Friday, May 3, 2013

CW True Power Rankings, May 2013

It's time for this season's final 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 excluding some inflationary season/series finales that aren't that relevant). The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." These numbers are all through April 28.

The best way to describe the two-week upfront preview is that these Power Rankings are the "SHOW-centric" portion. The Power Rankings are largely about discussing the merits of renewing and/or moving marginal and just-above-marginal shows. Next week's Upfront Questions will be more the SCHEDULE-centric portion. These things do overlap sometimes, but that's a general guideline.

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

The CWTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Big Three
1The Vampire Diaries1.411.13720

No change here. The only debate is whether to break up Arrow and Supernatural, which I have already gone over. I'd do it, but it's close enough for me that it is pretty much a matter of personal taste.

The CWTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Medium Three
4Hart of Dixie0.620.54720
5America's Next Top Model0.550.50411
6Beauty and the Beast0.520.54719

Perhaps I should put Top Model in the green, since it seems like it might end up airing largely in the regular season again.

I was intrigued by one of the premises in this interesting breakdown of the Beauty and the Beast situation from a few weeks back: would Beauty and the Beast do the same (or worse?!) than The Carrie Diaries in the same slot? He said yes, but I don't think I agree. As you can see from the True2 averages, I think BatB would do about a full tenth better in Carrie's spot; in other words, while Carrie had 0.4's with the occasional 0.3, BatB would have 0.4's to 0.5's. Still not good, but I have my doubts it'd be as bad.

How does this differ from the Secret Circle vs. Hart of Dixie smackdown last year? Well, that raw numbers gap was smaller; even in February, it was TSC at about a 0.7 vs. Hart at about a 0.6, and that's not even counting the end of last season when the gap disappeared entirely. Also, Carrie had the "local programming advantage," a lead-in usually within half a point of TVD's numbers, while Hart had to lead out of a very weak primetime program (Gossip Girl).

It's all a roundabout way of saying that I think the CDub made the right choice both times. But Beauty and the Beast will certainly be vying for one of the "last" spots on the schedule.

The CWTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Pending Two
9The Carrie Diaries0.420.38513

I don't by any means think there's a three smiley-face difference between these shows. In fact, I'd strongly consider axing both. But I do think Nikita has the edge, for a few reasons:

1) The CW loves handing out "proper endings," and since 90210 was too egregious-rated to get the usual short final season, Nikita seems a very good candidate for that.
2) "Bird in the hand." Might Carrie have dropped to 0.2 on a Friday?!?!?!
3) Syndication, I guess? Still not sure who's beating down the door to air a spy drama that gets a 0.3 in originals for five nights a week... but if it is a thing, it favors Nikita.

I don't totally discount Deadline being onto something with The Carrie Diaries in this "renew everything" article because it does have the Hart of Dixie compatibility and a much more favorable young demo makeup than Nikita, but it's still probably a cancel. Two smileys is about right.

The CWTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Dunzo
7Gossip Girl0.470.4339
10Emily Owens M.D.0.370.36513


Spot said...

If Arrow were still in the low 1's, then I'd move Supernatural to Tuesdays to lead-out of the unproven show. Given that Arrow is not, I think The CW should keep Wednesdays as is and save the promotional energy for Tuesdays and whatever new programs land there.

Nikita's lack of renewal, and the chatter of it only getting a short final season, raises a nagging question of The CW planning on giving Friday back to its affiliates next year. It's incredibly unlikely and not logical at all, but it's something I can't shake.

Spot said...

I disagree with you quite a lot in here actually.

1. The Vampire Diaries: 2.35
2. Supernatural: 1.62
3. Arrow: 1.34
4. Nikita: 1.33
5. Hart of Dixie: 0.88
6. Beauty and the Beast: 0.80
7. Gossip Girl: 0.77
8. Emily Owens: 0.54
9. The Carrie Diaries: 0.52
10. 90210: 0.49
11. Cult: 0.35

So, for starters:

- I think Nikita is 100% safe. Sure, it is mostly because of syndication, but take that factor out and i goes to 0.78, a somehow still renewal territory! So, yes syndication will save it. I don't make anything out of the yet to renew thing, and actually TVLine has published this:

Question: Should we be worried that The CW hasn’t renewed Nikita yet? —Soso

Ausiello: I don’t think so. I’m told the reason Nikita wasn’t included in last week’s CW pickups was because series creator Craig Silverstein was in Virginia shooting his AMC pilot Turn
and therefore unable to pitch his Season 4 plan to the network. He’s
now back in L.A. and due to meet with CW brass in the coming days.
Bottom line: The show is still a safe bet for a (shortened) fourth season.

- I am completely against splitting up Arrow and Supernatural. They have two genre shows that look great and that look like a great fit with one another in The 100 and The Tomorrow People with well known actors involved in both shows. They should use them to revamp Mondays and leave Wednesdays working. Also, I love Arrow but it is no TVD ratings wise. I think it helps Supernatural as much as Supernatural helps it. Just let them be and don't loose the only good night they have going.
- I thought that Beauty and the Beast, while having a justified renewal, was friday bound, but the recent charter indicating that oxygen is a very likely pick up for fall just screams pairing with beauty and the beast to me. If that is the case, I can actually see the cw shipping HoD to fridays and pairing up Beauty and the Beast with Oxygen on Tuesdays, since apparently the selection is not looking very healthy. I am not sure how Beauty would hold up, but I also agree that it was a "better" renewal than the secret circle (although I was a fan of the secret circle and I have never watched beauty and the beast). You explained it yourself, but it is not so much the different ratings between TSC and BB but the different ratings between everything else surrounding the on the cw. The TSC showed up in a better year for the cw than BB showed up and that makes a difference.

Spot said...


The Tomorrow People
The 100

The Selection
Hart of Dixie


The Vampire Diaries
The Originals

Beauty and The Beast

This is actually the schedule that I am most confident about out of all 5 networks and the one I haven't changed in a loong time now. Premiering 4 new shows doesn't seem like a stretch considering that:
1) The Monday block can be promoted together
2) The Originals is pretty much self promoted!

I would also greenlight oxygen for midseason since it can basically fit with anything else on the schedule. If they do insist on putting it on the fall schedule instead of the selection, I think it is worth sending BB to Tuesdays at 9 and HoD to Fridays due to compatibility. But it also looks like they are very bullish on Reign (I think it is a huuuge mistake), which I would just pair with HoD on Tuesdays instead of the selection anyway.

Spot said...

Nikita's lack of renewal issue per TV Line:

Question: Should we be worried that The CW hasn’t renewed Nikita yet? —Soso

Ausiello: I don’t think so. I’m told the reason Nikita wasn’t included in last week’s CW pickups was because series creator Craig Silverstein was in Virginia shooting his AMC pilot Turn and therefore unable to pitch his Season 4 plan to the network. He’s now back in L.A. and due to meet with CW brass in the coming days. Bottom line: The show is still a safe bet for a (shortened) fourth season.

Spot said...

That's pretty much my exact same schedule, except I do break up the Wednesday block (I think it's a huge mistake to air two new dramas together, but I'm not going to argue with you). I 100% agree with your ideas for Tues & Fri.

Spot said...

I would not have renewed Beauty and the Beast at Hart of Dixie numbers behind Vampire Diaries. I'm just not impressed with a first-year show that hovers in the same .6 area with no signs of growth after a year with a great lead-in.

If I was The CW, I would not feel good with The Medium Three being 30% of my line-up. Obviously you can't clear the board every year, but if anyone had the chance, it would be them. I don't understand why they won't take that chance when you see how low their ratings are now.

Spot said...

Thursday 9pm isn't as good a slot for the CDub as it looks - yes it's got their #1 lead-in, but that audience will do one of three obvious things:

1) Change to their ABC station to watch Grey's

2) Change to their FOX station to watch Glee

3) Tweet about the TVD episode they just saw

The Originals is presumably going here next season because the people doing 3) will stay tuned to the station if and only if it's there. 1) and 2) are still huge problems though.

Maybe B&TB won't look quite as egregious next season after all. (Although I'd still have wanted to lean towards cancel!)

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