Monday, March 31, 2014

The Question, Monday 3/31/14: Will How I Met Your Mother's Finale Meet A Ratings High?


It's not even April, but the biggest series finale of the 2013-14 season is upon us. The How I Met Your Mother finale will feature an event baked right into the title of the show, and it also puts a bow on one of the most interesting TV ratings stories of the last decade. A bubble show in its early years, it picked up major steam amid the comedy renaissance of the late aughts. Though many believe its best creative days are past, it will leave the airwaves still very much in its ratings prime. It's a lock to be the second-biggest final season in the A18-49+ era, and a big finale likely makes this HIMYM's best historical-adjusted season. Will How I Met Your Mother's finale meet a ratings high? That's The Question for Monday, March 31, 2014.

How I Met Your Mother This Season Notable Penultimate -> Series Finales
3.7 (premiere, 9/23/13)
3.20 (average)
2.7 -> 2.9 -> 3.5 (last three weeks)
3.5 -> 6.0 (ER, 4/2/09) (+71%)
4.3 -> 5.8 (Lost, 5/23/10) (+35%)
2.7 -> 3.2 (Desperate Housewives, 5/13/12) (+19%)
2.2 -> 2.9 (House, 5/21/12) (+32%)
2.3 -> 3.0 (The Office, 5/16/13) (+30%)
3.4 -> 5.3 (Breaking Bad, 9/29/13) (+56%)

For comparison's sake, I throw out ER, which was drawing on a past audience that made the show top-5 for its first eight seasons, and Breaking Bad, which had the full promotional resources of an entire channel for the whole week leading into the finale. (HIMYM, on the other hand, doesn't even have the lead-in retrospective special that most of these shows did.) With those gone, the typical week-to-week growth for these finales is somewhere in the 30's percent. HIMYM is a stronger/hotter show than many of these were by the end, but it also doesn't have a huge former audience to bring back. A 30% week-to-week increase would be a 4.55, and a 40% week-to-week increase would be a 4.9. I don't have a compelling reason to go way outside of this range, but the titular event could drag it toward the upper end.

Over/Under: 4.85.

Just in case the finals are separated into 8:00 and 8:30 episodes, please note that we'll take the average of the two episodes' unrounded ratings.
 
No entries accepted after 6:00am ET the morning after the date in the headline. If editing your pick, please leave a separate comment.

24 comments:

Spot said...

Under.
This is not Seinfeld of Friends. I mean, many people aren't aware show is on, let alone it's ending today. So I don't expect it leaping over 5.0, but I think it could be close to it, meaning I expect 4.7 or 4.8. Then under, but obviously am not very confident in it.

Spot said...

OVER.

I haven't watched in years and I'm coming back for the finale tonight.

Spot said...

Oof. I predicted 4.9 which is right about where the line is. I guess I'll stick exactly w/it and go over.

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

Under at 4.8

Spot said...

Its been on the air so long that many different sets of viewers have cycled in and out of watching it. From this large pool of viewers, I'd expect a lot will be invested in watching the finale. Personally I know a lot of people who stopped watching regularly a while back that will be tuning in (including me).



Over, I'm guessing low 5's.

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

HIMYM is young-skewing enough that I could see some of its audience being only intermittent viewers in the L+SD window, and I think that this sort of crowd will be driven into live viewing by the finale event feel, much like how sport draws in this demo for live viewing.

Over.

Spot said...

My initial feeling last week was a now pessimistic looking 4.5. But I'm buying into the theory of a bunch of old viewers coming back (I stopped watching during S5 but may be tempted by the finale) and going higher. Over!

Spot said...

Over all day!

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

A very sad under. I love the show, but I doubt it breaks the big 5 again

Spot said...

I'll say Under at 4.7, which is what I thought at the beginning of the season.

Spot said...

It's true. Season 1 skewed older than the rest. Season 7 skewed younger. Which shows the audience has changed over time

Spot said...

Spotted set the line right where I believed it would be, tough decision.


Under at 4.8

Spot said...

I'm saying under. No chance it's breaking 5, but a good chance it'll be around 4.5.

Spot said...

Over. 5.0 or above.

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

I don't think it'll have the juice. Under.

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

This is a tough one. I really want at least the 8:30 half to close on an outright series high (meaning a 5.3). I agree with some posters about the cyclical audience (I have only been a live viewer for the last 3 seasons, but have seen the old episodes on Netflix). I also have a tendency to mis-estimate finale jumps. I am going to go 4.8 for the whole hour, so UNDER, but that is more optimistic than I was even this afternoon. I will say that the 8:30 half hour could go in the 5.0-5.2 range, nearing a series high if it is counted separately.

But, Under at a 4.8 for the hour

Spot said...

Not since ER have we seen a broadcast show's final season promoted this hard. Both CBS and the cast have not spared any expense in pushing HIMYM. That's going to pay off as people watch live instead of waiting a day or two.

Over.

Spot said...

I predicted a 5.2 at TVMI so have to go with the Over. As for how the series ended, I definitely feel satisfied. Already miss HIMYM.

Spot said...

I'm glad someone was!

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