday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

ABC Monday could very well have become a major disaster area after the network lost its usual fall fixture Monday Night Football following the 2005-06 season. But the emergence of a new reality franchise called Dancing with the Stars not only kept them above water on Monday; it occasionally helped them do even better than the MNF-fueled lineups!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Schedules Plus, CBS Sunday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

CBS Sunday was the last bastion for the regularly scheduled movie night on a fall weeknight lineup. Those movies became much weaker by the mid-2000s, prompting them to join the entertainment series game on a three-hour basis. It has not been one of the network's stronger evenings, but stalwarts like Cold Case and The Amazing Race have carved out lengthy runs.

Schedules Plus, ABC Sunday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

ABC Sunday looks at one of the most consistent lineups on any network. Setting aside that America's Funniest Home Videos is always at 7:00, the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Desperate Housewives pairing aired together for seven full seasons (plus a few extra weeks at the beginning of fall 2011). Perhaps even more improbable was five full seasons out of a completely intact four-hour lineup during the Brothers & Sisters years.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/12/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Several shows that seemingly got slammed against NBC's The Sound Of Music Live! last week bounced back somewhat with NBC over three points weaker. As in the prelims, The Big Bang Theory and The Millers saw some bounce-back, but it was dampened after football pre-emptions came out, and the results ended up being pretty dire in the 9:00 hour, where The Crazy Ones tied its Halloween series low and Two and a Half Men set a new one.
  • ABC's Grey's Anatomy also bounced all the way back, with the double benefit of a Glee repeat as competition in the 9:00 hour. And the midseason finale of Scandal went back above 3.0 for the first time since week three.
  • NBC's The Sing-Off didn't hold up so well in its first turn on the network's accursed Thursday night, but it did remain narrowly ahead of The X Factor.
  • The NFL Network closed out its Thursday Night Football season with a very strong 3.3 rating, the franchise's highest since September (and the network's biggest ever rating this late in the season).

Schedules Plus, CBS Friday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

CBS Friday looks at the half-decade reign of terror of dominant bookends Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs and all the shows in between that couldn't quite live up to those standards, then moves into the still perfectly fine CSI: NY / Blue Bloods era.

Schedules Plus, ABC Friday


Schedules Plus is another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. Right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

ABC Friday features the return and fall of TGIF, the rise of Shark Tank and a new TGIF, and the lean years in between.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Schedules Plus, CBS Thursday


Over the rest of December, I will be rolling out the first edition of Schedules Plus, another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. This is not the full realization of the vision here, but I wanted to release a somewhat condensed version because the "complete" version may well be so daunting that it never gets done. The major point is that right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

Schedules Plus, ABC Thursday


Over the rest of December, I will be rolling out the first edition of Schedules Plus, another innovative application of the historical ratings statistic A18-49+. I hope this will be the ultimate resource for comparing the evolution of shows, networks and timeslots over time, complete with ratings numbers that make a fair adjustment for the collective decline. This is not the full realization of the vision here, but I wanted to release a somewhat condensed version because the "complete" version may well be so daunting that it never gets done. The major point is that right now this only includes programs aired in the fall. Much more about the process that went into this at the bottom.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/11/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • While down 25% from its post-Voice premiere, The Sing-Off still proved a pretty nice option in its two-hour self-starting debut on Wednesday; it did a few ticks better than NBC's usual Revolution / Law and Order: SVU mix, and it's still an improvement (even in raw numbers) on the show's previous full-fall cycle from two years ago. It led into a modest-rated Kelly Clarkson Christmas special, which posted the same number as last year's Michael Buble special.
  • The other networks all had their regular lineups in full original mode, most of them for the last time in 2013; ABC saw some recovery for Modern Family but a dip from Nashville, while CBS' crime procedurals actually did no better than their last airings on Thanksgiving Eve. (CSI was even worse.) The CW's The Tomorrow People ended up with a dip to its first 0.5, and an announced demotion to Monday followed later in the day.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The True Top 25, Week Ending 12/8/13 (2013-14 Week Eleven)


Sunday Night Football won another True Top 25, and a huge Big Ten Championship Game put the pigskin in the #2 slot as well for a second straight week. Next was top entertainment series draw The Big Bang Theory, and rounding out a very strong top four was NBC's breakthrough special The Sound of Music Live! The drama race narrowly went to Scandal in a very good week for both of the top two draws; Scandal was up a tick even with the NBC competition over three points stronger than usual from SOML, while The Blacklist's fall finale grew by two tenths over its normal level.

With a few of the top newbies sitting out, only two made the cut this week; we seem to be at a point where one of the three new CBS comedies sneaks on every week, and this time it was The Crazy Ones' turn (for the first time since week three). Shark Tank was the lone Friday representative as usual, but it just barely made it thanks to irregularly high viewing estimates on Friday.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/10/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The Agents of SHIELD roller coaster took another sharp dip, closing out the fall on a new low after a couple recent increases. The show was probably somewhat inflated last week by an easier situation, but dropping this much is simply not the way the show wanted to head into a four-week break. However, ABC got better news in the 9:00 hour from The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife with holiday themes, a better lead-in and no comedy competition.
  • SHIELD was not alone in dropping against the return of original CBS competition; all the regulars on NBC were down a bit as well. Even the NCIS duo had lower-end performances.
  • Fox pre-empted its comedies for the latest edition of its blatant attempt to get into the country music specials business, The American Country Awards, even year-to-year. And CBS' Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was down just a bit from last year but still the top show of the evening.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 12/8/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • With The Walking Dead on hiatus and NBC providing a mediocre Sunday Night Football matchup between Carolina and New Orleans, the broadcasters got a rare bit of Sunday relief. This was most evident on male-skewing Fox, where (with an assist from an NFL lead-in) all four cartoons were at or very near season high levels.
  • On CBS, The Amazing Race wrapped up its season at 19% behind last season's finale, about the same year-to-year trend it's experienced all season. And the returns from revamped The Mentalist remain surprisingly promising, as it adjusted up to another new season high (albeit with its largest lead-in of the season from TAR).
  • After finals adjustments, ABC ended up with minor week-to-week growth out of both Once Upon a Time and Revenge.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 12/7/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • In college football, national championship play-in games always draw a crowd. (Just look at Notre Dame-USC hanging a 5.1 last year.) On this night, somewhat uniquely, there were two of them going head-to-head in primetime, and the Big Ten was a clear winner over the ACC (and up triple digits vs. last year's less nationally significant game). Much of the gap was due to the quality of games; the discrepancy was much closer in the first half-hour (Big Ten 3.4 to ACC 2.3), but by 10:30 the Big Ten's game was nearly 4x the ACC (5.0 to 1.3). Given Florida State was a 29-point favorite in the ACC game, you could argue they did ABC a solid just by playing to a scoreless tie in the first quarter.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 12/6/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Eleven regular series aired on Friday night. All eleven were up from their most recent originals in 18-49, at least preliminarily. (The Neighbors and The Carrie Diaries adjusted down in finals to merely even.) Among the most significant: NBC swung back up after a Black Friday hiccup with Grimm and, perhaps more importantly, grew at 10/9c with Dracula. After three straight 0.9's, it now finds itself back at a level that could make season two look more reasonable for the co-production... if it can maintain it when it returns, which won't be for at least four weeks. (Grimm airs two episodes next week, then both go into repeats.) And Fox's Bones continued its impressive recovery on Friday, tying the occupant of its old slot, Almost Human.
  • Some of the growth may have come because CBS sat out its regular lineup and was softer than usual, especially in the last two hours. They had solid holiday specials Frosty the Snowman and Yes, Virginia at 8:00, an NCIS: Los Angeles repeat at 9:00 and the Grammy Nominations Concert at 10:00. All three specials were down double-digits year-to-year, with the concert down 27% in a move from Wednesday to Friday.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/9/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Two years after an ill-advised turn as a full-fall staple, The Sing-Off is back into its much more successful Holiday Event Mode, and it did significantly better than any of its fall 2011 numbers. However, it surely benefited from its first ever direct The Voice lead-in, and it dropped all the way from 2.9 at 9:00 to 2.1 by 10:30 (in prelims). Original airings this Wednesday and Thursday will be more telling.
  • I've been slower than many bailing on Almost Human's prospects, but I was ready to go if it dropped again this week against depressed competition. But it didn't happen; the show was up a tick. So I consider it still in the mix (just compare it to everything the network is airing from Tuesday to Thursday!), but it will still have to deal with original CBS next week and then some rather erratic scheduling early in 2014.
  • A whooping four-tenths downward adjustment in finals left the premiere of ABC's own holiday reality series The Great Christmas Light Fight at a mediocre 1.4 demo.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Ad Rates: How Accurate are Ad Rates Surveys?


As I say every year, the article with 30-second spot prices is one of the most important things written about the TV industry each year. Thousands and thousands of articles are written about Nielsen ratings, but ratings are several steps removed from what really makes and breaks the industry: $$$$$. The ad rate article takes us another step closer to the profitability equation, and doing that can teach us things about how to value shows beyond the adults 18-49 rating starting point.

However, as I also say every year, these articles are estimates, based not on every single advertisement but on those particular people surveyed. Some crazy things can happen if you look at them as exact gospel on a case-by-case basis. I say this mostly because the articles themselves say it, but I've never really known just how much error is to be expected.

This year, something new and helpful happened in the world of ad rates media: competition. I actually found three different articles with complete ad rates tables. (Maybe this always happened, but I sure wasn't aware of it.) I don't know the details behind the process that goes into compiling these tables, but it's pretty clear from the tables that it's not a situation where each publication is fed the exact same numbers from the exact same source. There are disagreements on every show. Unlike a Nate Silver, who can test the polls he uses against actual election results, there are no actual results here. So we won't be able to truly answer the question in the headline. But it will still give us a little better idea of what's going on if we compare these estimates with each other - and with A18-49 ratings.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/5/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • NBC's pre-season initiative to create "event" television is probably a good idea in general; if it works, it gets people to re-write the DVRing rules that have ground away at live ratings for entertainment series. However, the results so far have been very mixed, with mega-hyped pre-season game show Million Second Quiz a clear disappointment. But last night, the "event" initiative scored, and it scored really big. The Sound of Music Live! (18.6 million viewers, 4.6 A18-49, and an even more impressive 4.3 A18-34) nearly tied The Big Bang Theory as Thursday's biggest program, narrowly losing to TBBT at 8:00 but walloping the competition in every other half-hour. It pulled about four times the demo delivery of NBC's usual Thursday travesty. (Though the TLa number below compares it with last week's football game.) The reviews weren't good, but this is the kind of rating that will encourage more of this brand of splashy risk-taking; that's a good thing for all viewers.
  • NBC's takeover wasn't a huge game-changer for the competition, though it seemed to be at its most impactful on younger-skewing Fox and the CW; The X Factor, Glee, Grey's Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries all got nicked. CBS was also a little off in the 8/7c hour with TBBT and The Millers but steadier from there. By the 10/9c hour, at least a few Sound of Music viewers were fleeing, and Scandal was actually up a notch.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The True Top 25, Week Ending 12/1/13 (2013-14 Week Ten)


Sunday Night Football dominated a holiday week; as last year, the Thanksgiving Thursday game had a huge True advantage over a lower-end Sunday game mostly because of the huge overall viewing difference; more than 30% more A18-49ers were watching TV on Sunday than on Thursday.

With most Wednesday/Thursday/Friday shows sitting out, Monday's The Voice was the top entertainment program, with increasingly legit-looking The Blacklist #2. How I Met Your Mother was the top sitcom. Four new shows made the cut as Mom had an eyebrow-raising surge to get on the list for the first time all season; Almost Human was just a hundredth of a point away from making it five newbies. The sole Friday/Saturday representative was CBS' very strong Garth Brooks special on Friday.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/4/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • NBC had its best Wednesday of the season with big performances from holiday specials Christmas in Rockefeller Center and Saturday Night Live Christmas, which combined to nearly double the usual entertainment series ratings and go roughly even with the same lineup a year ago. (Rockefeller was up a bit and SNL down a bit.) That may have been a factor in another horrible performance out of The X Factor and a very weak night for ABC's comedy block, led by easily season low showings out of The Middle, Back in the Game and Modern Family. (Super Fun Night also got there after finals.)
  • As for the good news: the finals adjustments meant Arrow tied a season high in its introduction of the Flash, while The Tomorrow People ticked down after adjustments to its fifth consecutive 0.6. CBS' only original, Survivor, was also at best-since-October levels.
  • On cable, TNT had a soft start from its new series Mob City (2.29 million viewers and a 0.6), which is being double-pumped for three weeks.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 12/1/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • After a couple massive Peyton Manning-fueled Sunday Night Footballs, NBC took a major week-to-week dive this week with a stinky Giants/Redskins matchup. Despite this, ABC saw no rally as Once Upon a Time came back from a week off, and they were a bit lower than normal from 9-11 with Hallmark movie Christmas in Conway, down huge from the December Hallmark movie's 1.8 a year ago.
  • Fox sat out its animated anchors but aired the bottom-of-hour shows in originals; Bob's Burgers and American Dad! matched or edged their repeat lead-ins.
  • CBS debuted its new-look The Mentalist with a season high; that's definitely something given it started at 10:50.
  • And AMC wrapped up the fall season of The Walking Dead (6.1) at just a single tenth behind Sunday Night Football. TWD's explosive year-to-year growth was somewhat tempered after some big post-premiere drops, but this episode was still 13% ahead of last fall's finale.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 11/29-11/30/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Typically Black Friday and the following Saturday are somewhat overrated as a part of the "holiday weekend," as they tend to post overall viewing levels in line with those nights' normal (low) levels. That was fairly close to the case again, though it seemed a bit low in the Friday 9/8c hour where Grimm and Raising Hope each had drops.
  • Saturday Night Football had its third nationally unappealing matchup in four weeks; over the last month, the franchise has gone from +14% year-to-year all the way to -16%! (Last year's penultimate week scored a 5.1 demo for a Notre Dame national championship play-in game; this year, the last four games haven't even hit a 5.1 combined!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/3/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Tuesday presented an opportunity to see Fox's comedies under new situations. Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine benefited a bit from a very easy timeslot opposite repeats of both NCIS and Agents of SHIELD, while The Mindy Project suffered a bit after a repeat of New Girl.
  • ABC's comedies also saw a situation change with lead-in SHIELD in repeats. Their first airing in this situation was arguably what got these shows their back nines, but the second one didn't go quite as well for The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife, though Goldbergs still built big from the SHIELD repeat. And the alphabet's latest stab at 10/9c, the premiere of Primetime: What Would You Do?, was notably weaker than when it aired on Friday last year.
  • NBC was on the upswing vs. the smattering of repeats with The Biggest Loser, The Voice and Chicago Fire all hitting their best numbers in several weeks.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/2/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • In its last airing before it gets a without-Voice run in January, the returns were promising for The Blacklist, though not as eye-popping as before a Monday Night Football pre-emption was taken out in finals. The show was up two tenths to its biggest demo rating since week three. (For comparison, it was three tenths above Revolution's fall finale last year, even with The Voice eight tenths weaker now than then.)
  • The end of Dancing with the Stars on ABC used to mean big benefits for the CBS lineup, but it seems DWTS' demo audience has been ground down enough that it really just amounts to a total viewer increase for CBS nowadays. The shows were basically even demographically, with Mom giving back some of last week's big surge.
  • The fourth episode of Almost Human was down another couple tenths, making it now clearly somewhat weaker than Bones was in the hour; we'll see if it can stabilize next week with CBS in repeats and lead-out Sleepy Hollow returning.

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2008-09 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2007-08 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2006-07 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2005-06 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2004-05 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2003-04 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2002-03 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2001-02 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 2000-01 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - ER (NBC) - 1999-2000 Ratings


ER
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Holiday Roundup 11/27-11/28/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • As has been noted here every year, holiday viewing depressions are always harsher to younger-skewing shows and a smaller deal for older-skewing ones. The ever-solid CBS Wednesday lineup was down just 11% on Thanksgiving Eve, but Fox's all original Wednesday and Thursday were down in the vicinity of 30%. It's not that shocking for The X Factor and Glee, but it certainly doesn't help the narrative surrounding the struggling shows.
  • NBC's new NFL Thanksgiving tradition was a lower-end matchup compared to the usual Sunday Night Football this season, and it was down 4% from the same game last year.
  • Of some note is that CBS had the late afternoon NFL lead-in on Thanksgiving, which surely helped juice The Big Bang Theory a bit.

First Two Weeks, Almost Human


WEEK ONE
I've kinda stopped counting out-of-slot previews as "week one" in these things, but I will still note that Almost Human previewed after a Sunday NFL game with a 3.1 demo. (Its lead-in The OT averaged a 5.7.) It then pulled a 2.3 demo in its timeslot premiere, making it a slightly better option than previous occupant Bones. The True metric says the preview and premiere performances were almost exactly equal, though I think it probably underrated the preview rating somewhat. (It likely wasn't quite as compatible with the NFL as the nearly identical skews suggested.) The 2.3 demo came against slightly less-than-usual competition as NBC had a The Voice recap special.



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

SpotVault - Nikita (CW) - 2013-14 Ratings





Nikita
Fridays, 9/8c, CW







The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/24/13 (2013-14 Week Nine)


Yet another Peyton Manning game on Sunday Night Football meant yet another incredible number for the second half of the season. In fact, while this game was the fifth-biggest of the season in raw numbers, it was the Truly biggest of the season-to-date, mostly because ABC's very strong American Music Awards made Sunday night much more crowded than usual.

Between those two events was top entertainment series The Big Bang Theory, dominating the entertainment pack yet again in the closest thing we'll have to a "full-strength" TV week between now and the end of 2013. Scandal was the top drama, as True maintains the Thursday 10/9c slot is a few ticks tougher than top raw numbers drama NCIS' Tuesday 8/7c. Four new shows made the cut as The Millers scraped its way back onto the list for the first time in a few weeks, replacing a pre-empted The Blacklist. Shark Tank represented Friday night once again, but just barely in a week that saw a bunch of strong sports/specials make the cutline a bit higher than normal.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/26/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The last full-strength night of TV before the Thanksgiving break had a lot going on. ABC brought in the two-hour finale of Dancing with the Stars, down 20% year-to-year. But perhaps the network's more interesting development was how Agents of SHIELD responded to its first airing without NCIS competing head-to-head. The show was up two ticks in the demo and a whooping 2.8 million total viewers, meaning a show that's consistently seen well over 40% of its audience in the 18-49 demo went all the way to 34%. Some DWTS pre-tune may also have something to do with that as well, but I have thought for awhile that this "broader" skew might be more sustainable for SHIELD long-term; the show has turned out to be much more procedural than buzzy serial. So maybe NCIS is cutting into it more than expected.
  • Meanwhile, NCIS sat out in favor of the holiday special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which scored an identical demo with something like eight million fewer total viewers. In its first-ever airing without an NCIS lead-in, NCIS: Los Angeles held up rather well demographically but was, like SHIELD, thrown off skew-wise by the different situation, down by about 2.8 million total viewers. And Person of Interest picked up by two ticks in the conclusion of its big three-part event.
  • On NBC, The Voice suffered against DWTS but Chicago Fire had a bounce-back. And Fox perked back up with New Girl and The Mindy Project.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/24/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Sunday's headline event was ABC's American Music Awards, another ABC awards show to completely rebound after a major hiccup last year. The show had a 3.4 last year but a 4.3 in each of the previous two years (and was above 5 for the two years before that). And it did over three times the usual ABC rating in the slot, making things tougher for normal originals on CBS/Fox.
  • NBC posted another huge Sunday Night Football number courtesy of an overtime Broncos/Patriots game. It was down a single tick from last week's gigantic Broncos/Chiefs game, but it's still a fantastic number for this time of year (up 32% from the corresponding game a year ago).
  • Among the two networks airing entertainment programs, the only real surprise on an extremely crowded evening was a very low number from The Amazing Race, which adjusted up but still hit a series low by two tenths and was down year-to-year much more drastically than the other CBS/Fox shows.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/23/13



Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/22/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The Fox Friday nightmare is over, as Bones had a big jump to a much more reasonable number in week two of its Friday run, and it actually eked out a Friday 8/7c win over a below-average Undercover Boss. (According to CBS PR it was a clip show.) We can still debate whether Bones is being best utilized here, but at least now it's a debate; as I said last week, if it had held at 1.2, it would have been a clear misstep. Raising Hope was also up in the 9:30 half-hour (the 9:00 one adjusted down to tie).
  • The CW commenced the six-episode final season of Nikita with terrible (though not exactly unprecedented) numbers.
  • Elsewhere, NBC pre-empted its usual Grimm/Dracula lineup and saw a major decline in the slot with a John F. Kennedy special, while ABC's news department was the big winner with a spiking 20/20.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/25/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • CBS had a fairly encouraging week from its 9:00 comedies Mike and Molly and Mom, each up multiple ticks. The network had a Monday Night Football pre-emption, but Mom actually ended up adjusting up after finals, making for a pretty surprising 21% week-to-week bounce.
  • On the other hand, the holiday began early on Fox, down double digits with Almost Human (now tying the low-end Bones performance) and Sleepy Hollow (a disheartening three tenths below its previous low).
  • ABC was a little stronger than usual with the performance finale of Dancing with the Stars, though this was 19% below last fall's Monday finale. That may have contributed to the further softening of competing The Voice, down another tick and itself running around -20% year-to-year at this point.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Midseason 2014: ABC and Fox


Lots of interesting stuff in the ABC/Fox midseason schedule announcements this week. Here are a few thoughts on some of the big moves:

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/21/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • It was another night of general steadiness on broadcast, with the CBS lineup scoring minor gains for most shows.
  • After finals, everything on Fox/the CW ended up even week-to-week except for The X Factor, up another couple ticks.
  • For the second straight night, the year-ago evening was holiday-impacted, though in this case that's actually a bad thing on the whole (since NBC had Thanksgiving football and Fox had a late afternoon NFL lead-in last year).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/20/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The ABC comedies had a bad day, particularly Modern Family, which went well below any previous results this season. The CBS dramas had a good day, with Criminal Minds and CSI both tying season highs. Arrow swung back down after a couple weeks of growth. Everything else was roughly even.
  • Note for year-to-year comparisons ("y2y" and "Ty2y") in the table: Thanksgiving was a week earlier on the calendar last year, so these results are somewhat "inflated" because they compare vs. Thanksgiving Eve 2012.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/17/13 (2013-14 Week Eight)


Sunday Night Football won another True Top 25 with an incredible number for the second half of the regular season, further cementing Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as one of American culture's top ratings draws. The Big Bang Theory was back in the entertainment programming driver's seat, while Scandal re-captured the lead among dramas. A slumping Shark Tank still eked out a spot on the list, while fellow Friday offerings Undercover Boss and Grimm were each within a tenth of a point of making the cut. Though The Millers remained just off the list, we went up to four new shows represented as the NFL-inflated premiere of Almost Human made the cut (though Agents of SHIELD was fairly close to dropping off). Almost Human figures to be back next week after a decent 2.3 Monday premiere.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/19/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The latest of ABC's Tuesday 10/9c specials was by far its most successful yet; a 90-minute David Blaine special nearly tripled the usual delivery from Trophy Wife and the other specials, suddenly putting ABC on top of a period where it's usually been a distant fourth this season. The alphabet also saw week eight of Agents of SHIELD finally post its first non-drop, up two ticks in a cross-over (using that term very loosely) with the recently released Thor movie.
  • Perhaps partly due to ABC being so dramatically stronger, a few competing programs in the second half of the evening had a tough time; The Voice, Chicago Fire and The Mindy Project were all down multiple ticks.
  • The CW pre-empted The Originals for another weak iHeartRadio special (0.3), but Supernatural proved fairly resilient as always.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/18/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The Monday 8/7c premiere of Almost Human was down by 26% from Sunday's NFL-assisted premiere. So Human has started its Monday run just a bit ahead of Bones' 2.1 average in the slot this fall. A big drop here was to be expected given the change in lead-in, and this is (for now) still a perfectly acceptable level for the timeslot, so once again we'll have to wait to see if the next result says something more definitive. Sleepy Hollow was close to even in its first ep with the new lead-in.
  • NBC had a recap special of The Voice at 8/7c and somewhat depressed numbers for the 9-11 original, adding up to a lineup 12% behind last week's Voice/Blacklist combo.
  • ABC's numbers for Dancing with the Stars came down to relatively typical numbers after football pre-emptions were taken out, with DWTS still bouncing back big from last week's low.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/17/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Fox got what looks on the surface like a solid premiere number from new drama Almost Human, though it might be considered a bit of a disappointment given it had help from the late-afternoon NFL game. (Final half-hour breakdowns were 3.5 -> 2.8.) However, the NFL was perhaps not as much of a boon on this night as it'd be most weeks; the last afternoon game ended at 7:39, which is a few minutes earlier than average, and it looks like NBC hung a way above average number with its own primetime game (Broncos/Chiefs). So probably all we can say with some confidence right now is that it doesn't look like there's a Sleepy Hollow level of interest here.
  • With a competing genre drama in the mix, Once Upon a Time dropped again to a new low, while the roller coaster that is Revenge took another upward swing.
  • The Good Wife pretty much went back to normal when starting on time. It seemed like it was getting a bigger bounce on overrun nights than usual, but that might just be because the 9:00 hour has gotten a lot tougher this fall with The Walking Dead's latest surge.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/16/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Both the football franchises swung way up from last week when they had to face a big CBS game; however, ABC's USC/Stanford Saturday Night Football was still well below average.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/15/13: Fall Off the Bones


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Friday night: not as easy as some shows have been making it look lately. The Friday premiere of Bones went a whooping 40% below the last Monday episode, while Raising Hope was practically invisible in its own Friday debut (pulling less than half of its regular Tuesday demo from last season). That means so far, this lineup effectively looks no better than the previous one (MasterChef Junior and Sleepy Hollow repeats). I was more down on this than most of you simply because I'd seen very little promotion (they seem to be all-out for Almost Human right now), but I still thought each show would do several ticks better than this. Maybe people will become more aware of the moves in time, but if this is the level they're gonna be at, there's really no doubt that Fox screwed up here (and should rectify it).
  • The night's best news came on NBC, where Grimm had a nice bounce-back after a couple rough post-premiere drops. However, it didn't bring Dracula back with it. CBS also had a second straight upswing from Hawaii Five-0, which ended up tying its season high after finals; perhaps some of these new 9/8c viewers came from a dipping Shark Tank.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Question, Monday 11/18/13: How Many Humans Follow Almost Human to Monday?


Tonight Fox has the back half of the two-night Almost Human premiere, which scored a preliminary 3.1 on Sunday with a 3.4 -> 2.8 half-hour breakdown. (We won't have a good look at the number for its lead-in, the NFL post-game show The OT, till tomorrow.)  I'm not expecting anything too catastrophic; tonight will have a bit less competition than usual for Monday 8/7c as NBC airs a The Voice recap special. But the average week two drop is nearly 20%, and with no NFL help for Almost Human, it seems quite likely to go down even more than that.

Over/Under: 2.25.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Question, Sunday 11/17/13: Is the NFL an Almost Perfect Lead-in for Almost Human?


The slate of fall 2013 newbies rounds out on Sunday night with the post-NFL preview of Fox's sci-fi drama Almost Human. The thing here is that even with an absolutely correct gauge on the interest in the show, you could miss by quite a bit simply based on how long and how good the late-afternoon Packers/Giants game is. It could be a great game that ends right at 8:00 and pushes double digits, or there could be a full half-hour of post-game show The OT, which has averaged about a 5.0 this season (and surely much less by 7:59). Because I don't want to have a potential unfair disadvantage information-wise, I'm forcing it to be a crapshoot for everyone! So: THIS GAME CLOSES AT A SPECIAL TIME: 4:00 PM ET ON SUNDAY.

Over/Under: 3.35.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Question, Friday 11/15/13: Is There Hope for a Fourth Scripted Lineup on Friday?


In week two of November sweeps, the Fox network aired just three programs that had a 2.0 or higher 18-49 rating. Tonight, one of those programs makes a move to low-viewed Friday night. Bones has quietly had another very solid season, but the success of its lead-out Sleepy Hollow means Fox is finally following through on the Friday move that they've promised many times and always audibled out of. It joins another series that led off a weeknight last year, the fourth-year comedy Raising Hope, in a lineup that will either make Fox competitive on a relatively crowded Friday, or make us all feel the shows are being wasted on the supposedly low-priority night. Is there Hope for a fourth scripted network on Friday? That's The Question for Friday, November 15, 2013.


Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/14/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • On another day of mostly tiny week-to-week fluctuations, here were the ones that seemed a little less meaningless:
    • With The Voice gone at 8/7c and Parks and Recreation back, Sean Saves the World gave back all of last week's growth and then some. In fact, it and The Michael J. Fox Show both tumbled below a 1.0 in finals!
    • For the second straight day, The X Factor bounced back a teeny bit from an uncommon competitive situation last week. But for the second straight day, it's still down 40%+ year-to-year.
    • And the CW's Reign had its first uptick, pulling it ahead of The Tomorrow People for the first time (and only a 0.1 lead-in difference between the two). With both shows now back-nined, the question now turns to what the CW will do at midseason. I still think they will want to give at least one of the slots to a midseason newbie, and it's looking muddier to guess which slot (or both? neither?) that will be.

Demos Year-to-Year, November Sweeps 2013 Winners/Losers


While I've long retired the daily Demos Year-to-Year posts, I do want to continue doing the recap posts that spotlight the top gainers/losers of the week vs. the same time a year ago. Here's November sweeps 2013; since sweeps began a week later on the calendar last year, I'm actually comparing week two of this sweeps vs. week three of last year. This seemed the best combination of weeks to ensure that almost all entertainment programs got a comparison.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/13/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • On the first relatively "normal" Wednesday in about a month, nearly every series was even or a bit up. A few particular notables:
    • The most noteworthy bounce-back came from Criminal Minds, which fully recovered after a couple major hiccups against the decisive World Series game and the CMAs.
    • As noted last week, The X Factor indeed did a little better with no CMAs in the mix, but (as I said then) it was not so much of a rally that I think it could be construed as a positive. It's still about forty percent behind where the show was on this night a year ago.
    • And the CW's Arrow was up two ticks for the second straight week since getting slammed against the World Series, and a finals uptick took it to an outright season high.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 11/12/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  •  Episode seven finally saw the bleeding stop for newbie Sleepy Hollow, but not so much for Agents of SHIELD, down again and taking its largest week-to-week decline since episode three. But ABC's comedy block continues to operate on a seemingly different plane, as The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife went back up.
  • Chicago Fire had a decent return from a couple weeks off, edging its last original even though lead-in The Voice was nearly a point weaker than it was back then.
  • Fox was down a couple ticks on average with the comedy block. And the CW was up a couple ticks on average with The Originals and Supernatural.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 11/10/13 (2013-14 Week Seven)


After just barely winning a week ago, Sunday Night Football took a major upswing this week and had a very comfortable win. The Big Bang Theory was back in the entertainment programming driver's seat, holding off a special CBS football game and the CMA Awards for the #2 spot. The most noteworthy development here was probably The Blacklist taking a turn as the week's #1 drama in True. The number getting this high is probably a product of a few coincidences: a higher-end Monday Night Football inflating the competition count, a very low PUT estimate, etc. (See also the Castle number below, itself probably a couple ticks overly high.) However, the show has held up admirably while The Voice has taken its usual in-season decline; at the very least, it's a strong enough show that it can grade out as the top drama when it "gets lucky."

A big spike from Undercover Boss gave Friday night a second representative, while we held at three new shows with The Millers dropping off the list (though it could be back, as it missed by less than a hundredth of a point).

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/10/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Any minor momentum that appeared to be developing on ABC Sundays promptly vanished, as Once Upon a Time, and Betrayal all reverted to tie season low points, while a finals downtick by Revenge left it at an outright low. It was even worse on Fox, where the cartoon lineup was down double digits across the board in its second straight week without an NFL assist (and anchors The Simpsons and Family Guy were down about 20%). Immediate help is not on the way for these shows, as they'll cede the direct NFL lead-in to the Almost Human premiere next week.
  • The declines were not exclusive to broadcast this week, as The Walking Dead (6.2) also took a roughly 10% hit and dropped back behind a Cowboys-fueled Sunday Night Football.
  • Just want to throw out there that on a generally down night, The Good Wife ended up with an outright season high, and the show seems to have grown more in the last couple weeks than the 9:00 show typically does after NFL overruns. The acclaim this season has been even more considerable than usual; is some ratings momentum finally beginning to develop for this show? Next week without an overrun should tell us more.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/9/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  •  For CBS, the difference between an average week and a well above average week came primarily on Saturday, where their annual primetime LSU/Alabama matchup did over 300% better than their usual Saturday repeat/48 Hours mix. And the game went a tick ahead of the same game's rating last year.
  • ABC always seems to get saddled with one of its very worst games on LSU/Alabama night, and in this case Notre Dame/Pittsburgh on Saturday Night Football pulled off a dreaded 79% week-to-week decline (even losing to Fox!).
  • And NBC had the Miss Universe Paegant, which took place on a Saturday this year; it's a good thing for many international broadcasters, but not so much in the USA, where it managed only half of last year's rating (when it was on a Wednesday).

Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/8/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Well, Dracula has gone from a rather promising debut to pretty much dead in just two weeks. It dropped another four tenths (or 31%!!!) in week three to a level that I doubt would be acceptable even for a co-production, especially since it doesn't have Hannibal levels of critical acclaim. Now that this matter seems to be settled, the bigger worry in NBC land may lie with old reliable Grimm, itself down yet another two tenths in week three and now finds itself 24% behind where it was at this time last year.
  • On the upswing across the board was CBS, where there was a huge spike from Undercover Boss to a season high-tying level, and the procedurals that followed rallied by a tenth. And a solid season from MasterChef Junior ended with the highest rating since the premiere.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Monday 11/11/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The talent showdown swung even more sharply in The Voice's direction on this Monday, as it picked up by a couple ticks (EDIT: the "Last" compares to last week's Tuesday episode because there was a bonus Thursday ep last week) while Dancing with the Stars was down double digits. It seems a bit drastic, though in The Voice's case it might have partly been an evening out a bit after it took a rather steep drop last week.
  • Mike and Molly does not look like CBS' next long-term Monday 9/8c anchor; it dropped three tenths from last week's premiere to the same 2.3 that got 2 Broke Girls sent to 8:30. And How I Met Your Mother went back in pattern after last week's spike.
  • Took till week seven, but Sleepy Hollow finally had its first non-drop (it was actually up a tick). Just in time for a brand new lead-in (Almost Human) to step in next week!

The 2013-14 Climate Center: Days/Times


The Climate Center is the latest way to keep up with some of this site's bigger-picture numbers on a week-to-week basis. It'll provide a running track of trends across the broadcasters, including individual networks, genres, and days of week/time of day. These will include the numbers that have gone into the A18-49+ theme posts, plus some new ones. Like the Weekly True Power Rankings, it'll be free of any pesky analysis (aside from definitions of the numbers) and will get updated alongside the SpotVault in the middle of each week. These may or may not get expanded/tweaked over the course of the season; for now, I just want to get some of my immediate ideas out there. Suggestions welcome!

The "Days/Time" post breaks apart big four programming based on the clock and the calendar, examining which nights of the week and which half-hours of primetime are most crowded. At the moment, I'm just putting up tables that look at the big four non-sports originals in each slot, but this section will probably be expanded shortly with tables that widen the lens to overall viewing/overall broadcast viewing tendencies.

These numbers are up to date through the end of the 2013-14 regular season: Wednesday, May 21.

More Climate Center: Basics | Networks | Genres | Days/Times

Monday, November 11, 2013

The 2013-14 Climate Center: Genres


The Climate Center is the latest way to keep up with some of this site's bigger-picture numbers on a week-to-week basis. It'll provide a running track of trends across the broadcasters, including individual networks, genres, and days of week/time of day. These will include the numbers that have gone into the A18-49+ theme posts, plus some new ones. Like the Weekly True Power Rankings, it'll be free of any pesky analysis (aside from definitions of the numbers) and will get updated alongside the SpotVault in the middle of each week. These may or may not get expanded/tweaked over the course of the season; for now, I just want to get some of my immediate ideas out there. Suggestions welcome!

The "Genres" post breaks apart all primetime programming to look at trends by category, then breaks apart only the original non-sports series realm to look at trends for dramas, sitcoms and reality.

These numbers are up to date through the end of the 2013-14 regular season: Wednesday, May 21.

More Climate Center: Basics | Networks | Genres | Days/Times

SpotVault - Mike and Molly (CBS) - 2013-14 Ratings





Mike and Molly
Mondays, 9/8c, CBS







Friday, November 8, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/7/13


WHAT MATTERS:
  • NBC's latest change in the 8/7c hour was an original results episode of The Voice, which obviously blew away anything they've aired in the hour this season, but it was 17% below the special Thursday Voice last year. After finals, Sean Saves the World still got a slightly above-expectation boost, but certainly not anything that suggests any promise when The Voice is gone next week. And it was of no help to The Michael J. Fox Show, down again!
  • While the return of The Big Bang Theory in originals meant CBS can say its new comedies went up, the reality is another disappointing week from The Millers, The Crazy Ones and Two and a Half Men, all behind their numbers from two weeks ago against the World Series.
  • For Fox, the story of The X Factor remains the same: it's terrible even if you account for the atypical competitive situation with The Voice on the night; it was down 40% from the last Thursday episode. Maybe it rallies in future weeks, but can it rally enough to make a meaningful difference? And Glee returned within a tenth of its last pre-Monteith tribute episode on October 3, which I guess isn't that bad given X was almost a point weaker than on that night.
  • After a week off, things got really ugly for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and Scandal also dropped another tick on the ABC front. 
  • And the CW got its second straight big bounce-back at 8/7c with The Vampire Diaries and its second straight non-bounce-back from 9/8c newbie Reign, though Reign did tie its season highs in the 18-34 demos. Reign and fellow newbie The Tomorrow People are seemingly on about equal borderline footing with decision time surely getting near. I could see them biting the bullet and back-nining all three new shows.

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