Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/30/14

  • Much like the Sunday Reckless/Unforgettable flip, a CBS Wednesday flip didn't hurt Extant (1.1) in its move to 10/9c and improved the repeat Criminal Minds (1.1) at 9/8c. Because Extant was so wildly incompatible skew-wise with Big Brother, holding last week's unimpressive number is not that much of an achievement.
  • The CW had a nice start out of newbie Penn and Teller: Fool Us (0.5), which outrated anything scored by CDub unscripted newbies Perfect Score and Capture last summer. This series originated in the UK three years ago and was cancelled after one season, so any kind of continued relationship beyond this season would probably be more expensive for the CW than this surely cheap acquisition was. But the surely cheap acquisition itself looks like a win so far.
  • And score one for Twitter as Syfy's original movie Sharknado 2: The Second One (1.3) roughly tripled the first movie's delivery from last year. It was the network's most-watched original movie ever.

The War of 18-49, Bob's Burgers


Scheduling history: Aside from a few odd 9:30 episodes, the first three and a half seasons of Bob's Burgers aired on Sunday at 8:30 after The Simpsons. A shake-up to the animated lineup bumped Bob's Burgers to 7:00 in spring 2014, and it's returned to the earliest hour (at 7:30) starting in fall 2015. Fall 2018 will finally see a regular return to the 8:30 timeslot.

See (who saw) how it all began: In the last few years, Fox's best animated ratings have regularly come on the night after Fox has a late-afternoon NFL playoff game. That made it a great place to launch something new, and Bob's Burgers responded with 9.38 million viewers and a 4.5 demo on 1/9/11 (down from The Simpsons' 12.55 million and 5.7). It was the biggest scripted series premiere of the 2010-11 season. No NFL help brought Bob's back to reality; it dropped 44% to a 2.5 demo the next week, then to a 2.2 in week three. It held in the low 2's for the rest of the season, a bit behind its usually mid-2's Simpsons lead-in.

The best of times: Bob's Burgers has never again gotten remotely close to the 4.5 on premiere night. After being held for midseason again in 2011-12, Bob's Burgers got its first whack at the fall in 2012-13 and thus grew a bit in that season. After several low 2's ratings through the fall, it got up to a 3.1 with NFL playoff help (on 1/6/13, two years after the series premiere). It then got as high as a 2.9 in the 2013-14 season, once again in the same week.

The worst of times: Bob's Burgers was actually down less than the league average as of the end of January 2014, possibly headed for its biggest season yet in Plus, when the scheduling of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey intervened. Both Burgers and American Dad! got shoved to the 7:00 hour, and Fox opted to give the better 7:30 slot to the show that was about to leave the network. At 7:00, Bob's opened at a series low 0.9, briefly improved into the low 1's, then dropped again in April. It got as low as a measly 0.6 rating for an Easter Sunday 7:00 airing on 4/20/14, and took five years to get back to that raw low again.

Then vs. now: Part of the initial appeal of Bob's Burgers was that it came from an alternative voice in a Fox animation world increasingly overrun with Seth MacFarlane shows. That may be a big part of why it's now outlived second-tier MacFarlane cartoons The Cleveland Show and American Dad! (at least on Fox). However, Fox seems to have pretty much given up on making this show anything better than a second-tier performer. It was eyebrow-raising when Bob's got the worse slot in the 7:00 hour and outgoing American Dad! went to 7:30, and the preferential treatment for Dad! has continued during summer rerun season. It all led to a fall schedule in which Bob's Burgers will be back in the lowest-viewed hour, only airing when there's no direct NFL lead-in. But Fox needed it as a stopgap after the Mulaney debacle, and then again after the failure of Cooper Barrett's Guide in early 2016. In fall 2018, after Fox wiped out its live-action comedies, it will finally get regularly scheduled in a 'main' timeslot.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12011Sunday 8:302.331.94.5detail
2Spring 20121.87-20%1.72.1detail
42013-14Sun 8:30, Sun 7:001.47-24%0.62.9detail
52014-15Sun 7:30, Sun 9:301.23-16%0.92.0detail
62015-16Sunday 7:301.04-15%0.91.4detailB-
92018-19Sunday 8:301.04+3%0.62.1detailB+
102019-20Sunday 9:000.73-29%0.42.1detailC-

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

2Spring 201279marginal0.34-14%72898072


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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/29/14

  • Week two of Food Fighters (1.3) had some real fight in it, growing a shocking three tenths from an unassuming 1.0 premiere last week. We'll see if this was a blip or something in the coming weeks, but this will keep it very much on the radar for now.

War of 18-49 Update, The Middle (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the fifth overall) of The Middle on ABC.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 7/27/14

  • ABC added a second hour of Wipeout (0.8) to lead off their Sunday, and it proceeded to bring the two-hour period well behind last week's lineup with strong repeater America's Funniest Home Videos leading off. That helped Rising Star (0.9) move down another notch. Way to go, ABC.
  • WGN America's Manhattan (0.18) was better-reviewed than its network's first scripted foray Salem (which premiered nearly three times higher at 0.51 in April), but the period concept was clearly not as appealing to the masses in the current TV environment. Cable's two strongest newbies this summer, TNT's The Last Ship (1.1) and FX's The Strain (1.0), steadied week-to-week, while the second episode of Lifetime's The Lottery (0.21) went completely off the map.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 7/25-7/26/14

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Monday 7/28/14

  • Another season of The Bachelorette (2.0 finale, 2.1 After the Final Rose) is in the books, and this one didn't seem to attract the franchise's usual huge heat late in the season. The finale was at season high levels, but up just two tenths week-to-week and 23% behind last year's finale.
  • NBC premiered Running Wild with Bear Grylls (1.4) at 8/7c, and it went just below last year's 1.5 premiere for Bear Grylls effort Get Out Alive. Considering that show aired at 9/8c after American Ninja Warrior while this one was leading off, NBC will take it. And Running Wild was a major improvement on the usual 8/7c repeats NBC's been running, which helped produce a new season high for increasingly hot American Ninja Warrior (2.0).
  • Hotel Hell (1.6) solidified its renewal case by inching up in week two.

War of 18-49 Update, The Game (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the seventh overall) of The Game on BET.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Schedules Plus Update, ABC (2013-14)

Schedules Plus looks at the evolution of network schedules and timeslots using fairer numbers adjusted for historical decline. These update posts will link back to the now updated full posts for each day, and the update posts have exclusive comparisons vs. last year's schedule (in parenthesses) and vs. the full 11-year historical average (in the "VsAvg" row).

Many more disclaimers can be seen on the individual pages, but the most basic one to keep in mind is that the listed schedules are fall lineups, even when midseason replacements may have done much better. (But I try to mention those midseason replacements that did better.)

War of 18-49 Update, Archer (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the fifth overall) of Archer on FX.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 7/24/14

  • On a generally steady Thursday night, the biggest notable was a show that should've bounced: the season finale of Hell's Kitchen (1.7), instead merely even and thus 26% behind last summer's finale. It now begins just a seven-week hiatus before becoming one of the first fall premieres on September 10. To make matters worse for Fox, Gang Related (0.7) gave back its spike from last week in its last episode with a good lead-in; it'll have to follow Sleepy Hollow repeats for the next three weeks.
  • After a decent start for FX's comedies last week, Married (0.41) and You're the Worst (0.29) pretty much tanked in week two, each down over 30%. USA's disappointing premieres held up better; Rush (0.48) was actually up from last week's 0.39, while Satisfaction (0.44) down about 10%. Still... no winners among this bunch.

War of 18-49 Update, Justified (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the fifth overall) of Justified on FX.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/23/14

  • The Wednesday original debut of America's Got Talent (2.4) went below the 2.8 Wednesday debut from last year, though that was two weeks earlier on the calendar; it tied the 52-weeks-ago airing on 7/24/13 and also tied this week's Tuesday airing. 
  • That lead-in injection pumped up Taxi Brooklyn (1.0), but only back to its premiere number and no higher. For now, that's lower than what The Night Shift was getting even when it aired after Got Talent repeats. The more relevant comparison for Taxi's fate may be last year's Camp, which had a 1.0 on this night last year and settled at 0.9 in the back half of its season.
  • If there was one show on another network hurt by Talent's arrival as competition, it was definitely Extant (1.1), down a brutal four tenths to more than cancel out its overachieving hold from last week. Motive (0.6) also took a hit at 10/9c opposite a stronger Taxi. The unscripted competition ironically fared best, with So You Think You Can Dance (1.1) and Big Brother (2.3) each on the upswing.

A18-49+: The League Averages Post

The A18-49+ theme posts combine all of the individual season info in one specific category, allowing us to line up the last decade-plus of collective Live+SD ratings declines on a relatively apples-to-apples basis. In future seasons I will update these pages with the new season numbers.

Since the introduction of A18-49+, I've had some requests for a post that simply lists what the "league average" is in each season. So here they are, plus a few rambling thoughts on the evolution of the league average.

To reiterate, "league average" is defined here as the Live+SD adults 18-49 rating for the average moment of original non-sports series programming on the big four networks during the 35- or 36-week TV regular season. All the A18-49+ numbers on this site are calculated by dividing a rating or average rating by its season's league average and multiplying by 100.

War of 18-49 Update, CSI (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the fourteenth overall) of CSI on CBS.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/22/14

  • NBC's new reality series Food Fighters (1.0) had a mediocre start at 8/7c, going in the same general area as most of NBC's scripted premieres this summer. As for recent NBC unscripted comparisons, it went well behind last summer's Get Out Alive (1.5) and Hollywood Game Night (1.4) debuts but slightly ahead of this spring's American Dream Builders (0.9). Lead-out America's Got Talent (2.4) was finally back in originals and 14% behind the first live show last season.

War of 18-49 Update, Law and Order: SVU (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the fifteenth overall) of Law and Order: SVU on NBC.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 7/21/14

  • For the first time in 686 days, Fox's Hotel Hell (1.5) was on the air, ending a crazy hiatus for a show never actually removed from the network roster. Though it probably didn't have as many male viewers (and won't have as many DVR viewers) as previous occupant 24: Live Another Day, it pretty much brought a typical 24 same-day rating to the table (and just two tenths behind last week's finale). The 1.5 was almost exactly the historical-adjusted equivalent of the 1.9 with which it began season one in 2012, though season one aired at 8/7c with no big lead-in from MasterChef (2.1). This was a decent start, but it's unclear how committed Fox really is here given the long absence.
  • MasterChef had the only outright season high among Monday's reality veterans, but fellow series American Ninja Warrior (1.9) and The Bachelorette (1.8) were also on the high end. CBS' Under the Dome (1.5) took a big week-to-week hit, falling well behind all of them. (Once again, it followed the lead-in; Two and a Half Men (1.0) was six tenths behind last week's The Big Bang Theory.)
  • And after just one week, the CW re-arranged its Monday lineup. It helped significantly on the whole, as the boost to the Whose Line Is It Anyway? repeat (0.6) at 8:30 far exceeded the losses from weak comedies Seed (0.2) and Backpackers (0.1).

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 7/20/14

  • ABC's Sunday lineup gave back its World Cup-fueled bounce from last week... and in the case of Rising Star (1.0), it gave back that bounce and then some, dropping by 0.3 to go 0.2 beneath its previous low. Last week's World Cup lead-in was perfectly timed so that ABC execs could talk about this show's ratings momentum at press tour, but that's clearly gone now (if it was ever there).
  • Unforgettable (1.0) picked up another notch in its second week at 9/8c, putting it pretty close to what it was delivering after Big Brother last summer.
  • On cable, FX's The Strain (1.0) was down two tenths in week two, while Lifetime's new drama The Lottery (0.4) drew little initial interest.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 7/18-7/19/14

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 7/17/14

  • NBC's new comedies Welcome to Sweden (0.8) and Working the Engels (0.6) were each down a tenth in week two.
  • Fox had a good night as Hell's Kitchen (1.7) and Gang Related (0.9) each gained two tenths week-to-week. For Hell's Kitchen, that pretty much just got it back on track after a couple disappointing results surrounding the 4th of July. But for the disappointing Gang Related, it was the show's best rating since week two.
  • On cable, double newbie launches on FX and USA produced little to crow about. FX's comedies Married (0.65) and You're the Worst (0.44) actually outrated USA's Rush (0.39) and Satisfaction (0.49) on average, though they also had a much better lead-in (the FX movie averaged a 0.8, and quite possibly higher right at 10/9c). For USA, it feels like a long time since the days when they would regularly launch new dramas in the low-to-mid-1's.

SpotVault - Hotel Hell (Fox) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Hotel Hell
Mondays, 9/8c, Fox

SpotVault - Seed (CW) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Mondays, 9/8c, CW

SpotVault - Backpackers (CW) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Mondays, 9:30/8:30c, CW

SpotVault - The Strain (FX) - Summer 2014 Ratings

The Strain
Sundays, 10/9c, FX

SpotVault - Masters of Sex (Showtime) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Masters of Sex
Sundays, 10/9c, Showtime

SpotVault - Ray Donovan (Showtime) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Ray Donovan
Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime

SpotVault - You're the Worst (FX) - Summer 2014 Ratings

You're the Worst
Thursdays, 10:30/9:30c, FX

SpotVault - Married (FX) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Thursdays, 10/9c, FX

SpotVault - Satisfaction (USA) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Thursdays, 10/9c, USA

SpotVault - Rush (USA) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Thursdays, 9/8c, USA

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

The War of 18-49, Hawaii Five-0


Scheduling history: CBS' Hawaii Five-0 began its run on Monday at 10:00 (a night on which the original Hawaii Five-O never aired in its 12 seasons). After three seasons in that slot, CBS moved it to Friday at 9/8c for the 2013-14 season. After six seasons at 9/8c, CBS moved it to 8/7c on Friday in fall 2019, though it returned to the 9/8c hour later in the final season.

See (who saw) how it all began: A remake of an iconic '70s crime drama on CBS, the expectations were big for Hawaii Five-0 out of the gate. But there was no Five-0 premiere in the cards; it opened at 14.20 million viewers and a 3.9 demo rating on 9/20/11. It was still one of the biggest scripted series premieres of the 2010-11 season, tying its lead-in on that night (Mike and Molly). After encouraging holds in weeks two (3.6) and three (3.5), Hawaii Five-0 took its biggest dip in week four (3.1). It held in the general vicinity of 3.0 for most of the rest of season one.

The best of times: The 3.9 on series premiere night remains Hawaii Five-0's regularly-scheduled series high. It held onto the 3.0ish audience from early season one pretty much through all the way through late season two, perhaps benefiting to some extent from the major growth in the CBS comedy block in 2011-12. The actual series high was a 5.6 demo, which came after the AFC Championship Game in early 2011. It didn't do nearly as well (3.5) when it got that berth again two years later.

The worst of times: Hawaii Five-0 took its first significant ratings downturn in season three, and it started with a nightmarish 1.8 premiere that was a new series low by a half point and down nearly half from the previous premiere. (This is still one of the most surprising veteran series ratings I can remember.) Fortunately, it was something of a blip, as Five-0 rallied to low-2's for most of the rest of the season, but the full season was still down 25%. This prompted a move to Friday, where Five-0 dipped significantly but had one of the smaller drops seen in a Friday move. It was down 34% from season three, but many series to make this jump have dropped 40% or more.

Then vs. now: Hawaii Five-0 was one of TV's strongest 10/9c shows in its three years on Monday, but it never made the leap to truly elite drama. The 3.9 premiere was not the breakthrough some expected, and the ratings never lived up to the very high standard set by previous Monday 10/9c occupant CSI: Miami. But the show has done better against the low expectations of Friday than it did against the higher ones on Monday; Five-0 has been stronger in A18-49+ than any of CSI: NY's three seasons on Friday. With its season seven renewal for the same Friday 9/8c slot, it's ensured it will run on the night for longer than NY did. And though it was mostly pretty steady in its first three years on Friday, it took a big leap in season seven when joined by new drama MacGyver.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12010-11Monday 10:
42013-14Friday 9:001.42-34%1.21.8detail
102019-20Fri 8:00, Fri 9:000.72-7%0.60.9detailB+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:



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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/16/14

  • After a disappointing premiere, Extant (1.5) had a good hold in week two, dropping just a tenth week-to-week and brightening its prospects a bit.
  • But a good week two hold doesn't mean you've necessarily settled in, as Taxi Brooklyn (0.8) can attest after inching down again in week four. But America's Got Talent (1.3) goes original next Wednesday, which could help matters.
  • Maybe I jinxed So You Think You Can Dance (1.0) a couple weeks back when I said it was holding up nicely. It's shed two tenths each of the last two episodes, and it's now getting walloped by repeats of America's Got Talent. And again, the Got Talent originals will join the mix next week, which can't be a good thing. Dance is not even doing meaningfully better than ABC repeats (which, by the way, have been way up year-to-year throughout July). It looks like SYTYCD should settle in for another rocky ride to renewal.

The War of 18-49, Shameless


Scheduling history: All seasons of Shameless have aired on Sunday at 9:00.

See (who saw) how it all began: Showtime's dramedy Shameless was based on a British series of the same name, but that series clearly didn't bring a mass American following to the table out of the gate. Shameless premiered at a modest 982,000 viewers and 0.4 demo rating on 1/9/11. It dropped to 810,000 viewers (and held the 0.4) in week two, but it was pretty much all uphill from there. It grew to 903,000 viewers in week three, then over a million (and spiked to a 0.6 demo) in week four. Most of the second half of its season saw 0.5 ratings.

The best of times: Shameless, like many cable dramas before and since, took a massive leap between seasons one and two. After a season one full of 0.4's and 0.5's, Shameless generally hit 0.7's and 0.8's in season two (only dipping to 0.5 against the Super Bowl). Season three began with another huge spike to 1.1 on the 1/13/13 premiere night (0.3 above any previous result), and that remains the series high. The spike for the full season didn't end up quite living up to that 1.1 promise (it settled around 0.8), but it was still another significant leap.

The worst of times: Shameless has never returned to the depths from early season one. Until the sixth season, its last 0.4 rating came in episode eight. After double-digit growth in seasons two and three, though, the show did have its first ever decline in season four (albeit by a miniscule amount), and it dropped more significantly in season five.

Then vs. now: Though Homeland looked like the new Showtime darling after its season one Emmy win, Shameless may have quietly become Showtime's biggest ratings success in a post-Dexter world. Though Homeland had that Emmy and two years with the Dexter lead-in, Shameless season four narrowly outrated Homeland's first season without Dexter. And it pulled this off in what many would argue is a more difficult time of year: Sunday event season. Though Showtime has sat out Shameless against the Oscars the last few years, it's still faced the Super Bowl in each of its first five seasons.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

1Winter 2011Sunday 9:000.470.40.6detail
Winter 20120.71+52%0.50.8
2Winter 20130.82+16%0.61.1detail
3Winter 20140.81-1%0.60.9detail
4Winter 20150.71-13%0.50.9detailB+
5Winter 20160.64-9%0.50.8detailB+
6Fall 20160.54-16%0.40.6detailB

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

1Winter 20111816241620
Winter 20123023353431
2Winter 20133928515143
3Winter 20144331474645
4Winter 20154232524842
5Winter 20164432524345
6Fall 20164434514051


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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/15/14

  • The MLB All-Star Game (3.2) was even year-to-year and slowly continues to add total viewers (or skews slightly older, if you prefer). This game has been bizarrely steady in recent years, going from 3.1 in 2011 to 3.2 each of the last three years.
  • The game (or something else) took a sizable bite out of The Night Shift (1.1), down by two tenths on finale night despite a slightly better lead-in. An America's Got Talent recap special (2.0) did slightly better than recent in-timeslot repeats, and the show's strange hiatus finally ends next week.

A18-49+ Update: Time of Day in 2013-14

Here's a look at trends among the original series sorted by time of day on the big four networks in 2013-14:

War of 18-49 Update, Survivor (Spring 2014)

Let's take a look at the spring 2014 season (the twenty-eighth overall) of Survivor on CBS.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 7/13/14

  • ABC Sunday was on the upswing, thanks mostly to a huge lead-in from the World Cup Final in the late afternoon. This effect was evident in the huge 0.6 spike week-to-week from America's Funniest Home Videos at 7:00, and it got smaller as the night wore on with Wipeout (up 0.3, but still hitting its highest rating in the last two summers) and Rising Star (up 0.1).
  • CBS got another very good Big Brother result, up 0.3 week-to-week and slightly up vs. the same week last year. The Unforgettable/Reckless switch put two tenths into Unforgettable and took one from Reckless, a trade-off that CBS will happily take.
  • On cable:
    • FX dove into a crowded Sunday fray that it's generally avoided in recent years, and it had a good start with new vampire drama The Strain (1.2). This tied TNT's The Last Ship as the biggest scripted premiere on cable this summer and was a fair bit stronger than recent FX premieres like The Bridge (0.9), Fargo (0.8) and Tyrant (0.6).
    • Elsewhere, The Last Ship (1.0) stayed in the ones for a fourth straight week. And Lifetime's Devious Maids (0.8) finished out a largely rough sophomore season with a new season high; it may have helped its renewal case in the last couple weeks.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 7/11-7/12/14

  • NBC's Crossbones (0.5) had its first growth, but not enough to change its fate (and it can be explained by NBC re-installing the strong Dateline in the first two hours).
  • Disney's Girl Meets World (0.6) lost much of its young adult luster in week two, shedding 50% of its premiere audience in A18-49 and skewing closer to typical Disney Channel fare (25% A18-49 vs. 31% for the premiere two weeks ago).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Monday 7/14/14

  • The finale of 24: Live Another Day (1.7) had a pretty nice week-to-week spike, hitting the series' best rating since early June. But, like pretty much everything since the premiere, it was still a weaker show than 24 at the end of its original run (even after making our usual historical adjustments). Any further return will probably come down to non-ratings issues; Fox won't exactly be beating down the door to get it back at any cost, but they wouldn't mind having these kinds of ratings again either.
  • The other male-friendly drama was also on the upswing; Under the Dome (1.9) rebounded by two tenths after its big drop last week, but it also had an assist from the return of The Big Bang Theory (1.6) at 9:30.
  • And the CW had relatively invisible debuts from comedies Backpackers (0.2) and Seed (0.2). Backpackers comes from the CW's digital platform (called "CW Seed"), while Seed (confusingly, totally unrelated to "CW Seed") is a Canadian import. These were certainly low-cost propositions whose ratings will not break the CDub bank, but the network is probably a bit discouraged by how thoroughly the Whose Line Is It Anyway? audience (0.5) rejected the first attempt at companion comedies.

War of 18-49 Update, American Idol (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the thirteenth overall) of American Idol on Fox.

SpotVault - Welcome to Sweden (NBC) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Welcome to Sweden
Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

SpotVault - Working the Engels (NBC) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Working the Engels
Thursdays, 9:30/8:30c, NBC

SpotVault - Extant (CBS) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Wednesdays, 9/8c, CBS

SpotVault - Witches of East End (Lifetime) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Witches of East End
Sundays, 9/8c, Lifetime

SpotVault - The Bridge (FX) - Summer 2014 Ratings

The Bridge
Wednesdays, 10/9c, FX

SpotVault - Finding Carter (MTV) - Summer 2014 Ratings

Finding Carter
Tuesdays, 10/9c, MTV

SpotVault - The Leftovers (HBO) - Summer 2014 Ratings

The Leftovers
Sundays, 10/9c, HBO

Monday, July 14, 2014

A18-49+ Update: Days of the Week in 2013-14

Here's a look at trends among the original series sorted by day of the week on the big four networks in 2013-14:

War of 18-49 Update, Dancing with the Stars (Spring 2014)

Let's take a look at the spring 2014 season (the eighteenth overall) of Dancing with the Stars on ABC.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 7/10/14

  • NBC's streak of 1.0+ scripted premieres finally came to an end with the premieres of Swedish import comedy Welcome to Sweden (0.9) and Canadian co-production Working the Engels (0.7). The shows roughly matched the late-season Undateable level and were well behind its surprising 1.3 premiere. I dunno if this will make NBC look a bit more favorably at Undateable, which also skewed a good bit younger than these shows, but Sweden (already renewed abroad) probably shouldn't be totally counted out just yet.
  • Most shows were on the rebound from the low-viewed beginning to the 4th of July weekend. The most notable changes: Hell's Kitchen growth to 1.5 was a bit underwhelming; this was still below most points from the rest of the season. But Big Brother's half-point surge to 2.1 capped off a reasonably encouraging week for the show; the Wednesday 1.9 was down just a tenth year-to-year, and this Thursday ep was flat with 52 weeks ago.

War of 18-49 Update, The Good Wife (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the fifth overall) of The Good Wife on CBS.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/9/14

  • CBS' second summer event drama didn't start off nearly as well as the first. Of course, Under the Dome's 3.3 from last year probably set an unrealistic standard, but Extant (1.6) didn't even manage half of that rating. At 9.6 million total viewers, the show skewed surprisingly old, pretty much right in the CBS procedural wheelhouse and much older than Under the Dome (even this season). As with most post-Big Brother dramas, the discrepancy in skew between lead-in and lead-out was particularly striking; Extant had over 50% more total viewers but was down three ticks from Big Brother (1.9) in 18-49ers. It's still the biggest scripted series premiere of this summer; but after a finals downtick, only tied with The Night Shift. It's not that hard to envision a cancellation with this start.
  • Elsewhere, So You Think You Can Dance (1.2) took a hit against increased CBS competition. And NBC's Taxi Brooklyn (0.9) adjusted down, snapping its run of 1.0's.

War of 18-49 Update, Parks and Recreation (2013-14)

Let's take a look at the 2013-14 season (the sixth overall) of Parks and Recreation on NBC.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/8/14

  • Airing after yet another America's Got Talent repeat (1.7), the penultimate The Night Shift (1.3) dropped just a tenth. This was a tenth better than its first episode after a repeat. A clip show leads into next week's Night Shift finale before Got Talent is back in originals on 7/22. What's with all these repeats, anyway?

Spotted Ratings, Monday 7/7/14

  • The disappointment continued for Under the Dome (1.7), down another 19% in week two to basically put it on par with the second-tier reality franchises of the summer. This was a larger decline vs. week two of last year (-41%) than the premiere had. Right now, it pretty much blends in ratings-wise with the Monday reality series, but the declines may not be over. It is worth noting that it had a major lead-in decline this week as The Big Bang Theory departed in favor of Two and a Half Men at 9:30.
  • While the dome caves in, the Monday reality shows are getting healthier; The Bachelorette jumped two tenths to its biggest rating since the premiere. MasterChef continued its rehabilitation from an early-season slump by cracking 2.0 for the first time this season. And a steady American Ninja Warrior remained slightly up year-to-year.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 7/6/14

  • Reckless held its egregious 0.6 in week two, while Unforgettable plunged to a new low 0.7. This prompted CBS to flip the two dramas starting next Sunday, a move that will probably not make much difference for either show (but may bring Reckless low enough to get outright pulled).
  • Against no formidable music-themed competition (NBC's Miley Cyrus special bombed), Rising Star (1.2) was steady in week three. For whatever it's worth, this was even with week three of Duets from two years ago, so the show at least seems to be avoiding real disaster territory.
  • Cable:
    • HBO's The Leftovers (0.7) was down less than a tenth in week two while its True Blood lead-in (1.7) inched up;
    • Lifetime brought back Witches of East End (0.5), tying its low point from season one and below the 0.7 series premiere from last year;
    • And AMC wrapped up a solid The Walking Dead marathon over the 4th of July weekend with a special season preview edition of Talking Dead (1.0). Illustrating the unreal gap between The Walking Dead and everything else, even this middle-of-summer Talking Dead easily more than doubled the network's recent original drama results.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 7/4-7/5/14

  • I'm not really into banging on the broadcasters for not pulling ratings on the lowest-viewed weekend of the year, but it is worth noting that the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (1.1) has been on a pretty poor trajectory of late, going 2.1 -> 1.8 -> 1.5 -> 1.1 over the last four years. The lowest-viewed night of the year is even lower-viewed than usual when it falls on a Friday, which might explain some of the 27% drop this year.
  • For the trivia buffs, nothing on the big four fell to a 0.1 this weekend; I thought the best candidate was probably the 24 repeat, but it maintained its recent 0.2 level. A Bad Teacher burn-off and a Mistresses repeat on Saturday joined it at 0.2. With the 4th falling on Saturday next year, look out!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Question, Wednesday 7/9/14: Will Extant Ratings Blast Off?

CBS' big event premiere of the summer has arrived: the science fiction drama Extant, starring Halle Berry as an astronaut who returns to Earth. The comparisons with last season's huge Under the Dome premiere (3.3 last summer) are inevitable, but there are a lot of differences with this show. It has a Big Brother lead-in; that will bring good ratings, but Extant is probably not much more compatible with Big Brother than CBS' other drama efforts. The show brings a far bigger star to the table than Under the Dome did, but though CBS' promotion has been extensive (and the reviews relatively positive), this show does not have quite as elegant a concept as did Under the Dome. Some of the promotion has seemed a bit confusing to me. So I see this premiere rating hinging to some degree on Halle Berry's ability to draw. I think that will happen to a pretty solid extent, but not on an eye-popping Under the Dome-esque level.

Over/Under: 2.05.

War of 18-49 Update, Drop Dead Diva (Summer 2014)

Let's take a look at the summer 2014 season (the sixth overall) of Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 6/19/14, 6/26/14 & 7/3/14

Apparently I didn't get to the 6/19 post before vacation, so some of this is really old news! But anyway...

  • After a relatively steady return for Rookie Blue (1.1), down just a tenth year-to-year, it dipped to 0.9 in week two, tying its series low and well below episode #2 of last season. And NY Med (0.9) came back on 6/26 at 25% behind the 1.2 with which it began its last season in 2012.
  • NBC couldn't muster up a post-NBA Finals rally for its comedy-themed night, as Undateable was flat on 6/19, ticked down on 6/26 and again for the three 7/3 episodes. Purely on merit, I would not totally count this show out; it had comparable numbers to NBC's dramas from last summer, and those shows had far better situations. But given the burn-offish way NBC initially scheduled it, plus the uninspiring week-to-week trend, I would guess NBC is not going to be swayed all the way to a renewal by these results.
    • And after a massive drop on 6/26 (to a number below the repeat from three days earlier), Last Comic Standing strangely got back a tenth on much lower-viewed 7/3, even though it was apparently a clip show...?
  • Big Brother had a good start on 6/26 but took the largest week-to-week hit (30%!) of any broadcast series on lower-viewed 7/3. Because the last couple eps have come on viewing-depressed nights, it's not entirely clear where the show is at right now, but this Wednesday and Thursday should be informative.

A18-49+ Update: Comedies, Dramas and Unscripted in 2013-14

Here's a look at trends among the original series categories (comedies, dramas, and unscripted) on the big four networks in 2013-14:

The War of 18-49, Game of Thrones


Scheduling history: All seasons of Game of Thrones have aired on Sunday at 9:00.

See (who saw) how it all began: Game of Thrones hit the airwaves to incredible hype among fans of the George R.R. Martin book series on which it is based, but that fanbase wasn't large enough to make GoT a smash out of the gate. It opened on 4/17/11 to a decent but unspectacular 2.222 million viewers and 0.9 demo rating. The 0.9 remains tied as the series low demo rating, while the viewership low came the next week (2.202 million). But it ticked up to a 1.0 in the demo that week, then to a 1.1 in week three, then to a 1.2 in week five. It stayed on that 1.2 for most of the rest of season one, but it ended with a series high 1.4 for the season one finale: a suggestion that bigger things were ahead.

The best of times: As with many modern cable dramas, Game of Thrones' biggest percent viewership leap came between seasons one and two. It obliterated the previous high with a 2.0 demo to open season two on 4/1/12, then spent most of season two in the upper 1's before closing on another new high 2.2. It then hit new series highs another six times in season three, culminating with a 2.89 rating for the finale. Then it blew away the series high again with a whooping 3.6 to open season four, and it had three more new series high moments later in the season. It had yet another new series high 4.19 to open season five on 4/12/15, and nearly topped it again for the season five finale (4.14), then set yet another new one in the season six ender (4.35). It just kept on exploding in season seven, with new highs for the 4.71 premiere, 4.98 third-to-last episode, and unreal 5.70 finale.

The worst of times: Game of Thrones may never again return to its 1.0ish depths from season one. Its only times below that threshold were the aforementioned 0.9 series premiere on 4/17/11 and another 0.9 on Memorial Day later in the season (5/29/11).

Then vs. now: When True Blood took a dip in season six, it became clear that Game of Thrones was the new signature HBO drama. But so pronounced was GoT's growth in season four that it didn't just surpass True Blood of the present; it became far bigger than True Blood ever was. As with all high-rated dramas on pay cable, the inevitable question arises about how much bigger it would be on a basic cable network with three times as much household coverage.You can't just say there'd automatically be three times as much audience; the show probably skews heavily toward the HBO subscriber base anyway, and surely there are many who subscribe specifically for Game of Thrones. But there are undoubtedly a lot of people disenfranchised as well, as seen in the show's ridiculous piracy numbers. For many years, the issue was kinda trivial, because the Game of Thrones ranking position was pretty clear; it's miles behind top drama The Walking Dead and new 2014-15 breakout Empire, but well ahead of everything else. But with its unbelievable continued growth in season seven, now it's legitimately close to TWD territory and the question deserves to be asked.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

1Spring 2011Sunday 9:
2Spring 20121.92+71%1.62.2detail
3Spring 20132.62+36%2.32.9detail
4Spring 20143.68+41%3.43.9detail
5Spring 20153.52-4%2.54.2detailA-
6Spring 20163.85+9%3.24.3detailA
7Summer 20174.82+25%4.35.7detailA+
8Spring 20195.224.45.8detail

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

1Spring 20114435553555
2Spring 20128169948494
3Spring 2013124111137113137
4Spring 2014195179210192202
5Spring 2015209150249249246
6Spring 2016264223299273299
7Summer 2017394351465385465
8Spring 2019549465608529608


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

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