Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The War of 18-49, Warehouse 13


Scheduling history: The first two seasons of Warehouse 13 aired somewhat on an island on Syfy Tuesdays. Then the network moved the show, making it the centerpiece of their so-called "Powerful Mondays" push into scripted programming. It led into Alphas in season three and for the first half of season four, then it went to 10:00 and led out of newbie Defiance in 2013. The short final season in spring 2014 also aired at 10:00.

See (who saw) how it all began: Warehouse 13 had a pretty successful start, launching to a 1.0 demo for its two-hour pilot on 7/7/09. And it managed to hold pretty close to that number for most of the rest of the season. It hit a 1.0 three other times later in season one, a 0.9 several other times, and only dipped below 0.9 on three occasions (including a 0.7 for the 9/22/09 finale).

The best of times: Warehouse 13 then duplicated that 1.0 high point again in its season two premiere on 7/6/10, marking the fourth different episode that hit the number. The total viewership high remains the two-hour pilot, which had 3.51 million viewers.

The worst of times: After staying relatively steady in its first three seasons, Warehouse 13 really began crumbling in 2012 and 2013. Season four started with a rock-solid 0.8 on 7/23/12, but it quickly plummeted to settle around a 0.5 for most of the rest of the 2012 campaign. Its 2013 run mostly consisted of 0.4's and 0.5's, but it actually dipped all the way to a 0.3 for the 6/3/13 episode. Then it hit three 0.3's in the six-episode final season, including just a 0.31 rating for the 5/19/14 series finale. The series low was a 0.26 on 5/5/14.

Then vs. now: Warehouse 13 has been one of the few scripted successes in Syfy's arguably disappointing post-Battlestar Galactica era. The lightweight show had three very solid seasons while darker and more acclaimed series like Caprica and Alphas went by the wayside. It's not exactly leaving the network in great hands, as its Monday teammate Defiance ultimately didn't follow up on the breakthrough potential of its premiere ratings. Syfy's search for a truly signature drama will continue, but W13 deserves some credit for keeping the scripted lights on at Syfy.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

Seas Year Timeslot Avg y2y Lo Hi Results Grade
1Summer 2009Tuesday 9:000.910.71.0

2Summer 20100.80-12%0.71.0

3Summer 2011Monday 9:000.74-7%0.50.9

4ASummer 20120.55-27%0.40.8

4BSummer 2013Monday 10:000.43-20%0.30.5

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

Seas Year A18-49+ Label Now15 y2y Lo Hi Premiere Finale
1Summer 2009 30 23 33 33 23
2Summer 2010 28 25 36 36 25
3Summer 2011 29 20 35 31 20
4ASummer 2012 23 17 32 32 24
4BSummer 2013 21 16 25 25 22
52013-14 18 14 23 23 17

For more on The War of 18-49, my look at the history of primetime TV's veteran shows, see the Index.

1 comment:

Spot said...

Jeez. They really hung this show out to dry with that time slot change.

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