Thursday, May 30, 2013

The War of 18-49, The Vampire Diaries


Scheduling history: Every single episode of The Vampire Diaries aired on Thursday at 8:00... until 2016, when it was moved to the Friday lead-off role.

See (who saw) how it all began: The Vampire Diaries was the CW's largest series premiere ever in total viewers and its second-largest in the 18-49 demo, beginning on 9/10/09 with 4.91 million viewers and a 2.1 demo. It took a large drop to a 1.6 in week two, but it pretty much hung around that 1.6 for most of the rest of the season. (It did a little better late in the fall of 2009, getting back as high as a 2.0 at one point.)

The best of times: The best raw numbers for The Vampire Diaries all came in the first half of season one, topped by the 2.1 premiere. But the show has held up quite nicely for a CW show, especially in season four, when it dropped by just 4%. It's gotten as high as a 1.6 demo in seasons three and four. The 1.6 to kick off season four was actually (very narrowly) bigger than the 2.1 series premiere after historical adjustment.

The worst of times: The Vampire Diaries never dropped below 1.0 in its first four seasons, but it finally happened with a big drop to 0.9 on Halloween 2013. For awhile, that looked like an isolated incident, but sub-1.0 became a regular occurrence in the winter and spring of 2014. And it never cracked a 1.0 in the significantly down sixth season. The series low 0.3 came on 4/8/16 and 5/6/16, after it was moved to Friday during season seven, and several more times during the final season.

Then vs. now: Like HBO's own highly successful vampire series, The Vampire Diaries premiered at the perfect time: at the height of a vampires craze largely fueled by the breakthrough success of the film Twilight. But even if its premiere rating owed some debt to the larger culture, and even on a network whose audience is infamously fickle, The Vampire Diaries had incredible legs for half a decade. It was only barely weaker in season four than in season one, after adjusting for the collective entertainment decline. It took three more years for the CW to develop another new show even in the same ratings stratosphere (Arrow). And despite being a bit weaker than usual in season five, the show proved its franchise potential as spin-off The Originals launched quite successfully on Tuesday. But things finally took a turn for the worse as 2014-15 brought big drops for both those shows, and the slippage continued after Nina Dobrev's departure in 2015-16.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12009-10Thursday 8:001.701.32.1detail
72015-16Thu 8:00, Fri 8:000.46-36%0.30.6detailD
82016-17Friday 8:000.38-19%0.30.5detailC+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:



The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.


Spot said...

Wow at the vampire diaries doing better than any of its two previous seasons and almost as good as in season 1. This show is a mega hit for the cw, no doubt about it!

Spot said...

I'm surprised it hasn't qualified as a big hit relative to other CW shows.

Spot said...

I believe it would, I just didn't make labels beyond "hit" for CW/Friday since so few would qualify. The threshold would be roughly 55.

Spot said...

I love 18-49+, but I just noticed a problem when it is used for quickly canceled shows. Had it been pulled one episode sooner, Partners would have been considered "solid" according to your labels. I know that 18-49+ is rarely used for quickly canceled shows, so it probably does not matter.

Spot said...

The CBS comedies are always a "problem" in that sense because they're judged relative to their large lead-ins. Partners was actually less egregious than some others: Worst Week (104), Accidentally on Purpose (103), Bleep My Dad Says (118) and especially Rob (140). Not much to do about it unless I made some kind of True Strength+ stat, which would probably be far too complicated to warrant the effort.

Spot said...

That makes sense. What was HTBAG last year (not counting the burnoff episodes)?

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