Friday, March 29, 2013

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.

How Much, and How Good?

I don't have every single week from these three regular seasons, so I have to do a bit of number fudging. Here are the specifics:

2003-04: Missing two weeks from the fall (including, unfortunately, premiere week), one week at the end of 2003 when there's very little entertainment programming, one week in late March, and the last three days of the season.

2004-05: Missing seven weeks in the fall, plus the two holiday weeks at the end of 2004 with very little entertainment programming.

2005-06: Missing only the two weeks at the end of 2005 with very little entertainment programming.

With the exception of the holiday weeks, which I've just left blank, I've dealt with missing weeks by plugging in all the numbers from a surrounding week, which should give a pretty approximate picture of the "climate" at that time in the season. Then I've been able to add in a few "real" numbers from top 25 lists and other data I've accumulated over the years.

It sucks to include "fake" numbers, but I decided this was a lesser evil compared to just leaving every single missing week blank. In these seasons, the league average typically increased drastically in the winter/spring due to the arrival of American Idol, so putting nothing in these fall weeks would weigh the spring weeks too heavily and create inflated averages both for the league and especially for Fox as a network.

All this is essentially a warning that these 2003-06 numbers should be taken as rough approximations. If I thought they were so bad as to be totally worthless, I wouldn't release them at all, but they're not perfect either. I also want to warn that I might dredge up some other numbers that I can use to fill in some of these missing spaces, so these numbers might fluctuate a bit from the ones I put out at the beginning. I doubt these fluctuations will ever be significant since I'm not missing that much info and the "fake" numbers probably aren't that far off of the reality.

The Rollout

It is a bit of a complicated undertaking to apply all these numbers to both the War of 18-49 pages and to all the various A18-49+ spotlight posts I've done over the last year or so. So here are the basic phases:

1) Yearly recap posts. Starting today with 2003-04, there will be a "yearly recap" on each of the next three Fridays. These will add each season to the context of the various A18-49+ spotlight posts over the past year. Each one will examine the megahits of the day, new shows, genre shifts, network shifts, day of the week/time of the day shifts, and repeats/sports/specials. I'm not updating the original posts that covered 2006-07 thru 2011-12 (yet), but I will link to all of those on the regular so you can make the comparisons.

2) War of 18-49 Updates. For the most part, I'm waiting on both the new 2003-06 numbers (along with the previously created "for Friday" and "for CW" labels) on the individual shows' War of 18-49 pages until the shows' respective updates over the summer, just to get everything done in one fell swoop. But I might plug in the new numbers/labels much sooner than that for the "Ended" War of 18-49 posts. Don't want to put a specific date on that.

3) This summer: new "theme" posts. Over the summer I will do a new lineup of "theme" posts revisiting the trends previously mentioned (defining shows of the day, genre shifts, network shifts, day of the week/time of the day shifts, and repeats/sports/specials), which will combine the info on the 2006-12 pages, the three older seasons, plus newly added 2012-13 numbers. There probably won't be tons of new writing in these, but it will line up the full decade of seasons together on one post. I'm waiting till summer on these just so I can get all the 2012-13 numbers in the books and not have to go back and do another whole wave of updates.

1 comment:

Spot said...

Excellent, great to know you have lots more info. Thanks for all the hard work.

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