Thursday, February 21, 2013

The True Top 25, Week Ending 2/17/13 (2012-13 Week 21)

The Big Bang Theory led the True Top 25 for the second straight week. Despite an 11% raw numbers drop week-to-week, it was about even in True2 (at close to its season high point) due to a noticeable Valentine's Day drop in overall viewing on Thursday.

V-Day wasn't the only oddity this week. The median program was down 7% from its last original, the worst trend (excluding the end-of-December weeks with few originals) since week two of the season. It's the third straight year that there's been a sizable collective downturn in the post-Grammys week. In addition to Thursday, Wednesday was also mysteriously low-viewed; see how high all the Wednesday shows stack up compared to their raw numbers scores. And most of the Tuesday crowd was pre-empted for the State of the Union.

If this week was any indication, we may have to start a "Sunday Watch," because zero shows from that high-viewed and mostly original evening made the list. (The Amazing Race, Family Guy and Once Upon a Time were all close.) Though I put a lot of the blame on the shows themselves, this night has always been a challenge for this metric. Perhaps it's worth considering some kind of blanket "cable competition" bonus, because it's clear the broadcasters are struggling in the Sunday battle lately. We'll see if things look any better in two weeks after the Oscars.

Rank Name True2 A18-49 ARank
1The Big Bang Theory6.635.51
2American Idol Wed4.964.32
3Modern Family4.623.83
4American Idol Thu4.513.75
5Two and a Half Men3.653.83
6Grey's Anatomy3.252.810
7How I Met Your Mother3.253.27
82 Broke Girls3.153.66
9Person of Interest3.013.08
12The Bachelor2.602.712
14Mike and Molly2.453.08
15Rules of Engagement2.432.810
16The Office2.352.023
17The Middle2.351.927
18The Following2.232.415
20Shark Tank2.211.831
23Chicago Fire2.041.927
24Law and Order: SVU2.011.538
25The Neighbors1.971.735

Missing the True Top 25 but in the A18-49 list: The Biggest Loser (t-#23 in A18-49, #27 in True2), The Amazing Race (#14 in A18-49, #28 in True2), Hawaii Five-0 (t-#21 in A18-49, #32 in True2), Once Upon a Time (t-#15 in A18-49, #34 in True2), Castle (t-#23 in A18-49, #35 in True2) and The Simpsons (t-#23 in A18-49, #38 in True2).

For more on the True Top 25, click to expand.
I created the True Strength number so I could have an objective way of comparing shows across vastly different situations. One of the most fun comparisons to be made is among the biggest shows on TV. What's really the strongest show in a vacuum? Hence my new weekly feature the True Top 25. This will compare shows while accounting for everything so we can see who Truly comes out on top. I include both the A18-49 and the weekly ranking in A18-49 so you can see the changes within the rankings that True Strength makes.

The A18-49 rankings aren't based on Nielsen's "official" broadcast top 25. They're derived from my own spreadsheet just using the big-five networks, so none of the big players on Univision are included. I've also weeded out some weird programming like NFL overruns and sports pre-game shows. Most of that stuff airs largely out of primetime or is strangely split apart, so I don't want to muddle the list with that.

As mentioned on the sports SpotVault pages, True Strengths for sporting events are based on the primetime portion only. Perhaps in future editions I'll try to get the primetime portion only A18-49 into the A18-49 rankings so it'll be a totally fair comparison. 

Here's last week's True Top 25!

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