Friday, November 14, 2014

CW True Power Rankings, November 2014

After an unfortunate delay for some maintenance, the True Power Rankings have finally returned! As always, these rankings dive into the strength of series based on the last one-third of results this season, rounded up (which helps weed out inflated early ratings), in the timeslot-adjusted metric True and in A18-49 ratings. Also included: how the show is trending vs. last season (y2y), how much of the show's total viewership falls within the 18-49 demo (Skew), and, new this year, how much of the 18-49 audience is male (%Male). These last three numbers cover what is available for the full season rather than just the last third of results, but generally the age/gender skews don't change a lot from week to week.

These rankings include results through Sunday, November 9.
More November True Power Rankings: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

The CWTrueA18-49y2ySkew%Male
1The Flash1.471.4551%60%

The Flash needs to average just a 0.90 the rest of the season (assuming a 1.70 league average, which might be optimistic, plus the 23-episode order that Arrow has always gotten) to become the biggest historical-adjusted scripted series in the history of the CW. In other words: this is going to be the biggest historical-adjusted scripted series in the history of the CW. It's just a matter of by how much. If it hits eighteen more 1.4 ratings, that'll put it at a 85 A18-49+ - a very renewable show by big four standards and nearly forty percent ahead of the previous CW Plus record. That probably won't happen. But even a more pessimistic 1.1 average over the next eighteen would put it at about a 71, still double digits ahead of season one The Vampire Diaries' 61 (and about on par with the fall 2007 Top Model cycle (72) that holds the record overall). It's a legitimate question whether the CW will actually last long enough as a network for this show to drop to cancellation-worthy levels.

The CWTrueA18-49y2ySkew%Male
The Safe Tier
3The Vampire Diaries0.830.80-29%62%33%
5The Originals0.610.55-37%62%39%
6Whose Line Is It Anyway?0.570.50-6%48%58%

Not a lot of excitement here except the general observation that the ratings strength is becoming more and more male. The Originals has done a passable job on Monday, and The Vampire Diaries is still fairly high in the rankings, but Arrow has pulled way ahead of them in these rankings. TVD's five-year streak as the network's biggest 18-49 performer is definitely coming to an end.

The True formula hates Supernatural, docking it over a tenth for leading out of Flash. I don't really think it should be this low; it's one of those shows like Nashville and Revenge that is likely more resilient than this one global formula can account for. These shows tend to grade better True-wise in worse situations, and SPN has got a great one right now. Still... dropping more than league average year-to-year with the biggest lead-in in network history isn't exactly a positive. It's clearly going to vacate this hour in favor of a newbie, but will it be within this season or next fall? If it's not within this season, consider that more of a no-confidence vote in the midseason dramas.

The CWTrueA18-49y2ySkew%Male
The Unsafe Tier
8The 1000.520.50-32%41%55%
9Jane the Virgin0.470.4048%31%
10America's Next Top Model0.470.33-16%46%25%

Reign season two might actually be shaping up a bit like Reign season one; after an unimpressive start, it's settled in over the course of the fall and may well have inched ahead of the other bubblers. The comparison with The 100 is kinda like the one with The Tomorrow People last year, in that Reign gets a bit of an assist here for its significant skew incompatibility with TVD. (The 100 is less compatible with Arrow than TTP was, but in terms of sheer lead-in volume, Arrow is stronger and TVD a lot weaker than last fall.) Reign has a couple other things in its favor: it's got two full seasons, and it's from the CBS studio that can't seem to earn its presence on the schedule on merit. As long as Reign is on par with the other shows in this tier, I would tend to give it the best shot at survival.

Beyond that, it's probably too early to say much about shows like The 100 and Jane the Virgin. One might think that a limited series like The 100 would be expected to flex a little more muscle in first-run than this, but we have to see the comparison with whatever replaces it at midseason. And the midseason scheduling will tell us something about Jane the Virgin; if it manages to keep its Monday 9/8c slot all season, that means the network likes its modest ratings better than the potential of a second midseason newbie. If it plays out the end of its order on Friday, that's more troublesome.


Spot said...

It's crazy how extreme the genders are for the shows. The Flash, Arrow, The 100, and somewhat surprisingly Whose Line are all VERY male. Vampire Diares, Reign, The Originals, Top Model, and especially Jane the Virgin are VERY female. Only Supernatural isn't heavily one of the other. Which kinda explains how it could do well out of female anchors (Gilmore Girls, Vampire Diaries, Originals) and male anchors (Smallville and Arrow). Which makes it's inability to take off from The Flash to much more baffling! It's compatible with Superman and the Green Arrow, but The Flash is just too different!?

Spot said...

I'm glad the True formula shows that even though the Originals had a timeslot downgrade or sorts, it's stll underperforming enough to put it at a clear 4th place. I mean getting a .5 before isn't too great. I mean Whose Line can pull off .5's against tons of unscripted on Friday!

Spot said...

In my power rankings, Jane the Virgin is still ahead of Reign and The 100 by ratings. Nevertheless, I think Jane is most likely out of 3 to be cancelled, because it isn't enough ahead to overcome advantage in episode count other two shows are holding over it.
Jane had bad premiere number (0.7 W18-34, adjusted up in finals from 0.6, so probably something like 0.66), but it held very well from there (0.6 -> 0.7 -> 0.5 -> 0.6) to move itself from flop territory into kinda-bubble territory. "Kinda", because Jane ratings are not good enough for "real" bubble, but sophomore shows are slumping, and that makes Jane pity renewal candidate.

Anyway, all those 3 shows I see as "too early to tell". Elsewhere, boring, with 4 obvious renewals, and The Originals being safe too. Arrow is now #3, it overtook Supernatural thanks to Felicity episode. If Arrow being 3 hundredths ahead of Supernatural (instead being 3 behind) is the most interesting thing over last few weeks... then it's really boring.

Power rankings
Bellow numbers are not completely correct, because for some episodes I could find only preliminary 18-34 ratings. Also, for some episodes I have A18-49 with 2 decimal places, and for others with only 1. But error is surely not significant enough to change any show's position on a totem pole.

1.57 A18-49 The Flash (1.50 M18-34)
1.15 W18-34 The Vampire Diaries (0.81 A18-49)
0.95 A18-49 Arrow (1.08 M18-34)
0.92 A18-49 Supernatural (0.88 W18-34)
0.73 W18-34 The Originals (0.64 A18-49)

0.62 W18-34 Jane the Virgin (0.48 A18-49)
0.53 W18-34 Reign (0.43 A18-49)
0.50 A18-49 The 100 (0.48 M18-34)

Spot said...

What do you think showrunner job is? Just to stay around and count big bucks they're paying to him/her? One of showrunner's most important responsibilities is to cut the show exactly for the demo that network is targeting with particular show.

Spot said...

The CW's affiliate agreements expire in September 2016. It will be interesting to see what happens, especially with The CW showing some ratings momentum. Perhaps Warner and Tribune making a deal without CBS's involvement? It feels awfully unlikely that there isn't a successor network at this point, and I wouldn't have said that 2 years ago.

No matter what happens, it seems a given that we'll be getting a third DC show (Green Lantern?) in 2016.

Spot said...

I think that The CW has definitely pulled off what Fox did in 2010-2011: expanding/creating four anchors across all four weeknights. Granted The Vampire Diaries and The Originals aren't as powerful as whatever equivalent Fox shows you want to use in the comparison (let's say House and Glee, making Arrow & The Flash the equivalent of American Idol's two nights), but given the nadir of the network back in 2011-2012 this is impressive.

It's amazing that The CW has also become a bifurcated network between genders. Other than the Supernatural bridge, everything is heavily female or heavily male. Being able to appeal to both genders is a contributing factor why the show is still on the air.

Among the female-appealing shows, I think the better comparison is between Reign and Jane the Virgin. They do roughly the same business and both have the CBS Studios distribution similarity. But I think True is either undercounting Jane or giving Reign too much credit because The Originals is weaker than The Vampire Diaries and Jane has to face stronger competition overall (The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, Scorpion, Sleepy Hollow) than Reign (Scandal, 2.5 Men/McCarthys, Gracepoint, Bad Judge/A to Z). Is the HUT spread between Monday and Thursday that wide to actually make the difference?

A recurring theme here is The CW's midseason class. Wherever they land, and the domino effect they create, effectively tells us about how the brass feels for their future as well as the freshmen/sophomore scripted class; you just can't spin a Hart of Dixie/Jane the Virgin pairing on Fridays as anything positive for the latter. And since I'm still of the mindset that The Messengers replaces The 100, iZombie feels like the real wildcard. Going to Mondays or Thursdays (Thursdays being the least likely of the four possibilities) makes the night more cohesive thematically; going to Tuesdays gives it the highest volume possible; going to Friday means they like it the least with an incompatible partner and lowest HUT night.

Spot said...

Will be interesting to see how many Big Four shows rate lower than Flash and still get renewed. I can't see it being none.

Supernatural is crying out for a midseason move because: a) this is a massive missed opportunity; b) this is a show that's been on literally four different nights including Friday, it can survive this. I'd actually move it back to Friday!

MON: Originals/Jane

TUE: The Flash/iZombie
WED: Arrow/The Messengers
THU: TVD/Reign
FRI: HoD/Supernatural

That leaves two nights unchanged, allowing for fewer "new night" ad spots and hence more "new show" ad spots than the plan I initially thought of with Supernatural on Monday and Jane on Friday. (Besides which, I think putting one of the two CBS Studios "snail racers" on Fridays would all but compel them into pity-renewing the other given the way the CDub seems to work, potentially leaving them with a horribly-rated show that they have to burn off in the summer a lá BATB.)

Spot said...

If the season ended today, I would say:
- Resurrection: no
- The McCarthys: no

- Bones: maybe (it's a bubble show)
- Laura: maybe (it's a bubble show)
- New Girl: yes
- Nashville: yes
- The Good Wife: yes
- CSI: probably not
- About a Boy: probably not
- Last Man Standing: maybe (it's a bubble show) [has the Friday excuse]
- Forever: no
- Grimm: yes [has the Friday excuse]
- Revenge: maybe (it's a bubble show)
- Parenthood: ending
- Blue Bloods: yes [has the Friday excuse]
- H50: maybe (it's a bubble show) [has the Friday excuse]
- Elementary: yes
- The Mindy Project: yes
- Cristela: probably not
- Constantine: probably not
- Red Band Society: no
- Gracepoint: No

So, at least 7 shows would be renewed if the season ended today with an average lower than The Flash (though two of them are on Fridays). Additionally, there are 5 bubble shows in contention, with the odds being that at least a couple of them score renewals.

Spot said...

Notably, that's also covering *every* network. Add in the hugely valuable skew and we can safely say right now that The Flash would be renewed on every single network.

Spot said...

I agree. And about the skew, out of the entertainment crowd (that is, excluding sports and specials), The Flash is the 19th highest rated show of the season so far in M18-49.

Not impressed? Well, then consider the M18-34 demo in the same universe in which The Flash is the 9th highest rated show, only behind the FOX Sunday block quartet, TBBT and MF, Gotham and The Voice. That's a major major wow.

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