Monday, June 2, 2014

The War of 18-49, Raising Hope


Scheduling history: Raising Hope launched on Tuesday at 9/8c, leading out of the peak season of Glee. In season two, Fox wisely shifted it to 9:30 to launch the far more substantial newbie New Girl. Late in season two and through season three, it led off Fox's attempt at a two-hour comedy lineup on Tuesday. And season four was essentially burnt off in the Friday 9:00 hour.

See (who saw) how it all began: Raising Hope began its run with 7.31 million viewers and a 3.1 demo rating on 9/21/10. That wasn't a terrible raw number, especially for Fox's plagued live-action comedy department, but it led out of one of the very biggest episodes of Glee (5.6). Hope held onto that whole 3.1 in week two as Glee hit its biggest regular rating ever (5.9), but it dipped big to 2.5 in week three. That mid-2's level would be the norm for most of the rest of the fall.

The best of times: Most of Raising Hope's best numbers came in season one, but season one also featured by far its best timeslot, leading out of top TV drama Glee (175 Plus). Its series high raw rating was a 3.3 on 3/1/11, following a special Tuesday edition of American Idol (7.6). The show held up respectably in season two after New Girl (137 Plus), duplicating its series premiere rating (3.1) following the breakthrough New Girl pilot (4.8).

The worst of times: However, the Glee/New Girl-driven Tuesday was never quite the same after the baseball hiatus in fall of 2011, and Raising Hope followed suit. After going 3.1 -> 3.1 -> 2.9 in those three fall episodes, Hope returned from hiatus at 2.5 and quickly dropped into the low 2's. A move to 8/7c brought it down into the high-1's, then into the mid-1's. It was never going to hold that in its season four move to Friday, but the results on that night were particularly egregious. It started at 0.8/0.7 in its Friday debut on 11/15/13 and never went any higher, and it got as low as a paltry 0.4 on 3/21/14. It ended with just a 0.6 on 4/4/14, which was actually its biggest rating in over a month.

Then vs. now: Raising Hope's first season wasn't really that impressive given Glee's enormity, but it was the closest thing Fox had had in quite awhile to a live-action comedy foothold. Once they got an actual foothold with the surprisingly stout first season of New Girl, they decided to get aggressive. But in retrospect, it was probably a major red flag that they felt Raising Hope was their best choice to lead off the two-hour lineup. It wasn't a total dud at 8/7c, but it wasn't really strong enough to lead into a new series. Fox moved on to Dads as the Tuesday lead-off show in 2013-14 with no more (but not really any less) success, but New Girl's continued struggles were the real story. Meanwhile, Raising Hope bombed so hard on Friday that it didn't even get to the 300 Career A18-49+ plateau, which seemed like a lock before the season. Once a key cog in Fox's promising return to live-action comedy, Raising Hope leaves the air as just another example of the disappointment it all turned out to be.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

Seas Year Timeslot Avg y2y Lo Hi Results Grade
12010-11Tuesday 9:002.481.83.3detail
22011-12Tue 9:30, Tue 8:002.16-13%1.53.1detail
32012-13Tuesday 8:001.59-27%1.21.8detail
42013-14Fri 9:00, Fri 9:300.65-59%0.40.8detail

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

Seas Year A18-49+ Label Now15 y2y Lo Hi Premiere Finale
12010-11 97 marginal1.64 71 130 122 87
22011-12 92 marginal1.54 -6% 63 131 131 76
32012-13 75 marginal1.27 -18% 57 85 81 57
42013-14 35 flop0.58 -54% 21 42 42 32

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


Spot said...

Raising Hope season 1 is one of those clear timeslot hits due to lead in. All the Hope lead outs bombed because half the audience of Glee had bailed before Hope and another half after. Speaking of which, all the Raising Hope lead outs bombed. Running Wilde, Traffic Light, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Ben & Kate, and Enlisted. I have nothing personally against it, but it has nothing to show for itself now that it has ended

Spot said...

Well, it has the adoration of a small but passionate fanbase, but so do a lot of things, and the fact that I have to bring it up in this manner shows how little impact it's had on the actual business of TV in the immediate wake of its cancellation. Which kinda sucks.

Spot said...

I got the impression that the final season wasn't too well liked by fanso

Spot said...

Honestly, I'm not engaged enough w/ the rest of the fanbase to really know of such things. I just know it wasn't quite the same.

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