Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Question, Sunday 3/30/14: Will The Walking Dead Reanimate A Record Viewership?


The highest-rated scripted show in recent TV history wraps up another season tonight, and somehow it keeps finding positive momentum even at these totally unrealistic ratings levels. The Walking Dead nearly tied its series high in the spring premiere despite facing the Winter Olympics. Then, after a few episodes slightly behind the corresponding fall ratings, it's pulled ahead of the fall pace in recent weeks, making it very likely to post its highest finale ever tonight. A really big spike might even see it make a run at series high levels. Will The Walking Dead reanimate a record viewership? That's The Question for Sunday, March 30, 2014.

The Walking Dead Fall 2013 | Spring 2014 Episodes
8.19 | 8.17 (-0%)
7.14 | 6.83 (-4%)
6.80 | 6.64 (-2%)
6.83 | 6.41 (-6%)
6.20 | 6.30 (+2%)
6.05 | 6.36 (+5%)
5.65 | 6.66 (+18%)
6.09 | ???

As I said above, it slightly trailed the fall pace for the first half of the spring, then pulled slightly ahead in recent weeks. (Makes me think people weren't all that interested in The Governor's return late last fall.) This culminated in a penultimate episode that went a full point (or 18%) ahead of the fall's penultimate ep. If this episode mirrors the +18% pace, it'll hit a 7.2. Was the +18% exaggerated because of how "low" last year's penultimate ep was, or does it mean the growth is going to continue getting bigger? Based on how it's been trending over the last few weeks, and because pessimism is rarely rewarded with this show, the latter seems more likely. The show usually doesn't spike huge for finales, but it has gone up more for the spring finales.

Over/Under: 7.95.

No entries accepted after 6:00am ET the morning after the date in the headline. If editing your pick, please leave a separate comment.

16 comments:

Spot said...

Drawing an 8.0 will be really high but I'll guess the Over anyway. This has been an AWESOME spring season for TWD.

spotupj, your baselines for this game are excellent. I've been well stumped the past several times.

Spot said...

I was thinking "7-handle," so with this line it's an UNDER.

It's TWD, though. I hate taking the under on TWD :)

Spot said...

I hate betting against cable, but Under at 7.6.

Spot said...

Under.
I'm just assuming it won't raise 20% w2w. But nothing is impossible with TWD, so I'm not sure in my choice at all.

Spot said...

Over (8.1-8.2)

Spot said...

I wonder what the under/over ratios have been for cable/broadcast Questions.

Spot said...

I freaking love The Walking Dead even though I am dead scared for tonight's episode! I cannot see it outperforming the series high but an 8.0 may be possible. I really have no idea so I will go optimistic because it's TWD and say over!

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

When it comes to The Walking Dead, my answer will always be over.

Spot said...

Under


(it must happen for TWD someday...right??)

Spot said...

over (???) I am shaky on this... but when I'm shaky I go over

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

The last two season finales were up about 1.1 from the previous episode. So...under.

Spot said...

Over. The Walking Dead always overpreforms for premieres and finales

Spot said...

I'm gonna use the "how much has each spring finale grown from the last spring finale" formula. Each one has grown 1.7 points thus far. If we get that again, that's an 8.1. Over.

Spot said...

Since I just updated my spreadsheet this morning and this is one of my categories...

4 to 1 over for cable Questions
30 to 23 over for broadcast Questions

One thing to keep in mind for my math is that some Questions are double-counted because they span multiple networks. And I do "wonky" things with multi-net Qs like the Resurrection OR Cosmos Question. In that example both ABC and Fox earned an over because the structure said that if either go over, then it's a win. But in a Question like The Millers vs. The Others, I redefined it as CBS vs NBC & The CW and accounted for each network as such.

Keep in mind that this is me essentially spit-balling since Spot and I are going to count things differently (i.e. he's more refined). However, I think it holds up that Spot has a pessimistic bias against cable shows (or at least The Walking Dead), but less so on broadcast shows.

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