Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The War of 18-49, Rizzoli & Isles


Scheduling history: Rizzoli and Isles got two full seasons leading out of TNT's flagship procedural The Closer on Monday. Since then, it's moved to Tuesday and successfully anchored that night.

See (who saw) how it all began: Rizzoli and Isles began on 7/12/10 with a whooping 7.55 million viewers and a slightly less whooping 1.6 demo rating. That put it just barely behind its The Closer lead-in's total viewership (7.66 million), but it was actually a tick ahead of The Closer's demo (1.5). That dynamic would continue through Rizzoli's first season; it dropped into the low 1's but stayed about a tenth ahead of The Closer in the demo.

The best of times: Rizzoli and Isles still hasn't topped the 1.6 demo from series premiere night, though it hit a couple other 1.6's later in season one (on 8/9/10 and 8/23/10). While Rizzoli and Isles was at its strongest raw levels in its pairing with The Closer, it has arguably become much more valuable since the move to Tuesday, where it has been a lead-in for other series. It dropped just 11% in its first summer run, then went up by 6% in summer 2013.

The worst of times: Since season two, Rizzoli and Isles has gotten the split-season treatment, airing a small portion of its season against regular-season competition. Usually, the 'buzzier' shows hold up better than the 'casual tune-in' shows, and Rizzoli is squarely in the casual category. Last season, it still hung around 1.0 during the summer, but didn't break 1.0 for a winter episode in its last several years. It got as low as a 0.36 on 3/1/16.

Then vs. now: Rizzoli and Isles had a great formula for success, leading out of highly compatible The Closer and bringing together recognizable stars from two of the biggest syndicated procedurals (NCIS and Law & Order). And it's delivered exactly what all of those built-in audiences wanted. Despite its productivity, the emergences of Falling Skies and later The Last Ship mean it it hasn't actually been TNT's top demo drama since season one (and even then it beat The Closer by less than a tenth). With the fall of The Last Ship and The Librarians in 2015-16, Rizzoli was finally able to go out on top in its final season.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

1Summer 2010Monday 10:001.461.301.60detail
2Summer 20111.23-16%1.101.40detail
Fall 20110.940.801.10
3Summer 2012Tuesday 9:001.09-11%0.831.29detail
Fall 20120.79-16%0.700.86
4Summer 20131.15+6%1.011.42detail
Winter 20140.75-5%0.670.88
5Summer 20140.96-17%0.831.10detailB
Winter 2015Tue 9:00, Tue 8:000.63-16%0.560.76
6Summer 2015Tuesday 9:000.70-27%0.570.82detailC-
Winter 2016Tue 9:00, Tue 10:000.43-32%0.360.50
7Summer 2016Monday 9:000.58-17%0.500.70detailB

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

1Summer 2010524657575310
2Summer 2011484355474310
Fall 201140344734475
3Summer 2012463555515510
Fall 201238334136395
4Summer 2013554868685712
Winter 201440364638394
5Summer 2014514459545412
Winter 201537334545376
6Summer 2015423449454912
Winter 201629253428326
7Summer 2016403448404813

The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.


Spot said...

I've been following Rizzoli & Isles's ratings since it began (I love the show), and didn't the pilot get the highest-viewed pilot of a cable show, or was it just below "Raising the Bar"? Either way, I've always thought Rizzoli was TNT's #1 show, despite Falling Skies.

Anyway, great post, I love these War of 18-49s. Looking forward to a Game of Thrones one :)

Spot said...

Agreed, I love Rizzoli and Isles!

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