Monday, November 4, 2013

CW True Power Rankings, October 2013

As November sweeps kicks off, it's time for this season's first full edition of the True Power Rankings! I line up every entertainment program in broadcast primetime by network/category using my timeslot metric True, offering some thoughts on the ratings strength of the shows. As on the Weekly True Power Rankings, these True and A18-49 numbers are averages of the last third of the season's episodes to date rounded up, which weeds out inflated early episodes that don't really matter anymore. This year, I'm also including the year-to-year trend for the season to date and the "skew" (or percent of the total audience within the 18-49 demo). The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." These numbers are all through October 27.

Other October True Power Rankings: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

The CWTrueA18-49Skewy2yCounted Eps
The Big Four
1The Vampire Diaries1.431.3059%-16%2
2The Originals0.991.0058%2

If the CW can truly say it turned its big three into a big four in 2013-14, that will have been a decent season even if everything else ultimately bombs. I mean, the network was essentially three strong shows and seven bombs last year, so it's hard to make those seven hours much worse. Through week five, the network is averaging a 33 A18-49+ (or 33% of the big four's original non-sports series average). That's up from the 27 they had at this time last year and the 30 they finished 2012-13 with. While this doesn't include the week six numbers (when Arrow and TVD both dropped, perhaps due to situational factors) these shows all look to be in pretty good shape.

The CWTrueA18-49Skewy2yCounted Eps
The Middling Newbies
5The Tomorrow People0.680.7048%1

This Wednesday's ratings will be a very interesting test for The Tomorrow People, which has only continued bleeding after a very solid first two weeks. It seems unlikely the World Series would kill the CDub's Wednesday lineup to this extent, but it seemed to happen last year; both Arrow and Supernatural bounced all the way back in their first airings of November. I still say it gets a full season, but it's making it a lot harder than it should've been.

Meanwhile, Reign officially threw its hat in the ring by holding up in week three despite The Vampire Diaries' steep (likely Halloween-related) drop. If The Tomorrow People rebounds at all this week and Reign holds at another 0.6+ against the return of Glee, we could see all three of the new shows get a back nine simultaneously. (The networks seem to love doing it that way!)

Before the season, I thought there were three general scenarios for Reign: 1) It settles at a 0.7+ and stays in the post-TVD timeslot all season; 2) It settles at a 0.5-0.6 and gets a back nine, but has to move somewhere else (likely Monday); or 3) It settles at a 0.4-0.5 and gets cancelled at the end of the fall. We can re-evaluate if it shows some growth alongside what should be a TVD bounce-back, but I wouldn't think Reign is doing well enough right now to keep The 100 or Star Crossed from getting a stab at the slot in the winter. Still, #2 appears to be in play now.

The CWTrueA18-49Skewy2yCounted Eps
The Bottom Tier
7America's Next Top Model0.480.4046%-16%4
8Hart of Dixie0.430.4049%-33%1
9The Carrie Diaries0.350.3049%-50%1
10Beauty and the Beast0.320.3044%-64%1

Along the same lines, there are scenarios for the Monday lineup that match up with Reign's scenarios: 1) Everything Tuesday to Thursday stays put, so maybe the CW... moves the whole Monday lineup to Friday and goes with an all-new Monday of The 100 and Star Crossed; or 1a) maybe they just bury both the newbies on some combination of Monday/Friday/summer; 2) Reign joins Hart of Dixie on Monday, one of the newbies goes after TVD and one goes on Friday or in the summer; or 3) Reign gets cancelled outright, one newbie goes after TVD and one goes after Hart on Monday. The next few weeks of Reign and The Tomorrow People will be big in determining what happens, but given two midseason dramas and the lack of any huge problems in the Tuesday-Thursday sked, it seems unlikely that the CDub can ride out Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast on Monday.

There's a lot of time to talk about Hart of Dixie (and the other two bottom-end dramas), so I'll mostly table that. Though I'm not a believer in HoD getting a season four solely for syndication purposes, it will still likely be high enough on the totem pole that it isn't much of a reach for season four. (The Revenge of the CW, if you will.) It's still pretty mind-boggling how little depth this network had last year, and it's unlikely that problem will get totally solved by May.

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