Thursday, August 15, 2013

War of 18-49 Flashback, Friends (NBC, 1994-2004)


This is a special Flashback edition of the War of 18-49 for NBC's longtime ratings monster Friends, for which I've gotten a lot of ratings requests over the years (at least by my standards). Like with most shows, I have no real 18-49 info prior to the 1999-00 season, and it's spotty even in the first couple years after that, but I figured I should get around to sharing what relatively little I do have. (If you have more than I do, let me know!) Since I have so much less context for most of the time in which Friends aired, I won't weave the epic tale that I do for other series. I'll pretty much just spit out what I have.

Notes: As I said, I have almost nothing in 18-49 from the first half of Friends' run, though this archive of total viewer/household averages suggest the show peaked in season two, gradually lost audience over the next five years, then perked up again in the last three seasons.

The viewership/18-49 high was the post-Super Bowl episode on 1/28/96, which averaged 52.93 million viewers and a 28.2 demo rating. The series finale on 5/6/04 averaged 52.46 million viewers and a 24.9 demo rating.

This was a show that regularly spiked big-time for finale episodes. The "Hi" below in seasons 6-8 and season ten were all for the season finales. Only season nine peaked early in the season (immediately after Rachel having a baby in the season eight finale).

Adults 18-49 info by season:

Seas Year Timeslot Avg y2y Lo Hi Results Grade
61999-00Thursday 8:0012.629.616.0

72000-0111.19-11%7.315.7

82001-0213.04+17%10.517.0

92002-0311.53-12%8.416.6

102003-0412.17+6%9.024.9


Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

Seas Year A18-49+ Label Now15 y2y Lo Hi Premiere Finale
82001-02 303 megahit5.09 244 395 367 395
92002-03 261 megahit4.38 -14% 190 375 375 280
102003-04 300 megahit5.05 +15% 222 614 291 614
AVERAGE:288megahit
CAREER:864icon*

*- This show was upgraded to "icon" based on projected A18-49+ totals from the missing seasons.

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

4 comments:

Spot said...

Love seeing these Flashback posts. Friends was a fantastic TV show with amazing ratings, even when the show dropped as you said it was still a megahit. Would love to see more from Friends for the data you do have, I'll try and have a look around for any more data to help.

Spot said...

any episode-by-episode details?

Spot said...

Thanks for this!

Spot said...

Friends
S4 - 12.5 A18-49
S8 - 15.1 A18-49 (source: USA Today)

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