Thursday, August 8, 2013

War of 18-49 Flashback, Moonlight (CBS, 2007-08)


Scheduling history: All of Moonlight's 16 episodes aired on Friday at 9/8c. The season was interrupted after 12 episodes by the WGA writer's strike, but the show returned for four post-strike episodes in spring 2008.

When there was hope: A little over a year before vampires completely took over pop culture, CBS took a stab at the genre with eventual Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O'Loughlin. Moonlight opened on 9/28/07 with 8.54 million viewers and a 2.5 demo, actually building by a tick on its lead-in from Ghost Whisperer. By week two, Moonlight had become a clear third-strongest show on CBS Friday; Moonlight dropped to 2.2, down from Ghost Whisperer's 2.5 and well below the 2.8 at 10/9c from Numb3rs. It settled in the low 2's for most of the rest of its pre-writers' strike run, though it did briefly pick up some momentum in November sweeps, hitting a 2.7 on 11/16/07.

When hope was lost: Moonlight was one of the few fall 2007 newbies to go back into production for the spring after the writers' strike ended. It aired four episodes after the 3+ month hiatus; the first two hit 2.1, then a new low 1.9, then another new low 1.8 for the 5/16/08 finale. CBS opted not to bring back Moonlight, though I have to think it was probably a pretty close call. The show posted the same A18-49+ as Close to Home the previous season, even though Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs ended up dropping in A18-49+, but it was still a clear weak link and below what CBS hoped for out of the Friday hammock slot. If only they'd known about the upcoming vampire craze, maybe things would've been different.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

Seas Year Timeslot Avg y2y Lo Hi Results Grade
12007-08Friday 9:

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

Seas Year A18-49+ Label Now15 y2y Lo Hi Premiere Finale
12007-08 67 solid(Fri)1.13 54 81 75 54

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


Spot said...

That's actually rather unfortunate. It's rare that CBS is in front of a youth-focused trend.

Spot said...

Yeah, I wonder what would have happened had they renewed this.

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