Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Question, Sunday 3/31/13: Is Another Winter Coming for the Broadcast Nets?

In recent months, Sunday nights have been a great source of embarrassment for broadcast networks; their offerings regularly lost to History's miniseries The Bible and got totally crushed by AMC's The Walking Dead. With both of those ending tonight, one might think some of this will finally let up. The problem? Another program premieres tonight that could take over the beat-the-broadcasters mantle. HBO's Game of Thrones was not that far from the required mid-2's level last year, and it could continue to benefit from binge viewing. Is another winter coming for the broadcast nets? That's The Question for Sunday, March 31, 2013.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Question, Saturday 3/30/13: Can BBC America Doctor Up Record Ratings?

Since we're in the middle of a calendar stretch with lots of stuff happening, I decided to try a 14-straight-days-with-a-The-Question stunt. Today that brings us to BBC America, where the network brings back the BBC's hugely popular Doctor Who tonight. The show has been a record-setter for the fledgling cable net, but a low-rated time of year and a move to the 8:00 hour may challenge the show's upward trajectory. Can BBC America Doctor up record ratings? That's The Question for Saturday, March 30, 2013.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Question, Friday 3/29/13: Are Happy-for-Friday Ratings a Possibility?

Tonight, ABC begins the stretch run of its painful journey through a full season order of Happy Endings. Low-1 demos were the norm for the 11 episodes aired on Tuesday, and the random tryout in the Sunday 10/9c went even worse. So the expectations aren't high for Happy Endings in its toughest timeslot yet, the Friday 8/7c hour. But an unconventional "save Happy Endings" promotional campaign has brought a little more attention to this move. Are Happy-for-Friday ratings a possibility? That's The Question for Friday, March 29, 2013.

A18-49+: 2003-04 Season Recap

Welcome to the first of three season recaps which will help to introduce three old seasons of 18-49 data to the A18-49+ archive. Please refer to the intro to these recaps for some disclaimers about the new numbers.

A18-49+: Adding Three New Seasons to the Fold

I've hinted about this a couple times in the last few weeks: recently I got a large quantity of 18-49 ratings from the three seasons prior to the start of what I've called the "A18-49+ era" in 2006-07. This info is substantial enough that I feel I can take a stab at adding those three seasons (2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06) to the A18-49+ collection; in other words, I will be able to put those three seasons into the same kind of relative context that I've used for 2006-07 to the present. Unfortunately I do not have all the numbers, so in this post I'm going to run down some of the details and how this will go logistically.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Question, Thursday 3/28/13: Will the Idol Lead-in Be Raising Ratings?

Tonight is the first of two straight Thursdays with a post-American Idol sitcom tryout. Arguably the one next week with New Girl and The Mindy Project is more interesting, but we probably won't visit that one since there are even bigger goings-on that night. This time, it's the one-hour finale of already renewed Raising Hope, a show that has historically proven it has a very loyal audience, but it's also not been able to spike much when given a big lead-in. Will the Idol lead-in be Raising ratings? That's The Question for Thursday, March 28, 2013.

The Climate, Week 26: The Network Race at NBC's Lowest Point

Let's take another look at the network situation as we move into the final phase of the season (the one with The Voice back in the mix).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Question, Wednesday 3/27/13: Will Neighboring Sitcom Finales Impress?

April and May won't be too exciting for bubble comedies. Most got renewed early (The Mindy Project) or are ending early, like ABC's The Neighbors and NBC's Whitney. Tonight their finales clash at 8:30. They'll look to leave good last impressions, like ABC's Friday sitcoms did. Will the Neighboring sitcom finales impress? That's The Question for Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 3/26/13

  • Night two of NBC's return to relevance didn't go quite so well, as The Voice went down by 15% from Monday's premiere (and was only a tick above the fall season's Tuesday premiere). Finals took chunks out of the NBC comedies, but Go On and The New Normal still grew nearly 100% week-to-week. If I were running NBC, though, this is not much of a game-changer; the more important points for Go On should be the two on Thursday starting next week. Even Smash bumped up a few notches.
  • On ABC, the inevitable Splash crash came to the tune of 35% week-to-week. But the Dancing with the Stars results show, which didn't directly face The Voice, managed to equal the Monday performance rating. And Body of Proof, riding a DWTS results lead-in for the first time, continued its dramatic rise from the ashes.
  • Fox and CBS mostly dropped just a bit against the changed landscape, though what little momentum Golden Boy might have appeared to have last week pretty much vanished.
  • Of note on cable was the return of The Game (1.2), one of the few hit sitcoms on cable, and lead-out Let's Stay Together (0.9). This Game number was massively down from the 2.8 that kicked off last season but in line with most of the rest of the season. BET will have to hope this premiere wasn't nearly as inflated as the premieres of its previous two seasons on the network. (If so, it's headed for like a 0.6 pretty soon.)

The True Top 25, Week Ending 3/24/13 (2012-13 Week 26)

Hey, whaddaya know?! American Idol is back atop the True Top 25! Mostly it can thank the absence of The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family or any other events of note (including The Voice's premiere, which should beat it next week). Both nights of Idol dropped yet again week-to-week, and the Thursday edition actually fell behind top scripted show NCIS (plus several other shows in raw numbers). Dancing with the Stars had a solid return and cracked the top 5, but a generally weak showing from the CBS March Madness games meant only the Saturday game even made the list at all. (The early Thursday game was #26.)

The Following continues to represent the new shows despite a sizable drop against the arrival of Dancing, while the Splash premiere also impressed. The only Friday show was the very impressive finale of Last Man Standing, which had one of the best True2 scores this season for an ABC sitcom not named The Middle or Modern Family.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/24/13

  • A significant basketball overrun on CBS somewhat spiced up another otherwise bland broadcast Sunday. For some reason a huge audience was interested in seeing my UNC team get crushed again; it had a whooping 4.5 in the 7:00 half-hour, while I'm not sure if the 4.0 number is for the full overrun (from 7:00 to 7:46) or for the full game, but I believe it's the former. 60 Minutes got a considerable boost from the proceedings, but The Mentalist at 10:46 had another poor overrun-affected outing.
  • Family Guy bounced back from a weak outing last week and won the broadcast night, while American Dad! also looked good in its return to 9:30. The most alarming point of the night was Celebrity Apprentice, which dropped below its first three weeks' numbers. Once Upon a Time adjusted up to tie its low.
  • The top two primetime programs were again on cable, The Bible (2.7) and The Walking Dead (5.4). Each dropped a tick week-to-week.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 3/23/13

  • Armed with a truly good game for once, CBS finally got a nice number out of March Madness. But it was still 16% below the year-ago first Saturday.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 3/22/13

  • ABC's Friday comedies left strong impressions on their finale nights, with Last Man Standing hitting its best number since November and Malibu Country also spiking to a huge degree. Suffice to say it would be a surprise if Happy Endings can come in and find these kinds of numbers (or even these shows' more normal 1.4/1.2ish levels).
  • March Madness on CBS once again got the shaft with two blowouts in their primetime coverage, so the games were down about half from last year. As I speculated on Saturday, indeed a couple of the cable games ended up outrating both the CBS offerings.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Question, Tuesday 3/26/13: How Far Will Ratings Go On Up With The Voice Back?

The last time we did a The Question for Go On, it was holding all of its  strong premiere number and seemed like a potential breakthrough for comedy-challenged NBC. In the subsequent two months, it dropped considerably against full broadcast competition, but it settled at a post-Voice level that still had some calling it a "modest success."  Four months of Voicelessness later, it's become a total laughingstock, barely clinging to NBC bubble-worthy ratings. Tonight it gets The Voice back, but only for one week. How far will ratings Go On up with The Voice back? That's The Question for Tuesday, March 26, 2013.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/25/13

  • And just like that, NBC is "back." The Voice had a sensational return, outrating the fall premiere by 14%, and after a finals uptick it tied the fall season's highest Monday point. (It was below the Super Bowl-inflated spring 2012 premiere, though.) The return of Revolution was more in the "OK" range, getting about what I expected despite The Voice significantly overachieving. But coming back relatively steady after four months shouldn't be totally taken for granted.
  • On ABC, Dancing with the Stars is also "back"... to its underwhelming against-Voice level from the fall. If it weren't abundantly clear already, this 25% week-to-week meltdown should drill home that these shows have an incredible amount of crossover audience. Unless a ton of people go back after having sampled The Voice this week, this should further motivate ABC to do something drastic with DWTS. The silver lining was that Castle held up quite well considering how much tougher its situation got.
  • It remains tough for the scripted offerings on a mega-crowded Monday. CBS' lineup didn't drop much from its stinky previous Monday, dipping at 8:00 with How I Met Your Mother and Rules of Engagement but actually bouncing back a bit at 9:00 with 2 Broke Girls and Mike and Molly. But Fox's Bones and The Following were hit again.
  • A&E's new drama Bates Motel (1.3) held up nicely in week two.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Question, Monday 3/25/13: Are the Lights Back On at NBC?

When NBC announced a four-month hiatus for The Voice and Revolution, their March 25 return instantly became the highest-stakes evening of NBC's entire season. Since then, a comically awful winter and solid starts from competing ABC reality series have further upped the ante. Are the lights back on at NBC? That's The Question for Monday, March 25, 2013.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 3/21/13

  • CBS' #1 Thursday lineup took its first of two straight Thursdays off for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. As has been the case ever since the games were spread across four networks, the CBS ratings went well below the normal Thursday entertainment ratings. After finals, the lineup was basically even with the first Thursday of last season, with the first game up and the second game (an absolute massacre by VCU over Akron) down.
  • The other networks' ability to capitalize on this was mixed. Namely, Fox and NBC didn't; American Idol took yet another brutal dip, while Community saw no bounce from the absence of competing comedy megahit The Big Bang Theory.
  • But ABC and the CW, whose lineups probably have very little crossover with basketball, did benefit. ABC got a very respectable Thursday debut from Wife Swap, while Grey's Anatomy bounced nearly all the way back from its week-ago low point. And The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast both upticked on the CDub.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 3/20/13

  • Two of the shows that held up best against the arrival of daylight saving last week took the drop this week instead. Though both adjusted up in finals, American Idol still hit another Wednesday low and Survivor was down a tick as well. After finals, the loser of the night was probably Whitney, which adjusted down to a new low after holding up well last week.
  • CBS, NBC and the CW all returned in originals after taking the last two weeks off. It looks like the momentum has swung back to CBS in the drama duel with NBC, as Criminal Minds and CSI got their acts together after a couple weak showings in late February while LChicago Fire was on the downswing.
  • Yet another week without original The Middle and Modern Family on ABC led to more low or low-tying numbers out of The Neighbors and Suburgatory.

The Climate, Week 25: Recapping the DSTruction

Daylight saving had an effect on TV ratings last week, just like at this time every year. You can freak out about every drop as if it's the first time this has ever happened, or you can just dismiss every drop as a DST thing.

But there's never really any application of a standard somewhere in the middle. I think my True2 number, which accounts for the overall viewing declines, gives me a somewhat unique opportunity to take a stab at that. So here's a rapid-fire look at some notable shows that had to deal with the viewing declines in the last week. Which daylight saving drops were exactly what True2 expected based on viewing estimates? Which drops went beyond the DST expectation? And which shows overachieved against DST?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 3/19/13

  • ABC Tuesday brought us yet another premiere night surprise with Splash, and this one actually went above all their other premieres on the night this season. Now we'll see if it can hold up better than the others as The Voice enters the slot next week. The good mojo from Splash continued into the rest of the ABC evening with a nice showing from a Dancing with the Stars special and a season high for Body of Proof, which is already benefiting from the always ultra-compatible DWTS pairing.
  • Hell's Kitchen dropped just a bit post-premiere, but it didn't really help out New Girl or The Mindy Project in the first running of the reality/comedy lineup.
  • With CBS original again in the first two hours, Golden Boy bounced back to near the premiere number. It seems this show has found a stronger level than Vegas, but (at least for now) it doesn't quite seem stronger enough. Still, I'm not inclined to totally dismiss it just yet.
  • As for something that is worth totally dismissing: the last pre-Voice NBC Tuesday, where Go On, The New Normal and Smash somehow again found new lows! Next week, these shows go after The Voice, which should be interesting.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/18/13

  • It says a lot about how rough fall 2012 was for Dancing with the Stars that a premiere down by 9% year-to-year even though there's no The Voice in the mix is considered a big win. And yet... it is legitimately a big win. This number was well above any Monday airings from the fall 2012 season. It's far from out of the woods, because The Voice looms next week, but it certainly got off on the right foot.
  • NBC also had good news with a big finale bump for The Biggest Loser, which hit its largest number since the Sunday premiere in early January. It closed a season of year-to-year growth with an impressive 23% build on last spring's finale.
  • Competing scripted offerings on Fox and CBS had a surprisingly rough time against the new competition. Nearly every single 8:00 to 10:00 show on those networks was down multiple ticks from its last original, with CBS' 9:00 anchor 2 Broke Girls a particularly ugly spot as it went miles below any previous result. Considering The Voice isn't even back yet... not good.

The True Top 25, Week Ending 3/17/13 (2012-13 Week 25)

Daylight saving brought the usual collective viewing and ratings downturn, particularly in the 8:00 hour, but most shows were considerably more resilient in the True2 metric (since that's kind of what it's here for). The Big Bang Theory once again won the broadcast week with ease despite a 13% week-to-week drop in raw numbers. In a week with some of the usual scripted contenders in repeats, the next five slots went to reality programs, including the high-rated The Bachelor finale. No broadcast drama cracked a 3.0 raw demo, but The Following and Grey's Anatomy both inched over the 3 True2 mark after accounting for their terrible lead-ins.

The Following (which held very well in its first episode with a Bones repeat lead-in) and Elementary represented the new shows on the list, while a repeat of Shark Tank and a post-Fashion Star episode of Grimm both made it out of a very low-viewed Friday night.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/17/13

  •  It was another dull broadcast Sunday with most programs even to slightly down. There were a slew of upward finals adjustments, but Fox's Family Guy remained the biggest week-to-week dropper.
  • The Walking Dead (5.5) won the week once again, topping The Big Bang Theory by an even wider margin this time. History got a nice week three bounce-back from The Bible (2.8) and Vikings (1.5).

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 3/16/13

  • Is there a Justin Timberlake Effect? The first five Saturday Night Live repeats at 10/9c got mostly 0.8's, with a 0.7 and 0.6 thrown in as well. But the Timberlake repeat spiked to a 1.1, which topped the broadcast night.

SpotVault - Dancing with the Stars (ABC) - Spring 2013 Ratings

Dancing with the Stars
Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC

SpotVault - Hell's Kitchen (Fox) - Spring/Summer 2013 Ratings

Hell's Kitchen
Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Friday 3/15/13

  • Daylight saving had another field day, taking a chunk out of 8/7c occupants Last Man Standing, Malibu Country, Fashion Star and Kitchen Nightmares. (This was lessened after finals as the ABC comedies adjusted up.)
  • At 9:00, Grimm inched down to a season low in its second week post-hiatus. The 9/8c leader was actually a repeat of Shark Tank, which was one of the show's strongest repeat outings ever.
  • The finals evened out what had looked like a suspiciously strong performance out of Blue Bloods. However, the show still figures to post one of its strongest True2 performances because its Hawaii Five-0 repeat lead-in (also significantly adjusted down) was among the show's weakest lead-in this season.

The Question, Tuesday 3/19/13: Can ABC Finally Make a Splash on Tuesday?

For all the Tuesday issues ABC has had this season, several shows have at least premiered pretty well. Celebrity Wife Swap (2.4), The Taste (2.1), maybe even Happy Endings (1.8) all overachieved on the first night before collapsing in future weeks. Tonight brings celebrity diving show Splash, which seems set up for the same kind of trajectory since The Voice moves into the slot next week. How big does it start tonight? I have little confidence. Could easily see this missing by a half point either way.

Splash Over/Under: 1.75.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Question, Monday 3/18/13: Will the Premiere Dance Past the Finale?

For the first time since The Voice became a Monday/Tuesday staple, ABC's Dancing with the Stars gets a chance to premiere its season before The Voice returns. But it'll still go up against a reality event on NBC: the finale of a somewhat resurgent season of The Biggest Loser. Will the premiere dance past the finale? That's The Question for Monday, March 18, 2013.

Late March 2013 Best Case/Worst Case

The spring premieres are much less structured than early fall or even early winter, so after much deliberation I decided to simply spread out the spring Best Case/Worst Case posts and keep all the coverage relatively close to the premiere dates. This is the second one, although NBC's recent schedule changes made it a little lighter than expected (and the final one in two weeks a bit more exciting). Here's early March.

One note for this time's DWTS and Voice entries: the demo average under the icon is for the Monday airings of the year-ago spring season. I included the Monday averages from this fall in the timeslot column on the right.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 3/14/13

  • Took till Thursday, but we finally got a truly brutal post-daylight savings day in ratings, perhaps because there was a higher volume of originals. The damage was greatest in the 8:00 hour, when The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, American Idol and The Vampire Diaries were each down double-digits week-to-week, while Community gave back all of last week's gains and then some. The only week-to-week positive performance in that hour was Parks and Recreation.
  • 9:00 was not spared from the carnage either, as Grey's Anatomy had a rough time as the only ABC original, and Glee took another of its typical second-episode-back drops.

First Two Weeks, Red Widow

Broadcast TV's midseason struggles continued with the premiere of Red Widow, which could manage only a 1.5 demo in its two-hour premiere on March 3. That was just a tick ahead of ABC's Zero Hour premiere from a few weeks prior, despite a decent lead-in from Once Upon a Time (2.2) and the show seemingly being a better fit on ABC than ZH. Very disappointing and pretty close to dead on arrival.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 3/13/13

  • A couple significant finals adjustments helped the Wednesday picture somewhat. American Idol ended up even with last week while Survivor got its own two-tenth finals uptick to hit a new season high. Despite those results, there still appeared to be a pretty noticeable decline in overall 18-49 usage on a repeat-filled post-DST Wednesday.
  • The only big dropper was ABC's The Neighbors, whose musical episode got mixed in with ABC repeats, but the usage drop and weak lead-in mean this probably won't look much worse in True2 than other recent results.

The Question Results Through 3/12/13, Now With Expanded Standings!

Here are the results and individual standings through March 12 for the ratings prediction game The Question. This time I added how often each player selects "Over" or "Under"!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 3/12/13

  • Fox had an OK two-hour return from Hell's Kitchen, which was a couple tenths below its last premiere in June 2012. (It was broken up by hour in finals.) More might have been expected given the lack of competition, but historically this show has been a bit of a slow starter. And hey, 2.2 is still one of the better Tuesday nights Fox has had all season...
  • Despite tons of repeats in the first two hours, all the low-rated 10:00 dramas were in originals and close to even with last week. Golden Boy held on despite an NCIS: Los Angeles repeat lead-in, for whatever that is worth.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/11/13

  • ABC bid adieu to an extremely positive season of The Bachelor with a 3.5 for the finale (up 21% year-to-year) and a 3.8 for the "After the Final Rose" special (up 15%).
  • DST and a stronger ABC may have contributed to drops from The Biggest Loser and Rules of Engagement, though both adjusted up in finals to make the drops less severe. Fox's The Following held very well in its first try without an original Bones lead-in.

The Climate, Weeks 23/24

The True Top 25, Week Ending 3/10/13 (2012-13 Week 24)

The Big Bang Theory is back into originals for a couple weeks, and it was back on top of the True Top 25 in week 24. Fox aired 5.5 hours of American Idol, and those three telecasts took the next three spots.

With quite a few of the usual weeknight heavy hitters out of the mix, there were several unusual entries this week. Namely, four Friday shows sniffed the list, from usual suspect Shark Tank (which actually cracked the raw numbers top 25) to a higher-end 20/20, the return of Grimm and a Blue Bloods episode that stayed steady despite its worst lead-in since the Made in Jersey days. And a fifth Friday program, Last Man Standing, finished in 26th for the second straight week. 

The Following was the only new show this week with usual contenders Elementary and Chicago Fire still in repeats, but once again The Neighbors (27th) was close.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/10/13

  • The good news for ABC: Revenge finally stopped the bleeding and rallied a bit from its first post-event season airing two weeks ago. The bad: Red Widow, which looked pretty close to hopeless on premiere night last week, dropped 27% and is now pretty much fully hopeless.
  • ABC also got a small uptick from Once Upon a Time, and it may have been even more if not for daylight saving setting in, but it did manage to stay even. Overall, the DST effect wasn't felt too much, as The Amazing Race only dropped a tick and the early-evening Fox animation was pretty steady with the week-ago offerings.
  • Following last week's disaster of a Celebrity Apprentice premiere, it actually grew a tick in week two, which is a much better trend than last year when it took a huge tumble in the post-premiere weeks. It looks like yet another example of what has been an extraordinarily common trend among returnees this season: bad premiere, but better-than-usual post-premiere hold. 
  • The Walking Dead (5.7) on AMC again won the week, broadcast and cable. History saw significant drops from The Bible (2.5) and Vikings (1.3), but they remained pretty strong.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 3/9/13

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Question, Tuesday 3/12/13: Can Fox Raise Some Tuesday Hell?

Following a two-year return to steady summer scheduling, Hell's Kitchen is back into utility player mode as Fox looks to Gordon Ramsay to improve the struggling Tuesday lineup. This show has always held up pretty decently in the regular season, but it'll be a challenge for this show to maintain its strong-for-summer numbers against The Voice and NCIS. The good news is that neither of those are in originals against tonight's two-hour premiere. Can Fox raise some Tuesday Hell? That's The Question for Tuesday, March 12, 2013.

SpotVault - Red Widow (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Red Widow
Sundays, 10/9c, ABC

SpotVault - Fashion Star (NBC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Fashion Star
Fridays, 8/7c, NBC

SpotVault - Celebrity Apprentice (NBC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Celebrity Apprentice
Sundays, 10/9c, NBC

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Friday 3/8/13

  • Premiere night for NBC's thrown-together Friday night lineup was just as eclectic ratings-wise as it was show-wise. The second season premiere of Fashion Star managed just half of last year's Tuesday premiere number, while Grimm came back in typically good-for-Friday fashion, though it did tie its season low point and was a tick below the fall finale.
  • Shortly after I departed for vacation on Thursday afternoon, CBS surprisingly opted to leave Golden Boy on Tuesday, ruining this post that I'd scheduled for Friday morning. (Though I'm still predicting a cancel!!) But they did throw me a bone by airing the third episode on Friday anyway, so we got a little window into what the Friday run might have looked like. And, as the Tuesday ratings suggested, it wasn't good. It came in below the already very low CSI: NY finale from two weeks ago, and it was 38% behind Tuesday's result. CBS also continued to struggle with Undercover Boss, which has posted two relatively weak outings since The Job fiasco. And since CBS has just two left, it won't air another original till May sweeps.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Cult move to Friday was a wash. Cult Tuesday (0.3) + Friday repeat (0.2) = Tuesday repeat (0.3) + Cult Friday (0.2).

The Question, Monday 3/11/13: Will ABC Have One Final Rosy Monday?

Tonight ABC's saying something we never expected they'd say: "Dammit! Why does Dancing with the Stars have to come back next week?!" While DWTS struggled in the low-2's last fall, ABC's actually fared much better in its usually problematic winter months, as The Bachelor has pulled upper-2's throughout the second half of the season and consistently outrated competing The Biggest Loser. It seems almost certain The Bachelor's finale night will be the strongest Monday ABC has this season. Will ABC have one final rosy Monday? That's The Question for Monday, March 11, 2013.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 3/7/13

  • We may look back on this as a key Thursday for NBC's Community, which took a significant step up despite airing alongside mostly repeats on NBC and facing pretty close to the full competitive slate. It already may well have the edge over some of its fellow NBC comedy bubblers even with the same 18-49 ratings, because there's so much more 18-34 interest. But if it can permanently pull ahead in 18-49, too? We're probably getting another step closer to #sixseasonsandamovie.
  • It was also a strong night from the return of Glee in a special 9:30 timeslot, though I'm not as impressed here as with Community because Glee faced very little competition. And the last episode, vs. which Glee was up 41%, was deflated by Valentine's Day. But it was still somewhat above the show's normal low-2's level. We'll see next week if there's another of its typical "second episode back" drops.
  • Yet another American Idol drop meant the show lost head-to-head with Two and a Half Men (preliminary 3.9 to 3.5 at 8:30).
  • ABC got instant improvement relative to cancelled Zero Hour by plugging in a repeat of Shark Tank.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 3/6/13

  • American Idol dropped for the fifth straight week, though a finals uptick prevented a fifth straight multiple-tick drop. (It was up from Tuesday's airing.) This came despite lots of repeat competition on the other three networks. It was down a third from the first post-sweeps Wednesday of last season.
  • The True2 gap has been closing fast between The Neighbors and Suburgatory of late, and that showed this week when both aired after repeats and both scored a 1.7. The last time ABC aired them in this arrangement on January 30, Suburgs had a two-tenths edge, and Survivor wasn't even back yet. The True2 prelims think The Neighbors looked about a tenth stronger. The Neighbors didn't even drop from its last airing, though The Middle repeats so well that its lead-in drop-off wasn't as large as Suburgatory's.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Question, Friday 3/8/13: Has NBC Fashioned a Grimm Friday Schedule?

NBC's Friday newsmagazine night has actually been somewhat competitive. So... why not? Let's replace it with a flop reality show and a wildly incompatible (yet solidly-rated) genre drama. So tonight, NBC rolls out one of the strangest pairings you'll ever see, Fashion Star and Grimm. Has NBC Fashioned a Grimm Friday schedule? That's The Question for Friday, March 8, 2013.

CW True Power Rankings, March 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.

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 (and, new in this edition, excluding most season finales). The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." These numbers are all through March 3.

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

First Two Weeks, Cult

The pairing of Hart of Dixie and Cult was one of the most bizarre of the season. (Maybe only topped by tonight's Fashion Star/Grimm.) And for the series premiere of Cult, it showed. The show opened with just 860,000 viewers and a 0.3 demo. For comparison, fall 2012 occupant Emily Owens M.D. had 1.67 million and a 0.5, and we considered that dead on arrival!

First Two Weeks, Golden Boy

CBS' midseason drama Golden Boy began the way most recent CBS midseason dramas have begun: not well. It opened with just a 1.8 demo, dropping significantly from the 2.9 demo from the last half-hour of NCIS: Los Angeles. And this was despite facing virtually no broadcast competition from struggling 10/9c competitors Body of Proof (1.2) and Smash (0.9). This point appeared to end any hope that CBS might keep the show on Tuesday beyond its scheduled two-week preview.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fox True Power Rankings, March 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.

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 (and, new in this edition, excluding most season finales). The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." These numbers are all through March 3.

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

NBC True Power Rankings, March 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.

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 (and, new in this edition, excluding most season finales). The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." These numbers are all through March 3.

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

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 3/5/13

  • Well, that was fun while it lasted. Celebrity Wife Swap (1.5) took a massive 38% drop from last week's surprising premiere number. I expected it would drop a lot, and it dropped almost twice as much as I expected. The show may bounce back a bit next week once American Idol is out of the mix, but keep in mind daylight saving is coming, and it's heading for a regular Thursday 8/7c timeslot where it'll face Idol every week. ABC's The Taste also took another hit with the lead-in much smaller, but Body of Proof actually upticked after a finals adjustment. I'm just saying, if it gets the kind of boost it got from Dancing with the Stars last year...
  • Golden Boy had an above-average week two hold, but that left it just a tick ahead of the last couple eps of already unacceptable Vegas. The expectations won't be high for the move to Friday later this week.
  • As for American Idol, its yearly return to its old Tuesday stomping ground didn't even beat CBS' NCIS pair by all that much, and it was down nearly a third from last year's Tuesday tryout (which got a 5.1 a week earlier on the calendar: 2/28/12).
  • After finals, Smash got adjusted up, holding off the second episode of Do No Harm!!! (Though it was still a new low.) I have no further comment because I just don't know what NBC will do here.

CBS True Power Rankings, March 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.

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 (and, new in this edition, excluding most season finales). The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." These numbers are all through March 3.

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

ABC True Power Rankings, March 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.

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 (and, new in this edition, excluding most season finales). The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." These numbers are all through March 3.

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

The True Top 25, Week Ending 3/3/13 (2012-13 Week 23)

There's a new True Top 25 king in town, and his name is Modern Family. (Never mind that The Big Bang Theory was off this week.) Though Modern Family beating Idol wouldn't have been all that surprising coming into this season, it's been a bit rougher than expected road for the show, which remains down in the upper teens year-to-year. (The shows tied at 3.9 in our one decimal point raw numbers, but Modern Family had a very narrow lead there too when taking the numbers beyond one decimal point.)

Shark Tank remains the list's only Friday rep, but it was very nearly joined this time by Last Man Standing, whose very high-end week had it at a 1.97 and just a hundredth off the 25th spot. The Following and Chicago Fire were the new shows this week, as Elementary was off. The Neighbors (30th) remained within spitting distance. Golden Boy (41st) and Red Widow (56th) were a looong way off, even on premiere night.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/4/13

  • Despite CBS (mostly) going into repeats, programming on the other four networks was uniformly even to slightly down. The only preliminary riser (The Carrie Diaries) was adjusted down after finals.
  • The only CBS original was Rules of Engagement, which was well below average but still managed to stick out in a sea of mid-to-upper 1's comedy encores.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/3/13

  • Spring Sundays kicked off in terrible fashion for the broadcasters as Celebrity Apprentice returned at the celebrity edition's lowest numbers yet (and a whooping 35% below last year's premiere). And even with a finals uptick, ABC could only barely exceed Zero Hour numbers with the two-hour premiere of Red Widow. Though I nailed the spread between the two, that was only because I thought both of them would be 0.4 to 0.5 stronger. Yikes.
  • ABC also has a fast-growing Once Upon a Time problem, as the show actually fell into a tie with its awards season low point. This show got a 3.4 a year ago!
  • It wasn't quite as bad on the other two networks, where The Amazing Race bounced all the way back from its Oscar dip last week and The Simpsons also bounced back a bit from event season drops. An 8:30 tryout for The Cleveland Show once again proved it's not so different from the other second-tier cartoons when scheduled the same way.
  • Info thus far on History's big night: the two-hour premiere of miniseries The Bible nearly pulled off Hatfields & McCoys numbers, scoring 13.1 million viewers and a 3.3 A18-49 rating. (Night one of Hatfields had 13.9m and a 3.7.) Leading out was the premiere of drama series Vikings, which was a lot weaker than its lead-in but also skewed noticeably younger: 6.2 million viewers and 2.5 million A18-49 viewers (which would translate to a 1.9 or 2.0 rating).

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 3/2/13

Spotted Ratings, Friday 3/1/13

  • Like on Thursday, usual contender CBS continued to air repeats in the first week after February sweeps. Unlike on Thursday, some of the competition stepped up. ABC's sitcoms Last Man Standing and Malibu Country followed up series lows last week with double-digit growth to their best showings since early February and early January respectively. And Fox's Kitchen Nightmares also had one of its better showings.
  • The only really bad news was had by the CW's Nikita, which was unable to bounce back from its own 8:00 low point last week. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Question, Tuesday 3/5/13: Will Celebrity Wife's Viewers Swap Over to Idol?

While we were focusing on Golden Boy last Tuesday, the night's surprise premiere success was actually ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap, which scored a solid 2.4 demo at 8:00. That plus Golden Boy's struggles make Swap the more interesting week two to watch, especially now that it's been slated for the Thursday 8:00 slot later on. Maybe I'm overreacting, but with less appealing celebrities (sorry Coolio!) and a special American Idol inhabiting the night for Fox, a week two drop to 2.0 or less seems quite possible.

Celebrity Wife Swap Over/Under: 1.95.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Question, Sunday 3/3/13: Which Two-Hour Premiere Gets Fired?

It's been an uneventful winter for Sunday broadcast series. But with NFL and awards seasons over, the broadcasters are back in force with a couple two-hour premieres tonight. ABC has new midseason drama Red Widow leading out of Once Upon a Time while NBC trots out another edition of Celebrity Apprentice. Which two-hour premiere gets fired? That's The Question for Sunday, March 3, 2013.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Early March 2013 Best Case/Worst Case

The spring premieres are much less structured than early fall or even early winter, so after much deliberation I decided to simply spread out the spring Best Case/Worst Case posts and keep all the coverage relatively close to the premiere dates. (Really, I'm just holding out hope that NBC moves Hannibal.) So there will be one post today, one in mid-March and one at the beginning of April. Since spring has lots of repeats and less structure, I'm not doing the bigger picture "The Basics" stuff. Just keeping this to a look at the individual shows.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 2/28/13

  • The competition was light on the first day after February sweeps, but the few remaining originals weren't really able to take advantage. Another two-hour American Idol and NBC's Community were only about even week-to-week (Community ticked up after finals), while the third episode of Zero Hour on ABC dropped again.

SpotVault - Wife Swap (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Wife Swap
Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABC

SpotVault - Golden Boy (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Golden Boy
Fridays, 9/8c, CBS

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