Friday, February 1, 2013

The Question, Sunday 2/3/13: Will Elementary Be a Super Lead-out?


EDIT: Not sure it'll matter, but I'm cutting off entries for this one at 6:00pm ET on Super Bowl Sunday.

On Sunday, TV's biggest night is back. Many will be most curious about whether the Super Bowl can once again set a record for most-viewed event in the history of television. But for TV ratings junkies, the performance of the lead-out program is arguably more interesting. Successful lead-outs like Grey's Anatomy, Undercover Boss and The Voice have been launched to great heights by the exposure. For less-viewed lead-outs, the ad rates may be huge, but the long-term ratings needle doesn't move at all. Will Elementary be a super lead-out? That's The Question for Sunday, February 3, 2013.

Elementary In Recent Weeks Recent Super Bowl Lead-Outs
2.6 (Thursday 1/3/13, 3.3 Person of Interest)
2.4 (Thursday 1/10/13, 3.3 PoI) 
2.2 (Thursday 1/31/13, 3.2 PoI)
16.5 (Grey's Anatomy, 2006, game 34.6)
10.0 (Criminal Minds, 2007, game 35.2)
12.9 (House, 2008, game 37.5)
11.0 (The Office, 2009, game 36.7)
16.2 (Undercover Boss, 2010, game 38.8)
11.1 (Glee, 2011, game 39.9)
16.3 (The Voice, 2012, game 40.5)

First, there are the circumstances surrounding the game. I'm guessing this Bowl will end the most-viewed-event-ever streak, despite all the press that the "brother vs. brother" head coaching matchup has gotten. The NFL postseason has been down year-to-year throughout, and these quarterbacks are not particularly marquee names. I missed huge on the Hawaii Five-0 pick two weeks ago in part out of my own stupidity, but also in part because the game had been decided by the closing minutes and because CBS was in no real rush to get through the postgame show. The game getting out of hand late is hard to call, though the spread is fairly small (49ers by 4). And I would imagine Elementary will motivate CBS to breeze through the postgame a bit more than Hawaii Five-0 did.

Then there's Elementary itself. Being in the middle of its first season actually makes Elementary a pretty unique post-Super Bowl choice; most have either more of a track record or none at all. Maybe the touches of humor in Elementary will make it a better fit with the Bowl than Criminal Minds six years ago. But Elementary is certainly a much weaker show than most recent post-Bowl options.

While the lead-in will probably still be bigger than six years ago, I see Elementary coming in behind the Minds number. I do think it'll hold off the worst post-Bowl rating in at least the last quarter century, Alias in 2003 (8.3), if only because CBS won't let the post-game run as comically long as it did that year.

Over/Under: 8.95.

EDIT: No entries accepted after 6:00pm ET Super Bowl Sunday. If editing your pick, please leave a separate comment.

24 comments:

Spot said...

Sounds like a pretty bad number when you look at recent years. I'll go over but it's my favourite new show of the season so I am obviously hoping for the best.

Spot said...

Over.

SurvivorFan said...

It will go over, if only because I am confident that it will do better than Glee did, as most men considered it to be gay.

Spot said...

Survivor Fan: Over

Spot said...

over

Spot said...

It's difficult for me to see Elementary going sub-double digits unless it's pushed out of primetime like Alias; shows have averaged between 30%-36% retention over the past seven years, hitting the lower end of that range if you strip out then-white hotGrey's Anatomy and the unscripted show debuts. If Elementary follows the averages the Super Bowl would have to plunge below 30.0 to miss the line, and that's unlikely to happen.



Over.

Spot said...

Under. Give it Glee's boost of 6.7 and you get 8.9.

Spot said...

over, that criminal minds episode was dark, even by criminal minds standards, and I can't imagine elementary dipping lower than that

Spot said...

Over. CBS will surely give it a better treatment that ABC did Alias, and it'd have to be an absurdly big y2y drop on the game's part (we're talking 20%+) to affect the lead-in.


Oh, alas Alias. How dare ABC treat one of the greatest shows of this decade like it wasn't even important to them? Perhaps I should've seen their downfall as an entertaining network earlier - I just still can't believe that it was dreck like Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives instead of excellence like Alias and Threat Matrix that somehow got millions of new eyeballs on the network.

Spot said...

Over: 11.0 demo.

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Sorry about that. I did not mean what I said in an offensive way at all; rather, I was just emulating the process that many people would have gone through in their minds after SB XLV.

Spot said...

I didn't delete it, it just didn't go through Disqus for some reason. That seems to happen with your comments on occasion... not sure why.

Spot said...

I think that it has something to do with posting from my phone, rather than from a computer.

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Glee jumped 152% two years ago from its most recent episode to the post super bowl levels. if elementary jumps the same, even using its higher-end outing of 2.4, it would be at 6.0. I think that is too much of a low number and i dont see that happening, but i still think it will be closer the 8 you have in there than most are predicting. I am going with over, because i gotta imagine cbs is not crazy enough to allow for a under. I am way more interested in knowing the effect on the show regular outings though, i hope scandal is not affected

Spot said...

I'm thinking (and hoping) that it is Over. My enjoyment for Elementary can't factor into it unfortunately but I'm still saying over.

Spot said...

I don't know what to think. Like you said, it's kind of in between the usual situations for the lead-out. It's not a debut, so there's not the same novelty factor. It's not an established show with a decent built-in audience. It gets just OK numbers for 10 PM and Scandal has grown about 30% right in its face. I would not be surprised if it went under, but given that it is still fairly new and how 10 PM is the new DVR time, I will say that there will be a decent amount of sampling. Enough to propel it over at 10.4. Not brilliant, but not catastrophic, either. And not enough to stop what looks like the weekly thrashings by Kerry and Co.

Spot said...

Under.

This is curious move by CBS. I'd expect them to pick Person of Interest here, a show actually standing some chances to become a hit. Elementary ratings are on par with for-CBS-poor Unforgettable ratings. And though Elementary is creatively not as forgettable, this show is rather bland. Personally I'm irritated with Sherlock Holmes being willing to solve cases merely a bit more complicated than simple shoplifting.

I do understand them not wanting to use SB lead-out on newer shows already sold into syndication (2 Broke Girls, NCIS:LA, Hawaii Five-0, Mike&Molly) or to waste it on some ancient show.

Spot said...

My thinking on this one was roughly the same as Iggy's. It seems that, for the shows that don't "pop" after the Bowl, most are getting in the vicinity of a six to seven point boost on top of their numbers in a normal situation. The Office and Glee were both pulling mid-4's and bounced up to 11.0ish. House was around two points stronger than Glee/Office (in its fall results without an Idol lead-in) and did about two points stronger after the Bowl.

This is similar to the underlying True2 theory that a show has a base audience and then "retains" about a sixth of its lead-in on top of that. The usual post-Bowl bounce is about a sixth of the Super Bowl number. But so far, it's been hard to verify that because so many recent similarly-positioned shows were pulling roughly the same numbers going in.

Of course this discounts the possibility that Elementary might actually "pop" in the way The Voice and Undercover Boss did. Or maybe the show's "normal" audience is actually higher than low-2's, as seen in its heavy DVRing. Hard to gauge all that, but the recent show that skewed most similarly (Criminal Minds) had the most disappointing performance, so I'm guessing not.

Whatever happens, this will be educational about how much of post-SB ratings are about "the game" and how much are about "the show," because this show is so different than other recent lead-outs (that is, much older-skewing and weaker in 18-49). If it actually gets up into the Minds/Glee/Office vicinity (or better?!), then one of two things is true: either it's much more about the game than I thought, or the show "popped" and may actually benefit noticeably on Thursday. And we can get a sense of which one pretty shortly.

Side note: it's clear this was a pretty bad line, because it looks like I could've said 9.95 and had roughly the same breakdown. My actual prediction is 9.0 but I figured people would react more strongly to 1) Elementary's weak performance on Thursday and 2) Hawaii Five-0 bombing after the AFC Champ two weeks ago. More likely I am the one overreacting!

Spot said...

As an aside, I just want to re-register my unhappiness of the choice for post-Super Bowl show. CBS has two very young anchors on Monday and Thursday nights. One has seen a fairly big drop with heavier competition. The other has always had a competitive slot and drops big from its fairly substantial lead-in. Either one could have really used a boost to the next level (high 3s, low 4s) not only for their own benefit, but also for the benefit of the Monday @ 9:30 and Thursday @ 10 shows, whatever they are.

If I'm Warner Bros., and I have been providing CBS with some of their most-watched shows (Big Bang, 2 1/2, 2BG, PoI, Mentalist) and they pass over my two rising stars to support a mediocre-rated in-house production a year after they kicked one of my shows behind their black hole Emmy bait I'd start to question our relationship. I don't know if third-party producers feel that way, but I know I'd be annoyed.

Spot said...

Even though it wound up being a thrilling finish, I just wonder how many people turned it off when it was 28-6 during the power outage that lasted for over a half hour.

Spot said...

That's what I'm wondering about. too. Elementary just got under way at about 11:15 because of it, which has to be an absolute disaster for CBS because people are probably on their way home now. Between the delay, the seeming blowout and the late start, Spot's line isn't looking so bad after all. It's still gutting to me as an Elementary fan.

Spot said...

Hopefully we'll see the :15 minute breakdown of the game's ratings. I'd like to see if there was a dip and bounce back; since the delay was almost 40 minutes it would definitely capture it.

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