Friday, January 4, 2013

CW True Power Rankings, January 2013

It's time for another edition of the True Power Rankings! 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. This week, I'll offer a few thoughts on individual shows as part of the preview of midseason.

As on the Weekly True Power Rankings, these True2 and A18-49 numbers are averages of the last third of the season's episodes to date, rounded up. The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." Due to Nielsen holiday delays, we don't have everything from last week, so these numbers are all through December 23. But since almost nothing aired in originals last week, that mostly doesn't make a difference.

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

The CWTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Big Three
1The Vampire Diaries1.451.3039

The gap between the "big three" and everything else on the CW's roster is rather huge. Unfortunately, this isn't the NBA, where you can play these hours more and hide the other ones. Each hour counts the same.

The CWTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
We Have to Fill Ten Hours...
4Gossip Girl0.580.53410
5Hart of Dixie0.550.53410
7America's Next Top Model Fall0.520.50412
8Beauty and the Beast0.510.5739

90210 looked disastrous early, but it's managed to creep up to the top of this marginal group. So it and Hart of Dixie both look pretty safe, with a final season announcement likely for Nine-0. If The Carrie Diaries flounders, I could see Hart and 90210 being paired together and filling a night in the fall. It'd be another night of surrender, much like Monday was this fall, but the network simply does not have the luxury of not having a night of surrender. Consolidating the low-ratedness on one night and doing something new on Tuesday would at least be another positive step.

The "bubble" really starts with Beauty and the Beast and ends with Nikita. As I said in the Upfront Revisited, they'd pretty much have to renew BatB if the season ended today, as bad as it looks. They've got their fingers crossed for midseason. And Nikita, which early in the season looked like it might be the Ultimate Test of Syndication Importance, has started to look a little more reasonable since its move to 8/7c. If it can sustain 0.4's at 8/7c, I wouldn't be shocked to see it right back in the ratings mix at season's end, as it was last year.

Perhaps in the next edition I will tweak the formula to throw out finales, because the finale and to some extent the penultimate episode are really the only reasons why Gossip Girl is in this tier at all, much less on top of it. Throw out the finale and take the three pre-finale episodes and the average is 0.47. And it's just 0.40 across episodes six, seven and eight.

The CWTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Dunzo
10Emily Owens M.D.0.350.3737


Spot said...


1. The Vampire Diaries: 2.08
2. Nikita: 1.25
3. Arrow: 1.19
4. Supernatural: 1.17

5. Gossip Girl: 0.82
6. Hart of Dixie: 0.73
7. 90210: 0.72

8. Beauty and the Beast: 0.62

9. Emily Owens M.D.: 0.41

The main difference is, of course, Nikita. The interesting part is that, while most of the difference comes from syndication, even excluding that factor I would have it ahead of Beauty and the Beast due to its friday factor. We might argue that my friday factor of 35% is too high, but then again, a 0% syndication factor is too low. Point is, I don't think a scenario in which Nikita does not come back (if it does move back to its 0.2 and if the midseason shows somehow hold, the story might be different. As it stands, I think it is very very safe). Also, I have the same problem with you concerning gossip girl. The show was at the bottom of the pack the whole fall but jumped right to the middle after its last two episodes. I guess it doesn't really matter since it was the final season anyway.

Spot said...

To be fair, The CW is really programming nine hours at midseason since they are leaving Fridays at 9 for reruns. It's almost getting to the point where if The CW continues to exist as a network I wonder if they'll cut Fridays loose in 2014-2015 (after shepherding Nikta into syndication).

If the season ended today, I'd renew Beauty & the Beast only if Cult and The Carrie Diaries flop at midseason. Only one of them needs to meet The CW's definition of success so they'd only need to develop programming for 3 vacant hours for Fall 2013.

The CW's largest issue is that it still has a holdover show from The WB/UPN merger in the upper echelon of its ratings. It's good for Supernatural fans, but it speaks volumes about what The CW's has/has not accomplished in its seven season existence.

Spot said...

If you compare the situational adjustments on BatB and Nikita, it'd come out to 20-25%. While that is based on studying actual ratings behavior, I have long thought that the networks' bonus in terms of decision-making is probably bigger. And that's because lot of the stuff that has survived on Friday would probably not look "acceptable" if moved to the regular week. So you're probably right or close to right.

Spot said...

"Ultimate Test of Syndication Importance" -- Nikita would hit the market in 2014 with only Hawaii 5-0 and Blue Bloods. Unfortunately, the market will already be saturated when The Good Wife, Parenthood, NCIS: LA, Glee, and The Vampire Diaries enter syndication this Fall.

Chuck never sold.

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