In this third and final part, we will try unifying adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 ratings into one metric. There seems to be some potential for added value in even the crudest of combinations of these ratings, as seen in the linear correlations from part one.
On the Numbers Used
Here's the process used here: this is like the usual True Power Rankings, except rather than just using the average of 18-49 ratings, I'm using the average of 18-49 ratings plus the average of 18-34 ratings. (In part one, I called this TPF, or adults 18-Thirty-four rating Plus adults 18-Forty-nine rating.) I don't know at this point whether giving the ratings equal weight is the best possible combination of the two numbers, but it's a very easy one to understand for these purposes.
The I apply the "Sitch" (or the situational adjustment, based on viewing, competition and lead-in) from the 18-49 True formula to the TPF average to get True TPF (TTPF). This is another shaky proposition, because it's quite possible that difficult timeslots for 18-49 are even more difficult percentage-wise in 18-34. But for this very basic attempt, it will have to do.
So the main point here is not to take any of this too seriously. It's just an oversimplified attempt at adding 18-34 ratings to the mix. I'll mention some of the key differences between True TPF and True 18-49, but I'm mostly gonna be pretty brief in the commentary here.
These numbers are all through March 16. As with the normal Power Rankings, the TTPF/True/A18-49 only count the last one-third of episodes, rounded up, which helps weed out inflated early episodes. (The other numbers are for the full season, making them comparable with the same numbers examined in part two.) And to prevent numbers overload, I'm just limiting the lists to the marginal to somewhat sub-marginal scripted shows. The first show on each table is what I would consider the last lock renewal based purely on 18-49 ratings.
|4||Last Man Standing||2.77||1.65||1.38||67%||68||64|
|8||Super Fun Night||2.34||1.28||1.37||80%||91||102|
|9||Back in the Game||2.24||1.34||1.58||67%||89||84|
The most interesting thing to note about ABC is that they're the opposite of the way the comedy/drama dynamic usually works. Most networks' comedies skew younger than the dramas, but ABC has an older-skewing comedy brand (traditional family comedies) and a younger-skewing drama brand (soaps), so marginal dramas like Revenge and Nashville have the skew edge on marginal comedies like Last Man Standing, Suburgatory and The Goldbergs.
Nashville already gets a timeslot bump from True because it's aired after weak, incompatible 9:30 comedies all season. Then it gets another bump here from 18-34, putting it ahead of all the marginal comedies (at least a couple of which are probably pretty much renewal locks). Just another way of thinking about that show.
The True TPF inches Super Fun Night ahead of Back in the Game, which is certainly how it played out in terms of the shows' treatment. And it's also got Mixology closer to being a bubble show than the 18-49 numbers would suggest. Close enough to make it an actual bubble show? Worth keeping an eye on, but I'm doubtful.
|1||NCIS: Los Angeles||3.19||2.09||2.40||53%||127||96|
|6||Person of Interest||2.77||1.87||1.93||50%||102||72|
|8||The Crazy Ones||2.70||1.72||1.88||58%||112||92|
|10||The Good Wife||2.39||1.52||1.48||58%||75||61|
CBS' True TPF rankings are by far the least interesting, in part because the network is homogenous in 18-34 skew and in part because they've likely made all of their renewals already. Mom goes from slightly above marginal into more favorable territory, and The Crazy Ones also stacks up a bit higher, but CBS has long proven to judge comedies within their own realm and be pretty retentionista about it. If shows like Rob and Rules of Engagement could get cancelled with numbers that beat many of the second tier dramas (and may well have crushed them in TTPF), The Crazy Ones probably won't get any help from this.
Hostages' surprisingly high skew toward 18-34 actually inches it past Intelligence, which has been a somewhat stronger 18-49 player. But it still doesn't get it near the bubble conversation. And The Good Wife remains the ultimate Show That Can't Be Quantified. Fortunately, I've been at peace with this for a very long time now.
|2||Parks and Recreation||2.97||1.52||1.22||95%||62||84|
|5||Growing Up Fisher||2.60||1.58||1.70||65%||94||86|
|6||About a Boy||2.59||1.57||2.00||67%||112||105|
With NBC, it starts to get interesting. On the comedy side: Voice lead-out About a Boy has literally double the 18-49 rating of Community, but it leads it by less than a tenth of a point in TTPF. Early-renewed Parks and Recreation, well behind these shows in raw 18-49, nearly ties them in True but goes way ahead after its favorable 18-34 is figured in. Hence the early renewal.
This is a classic double-whammy situation in which Community gets a huge bonus just from timeslot adjustments, airing in the low-viewed Thursday 8/7c half hour vs. Tuesday at 9/8c after The Voice. But it's still well behind the Tuesday duo in True. Then it gets a major assist from its heavy skew toward 18-34. Boy and Fisher, meanwhile, skew a little less toward 18-34 than the 71% league average.
It'd be tough for this to happen using just 18-49, but it's far from inconceivable that in these rankings, the Boy/Growing Up Fisher combo drop a bit more by season's end, putting them behind Community's number. This could be a part of why Community ends up beating out the second of these two shows for a renewal.
Dramas: There's another double-whammy situation in the Parenthood vs. Revolution race. Revolution has had a slightly higher 18-49 average, but Parenthood's slot grades tougher enough to put it narrowly ahead in True. Throw in the fact that Parenthood tends to do at least a tenth better in 18-34 raw numbers and there's some major separation here.
Crisis and Believe debuted at 18-49 ratings that might actually put them a bit above the bubble, but the bad news is there was a CBS-esque level of 18-34 interest. (They each had just a 0.8 A18-34 on their respective 1.6/1.5's from last Sunday.) Tack that onto their normal week two drops from last night and it looks rather dire for these shows.
|6||The Mindy Project||2.77||1.32||1.30||109%||71||109|
The 18-34 effect is most strongly in play when you compare Fox's comedies vs. Fox's relatively average-skewing dramas. On an 18-49 basis, New Girl is about on par with The Following and Almost Human, but it shoots up into lock city once its 107% 18-34 skew is factored in. Shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Mindy Project, which appear to be well behind the Monday dramas in 18-49, inch past Almost Human in a TTPF comparison.
Perhaps the most useful thing that these rankings do is create the necessary separation between early-renewed The Mindy Project and almost-certainly-cancelled Dads, whose 18-49 True scores are virtually even.
While it also helps Glee, it still doesn't bring it up to what seems like a "bubble" kind of level. Maybe the 18-34 should be weighed more heavily in a Glee case, but I'd still much rather have Almost Human.
|2||America's Next Top Model||1.08||0.49||0.42||100%||22||31|
|3||The Tomorrow People||0.91||0.48||0.52||90%||30||38|
|4||The Carrie Diaries||0.81||0.40||0.34||106%||16||24|
|5||Hart of Dixie||0.72||0.40||0.40||84%||20||24|
|7||Beauty and the Beast||0.67||0.34||0.30||97%||15||21|
This helps illustrate what I was trying to get at with my wacky theory from last month about how The Carrie Diaries could survive. It's had the same 18-34 numbers on Friday as Hart of Dixie on Monday, which I would argue makes it the stronger show. But I will say that I am somewhat wary about trusting the 34/49 ratio when the numbers are this small. Carrie goes above the 100% 34/49 threshold because it had a couple weeks with a 0.3 A18-49 and 0.4 A18-34, but those numbers could be virtually even before rounding (0.35/0.35). There's no reason to believe they are that way, I'm just trying to illustrate that rounding creates a wide range of possibilities with numbers this low.
Though the chaos-loving side of me was rooting for that theory to come to pass, this was not a good week for it. The Tomorrow People and Hart of Dixie held up well in their respective moves to Monday and Friday, and (probably more importantly) The 100 premiered strongly. So at least for this week, there are still several potentially better possibilities for the last renewal slot(s).