Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Top 10 of the Last 10: Which 2013-14 Shows Would've Made the Cut?

Last summer, the "Top 10 of the Last 10" lists used A18-49+ to compare the top shows across the last ten years, adjusting for the collective same day ratings decline. This summer, the lists aren't getting totally re-done, but here's a look at what would've made the cut if they were getting totally re-done. Each list is linked below, so check 'em out if you weren't here last summer!

Comedy Seasons:

Once again, The Big Bang Theory (269) checked in with the new biggest sitcom season since Friends, putting it at #2 over the last eleven years. And a declining Modern Family (188) was still good enough, tying for #8 on the new list. The final season of How I Met Your Mother (180) was the show's biggest season ever, but it's in a three-way tie for #11 on the new list.

Drama Seasons:

As has been usual of late, nothing on broadcast was even within fifty points of making the cut. Scandal (162) took over as the #1 broadcast drama and was a bit stronger than the #1 drama of the previous two seasons (NCIS, which topped b'cast with a 159 in 2011-12 and 2012-13)). It's now been six years since the last megahit drama on broadcast.

Cable is another story, as another mind-blowing season of The Walking Dead (351 fall, 367 spring) would've absolutely destroyed everything on the list. And while Game of Thrones (194) would've been about 20 points shy, it continues to trend sharply in the positive direction.

New Scripted Shows:

In a year heavy on hits, The Blacklist (151) was the biggest; it would've been on the list at #7. The Millers (140) also would've made the cut, tying Rob (another timeslot hit leading out of The Big Bang Theory) for #9. Sleepy Hollow (138) had the ratings to qualify for the top 10 last year, but the other 2013-14 newbies would've bumped it down to #12 in a new list, right between #11 Once Upon a Time (139) and #13 Two and a Half Men (137).

Scripted Newbie Reach Renewals:

The axe was wielded much more than usual this year, and no newbie renewal came even close to making this list. The closest thing to a renewal reach was Brooklyn Nine-Nine (80), and even it was 11 points higher than the shows at the bottom of this list: Happy Endings and 30 Rock (69 each).

Network Seasons:

The four networks were all quite close together this year, so none of them made this list. #1 original network CBS (106) was three points behind last year's delivery, and that was only good enough for #10 last summer.

Netlet Scripted Seasons:

Though the CW became a bit deeper in 2013-14, nothing stood out enough to make the cut here. The Vampire Diaries (54) was just a single point behind the #10 entry (TVD's 2011-12 season), while a stunningly big season from Supernatural (53) was just another single point behind. The Originals (47) tied 90210 (47) as the third-biggest newbie in CW history.

Scripted Episodes:

The second half of The Big Bang Theory's season premiere (324) became the fifth-biggest scripted episode of the era. Its episode on 1/9/14 (303) would've made the list last summer but is knocked down to #11 by the other BBT ep.

Once again, The Walking Dead would've totally distorted everything if it were included. If it were included on a new list, its episodes would've taken all eight of the #3 through #10 spots on the list!! Its fall premiere (435), spring premiere (434) and spring finale (425) would've been #3, #4 and #5.

Scripted Newbie Cancellations:

Continuing the dominance of CBS comedies on this list, The Crazy Ones (111) would've checked in at #4. Two-and-through We Are Men (101) is #11 and Almost Human (100) #12; both would've beaten the 99 from last year's #10 Eleventh Hour.

Days of the Week:

Monday remained the most crowded night on broadcast for a second straight year in 2013-14, and that's not even accounting for Monday Night Football on cable. Its 126 average would've tied for #5 (with 2008-09 Tuesday), and it was higher than the 122 average on Monday nights last year.

Friday Scripted Seasons:

It was a very good year for Friday night programming in general, but at least on a scripted basis, it was more about depth than huge standouts. Hawaii Five-0 (76), Grimm (75) and Blue Bloods (74) all came up just shy of the 77 bar to make this list, while Last Man Standing (71) wasn't that far off either. Technically, the seven Friday Bones episodes (82) would've made it, though I don't know if I'd count that since it was less than a third of the full season.

The biggest Friday story of the season was on the unscripted front; Shark Tank (103) was easily the strongest Friday series in the era. Undercover Boss (80) and 20/20 (78) also contributed seasons that would've been good enough to crack the top 10 scripted list.

Veteran Final Seasons

A great final season from How I Met Your Mother (180) put it at a comfortable number two on this list, ahead of both Lost (161) and Everybody Loves Raymond (155) and behind only Friends (300). There are tons of announced final seasons for 2014-15; the one probably most worth watching for this list is Two and a Half Men.


Spot said...

You know, after all the bleating that FOX made about year-round programming (which I have to admit I bought into precisely because of the rerun numbers), things feel pretty much the same as a normal FOX summer, except with lower ratings and more effort.

Spot said...

Mike and Molly is an odd case as it seems to be just there for the ride despite the fact that it actually getting pretty decent ratings. I definitely agree with you though that even though it was technically at the top of the hour it will always feel like a bottom of the hour show.

Also, I think something that could be worth mentioning is its repeat value. This summer for instance it's been consistently the highest rated repeat on CBS Monday and higher rated than some of the Thursday ones.

Spot said...

That could very well be it. I think another reason is that while CBS sees potential for late booms (a la Mother, Big Bang, Men) in stuff like 2 Broke Girls or Mom, they never really saw it in Mike and Molly. Then again, that may be justified again by its skew.

Spot said...

I still think it's safe to call Cougar Town's move a successful story that should inspire the same thing to happen to other shows. After all, lasting three seasons after the move, with two renewals, is for sure a positive thing, even if syndication was at the origin of all those renewals.

Spot said...

Just wow, wow and wow at The Walking Dead! So impressive!

Spot said...

I am very confused as to why the repeats percentage feels exactly the same. There were a lot of timeslots that ran practically repeat free on some of the nets...
Some examples:
- FOX Monday, all season long, except for the very occasional Sleepy Hollow or Bones repeat
- FOX Tuesday, except for the 9 half hour with New Girl
- FOX Wednesday
- FOX Thursday, except for some occasional Glee repeats back in the fall
- ABC Mondays 8-10pm
- ABC Wednesday 9h30
- ABC Thursday 8-10pm
- ABC Friday 10pm
- ABC Sunday
- NBC Sunday, except for some occasional voice repeats at 7 or 8pm
- NBC Monday, except for some very occasional blacklist repeats
- NBC Tuesday, except for some occasional Chicago Fire repeats
- NBC Thursday
- NBC Friday
- CBS Monday 8pm since Mother barely repeated this year
- CBS Monday 8h30 since they plugged FWBL there
- CBS Monday 9h since they plugged MM there after 6 weeks of 2 Broke Girls
- CW Mondays 8pm, with HoD practically repeating there and Star-Crossed running repeat-free
- CW Wednesdays 9pm with TTP and The 100 timesharing

Spot said...

To me that's an imperfect argument because you can't really just add the walking dead to the league average. Either you include cable or you don't and if you include it, then the league average would be much more depressed than it is now, even with the walking dead effect. Therefore, the walking dead would be even bigger than it appears now!

Regardless, even if we do it your way, it's still as much as impressive: The highest rated drama season is at 263. The Walking Dead is currently at 367 and according to Spot, it would go down 8 points if it was included in the league average. So, ~360. That's still 100 points (100!!!!) over the biggest drama season ever, hence making it... the biggest drama season ever!

What's more: the biggest comedy season ever is 300 points (Friends), while the biggest reality season is (I am assuming this, correct me if I am wrong) 319 American Idol! This means that even a discounted for the league average Walking Dead at 360 would be around ~50 points higher (50!!) than any reality or comedy season!

This would literally make The Walking Dead the biggest entertainment program hit on television... ever!

Spot said...

That's just crazy, right?

Spot said...

I'm guessing that Mondays got even more crowded thanks to another approximate 10% league average decline while the Monday shows did incredible business: all of ABC's shows either stemmed the bleeding (Dancing with the Stars) or dipped less than league average (Castle, The Bachelor), The Blacklist sustained its numbers unlike 2012-2013's Revolution, Sleepy Hollow blew comparisons against The Mob Doctor out of the water, and How I Met Your Mother had a phenomenal final season ratings-wise.

Two and a Half Men should easily crack the Veteran Final Seasons list, so its placement is the bigger question to me; there's a pretty big gap between Everybody Loves Raymond and ER, so if it can hold steady in Plus it'd land there. A big help for 2.5 Men should be the fewer weeks of reruns thanks to football: CBS can go full-strength in January and take advantage of the lull that NBC and ABC will probably have before they battle it out with The Blacklist and Scandal, respectively.

Spot said...

The biggest hit of the 18-49 Plus Era that is! Since there is no real way to make that claim since there is no Plus before 2003, but Friends was no peaked in its final season. I'm thinking its 2001-2002 season where it surged to top program as Americans found their love for NYC post 9/11, would probably be above that 300. But I have no proof

Spot said...

Friends was the #1 during its 8th season, unless the league average dropped more than expected, it hit numbers higher than 300.

We can't forget about ER seasons during the late 90s and early 00s and Seinfeld's final season.

Spot said...

Well the One Where Rachel has her Baby had something like a 17 rating in 2002. I think Walking Dead is one of the biggest hits in TV history, but maybe not THE biggest

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