Thursday, June 27, 2013

The War of 18-49, Archer


Scheduling history: Archer aired its first four seasons on Thursday at 10/9c, with two exceptions: a special sneak preview in September 2009 before the show's official premiere, and a three episode run at 10:30 in fall 2011. It moved to Monday for season five but returned to Thursday in season six.

See (who saw) how it all began: FX first previewed Archer about four months before the official premiere after It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia on 9/17/09, in an oddly promoted airing that didn't give away the name of the show (or really anything about it). That got 0.91 million viewers and a 0.5 demo and is not included in the season one average below. Then its official premiere on 1/14/10 about doubled that audience, scoring 1.82 million viewers and a 0.9. And a repeat of the preview at 10:30 had a 0.7. It dropped fast from there, to 0.7 in week two, 0.5 in week three, 0.4 in week four and 0.3 in week five! But after that it finally steadied, getting back to a 0.4 for most of the rest of the season and even perking up to a 0.6 for the season's penultimate episode.

The best of times: In seasons two through four, not only was Archer growing every year, but it was growing faster every year. In season four, it finally became a legitimately strong program in 18-49, breaking through with its first ever 1.0 for the 1/17/13 premiere and hitting a 1.1 three times later in the season.

The worst of times: After a seemingly ill-advised move to Monday in 2014, Archer finally sniffed at its season one ratings again, hitting a couple 0.4's in the second half of the season. It had a couple more 0.4's in the return to Thursday for season six, but the 0.3 in the series' fifth week remained a series low out of the entire FX run. It finally dipped into the 0.2's in its first FXX season in 2017.

Then vs. now: Most of the truly legit comedies on broadcast don't peak right out of the gate, and FX has recognized that. Both of their biggest comedy hits Archer and It's Always Sunny have blossomed after several years of tiny ratings. These shows have always skewed extremely young, so there's probably been some value in them even at their lower levels. But now, FX has built a really strong property, and they don't want to let it go; therefore, it wasn't initially announced as one of the comedies bound for 18-34-centric FXX. If it were all about maximizing 18-34, Archer would certainly be FXX-bound. But clearly the mothership network wanted to keep one of the hottest draws in that demo for itself. However, as the franchise has softened a bit in the last couple seasons, FX finally did announce that Archer would head for FXX. That happened in 2017.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

1Winter 2010Thursday 10:000.530.30.9detail
2Winter 20110.55+3%0.40.7detail
4Winter 20130.93+37%0.71.1detail
5Winter 2014Monday 10:000.61-34%0.41.0detailD+
6Winter 2015Thursday 10:000.55-11%0.40.8detailB
7Spring 20160.40-26%0.30.5detailC
8Spring 2017Wednesday 10:000.26-36%0.20.4detailC+
9Spring 20180.18-29%0.10.3detail
10Summer 20190.13-27%0.10.2detail

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

1Winter 20101910.66323214
2Winter 20112115.73282820
4Winter 20134434.41534851
5Winter 20143321.87545422
6Winter 20153324.38464628
7Spring 20162823.35373726
8Spring 20172113.88333319
9Spring 20181712.78262614
10Summer 2019149.47212114


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


Spot said...

"Archer has aired its entire run on Thursday at 10/9c, with two exceptions: a special sneak preview in September 2009 before the show's official prmeiere,"

"premiere" is spelled wrong.

Spot said...

I figured that Archer skewed very young, and very male, which probably helped F/X pick the show up for seasons 2 and 3. As a fan, I'm glad it was renewed and am glad it's hitting its ratings stride instead of needing to call Kenny Loggins because Archer's in the "Danger Zone."

Spot said...

I caught up on the first few seasons of Archer on Netflix back in April and the show is hilarious! Glad to see it doing so well now.

Spot said...

I didn't even notice. I must have a slight dyslexia.

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