Friday, December 26, 2014

Schedules Plus Update, NBC (2001-02 & 2002-03)


Schedules Plus looks at the evolution of network schedules and timeslots using numbers adjusted for historical decline. These update posts, looking back on the newly added 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, will link back to the now updated full posts for each day, and the update posts have exclusive year-to-year trends and ranks among the 13 iterations of each hour.

Many more disclaimers can be seen on the individual pages, but the most basic one is that the listed schedules are fall lineups, even when midseason replacements may have done much better. (I try to mention those midseason replacements that did better.) Please also note that the 2003-04 thru 2005-06 numbers still contain the "old" A18-49+ scores from before I filled in the missing data from those seasons. So those numbers will change (slightly) when the 2014-15 numbers are entered this summer.

More 2001-03 Schedules Plus updates: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW



Monday


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 Avg
2001-02 The Weakest Link Third WatchCrossing Jordan 103
90 101 119
Rank 8/13 9/13 4/13 7/13
2002-03 Fear Factor Third WatchCrossing Jordan 111
(+7%)
132 (+46%) 106 (+4%) 95 (-20%)
Rank 4/13 8/13 6/13 5/13
2003-04 Fear Factor Las VegasAverage Joe 141
(+27%)
143 (+9%) 121 (+14%) 158 (+66%)
Rank 3/13 6/13 1/13 3/13

Avg 113 122 94 110

Fear Factor made its first regular season appearance in January 2002 and then spent the next three full seasons in the Monday 8:00 slot. Third Watch headed for Friday in 2003-04 and NBC got better numbers for a couple seasons out of Las Vegas. And Crossing Jordan had a significant sophomore slump that probably had a lot to do with CBS' introduction of CSI: Miami to the slot. Its numbers bounced back a bit in the next two seasons on Sunday (but were never as good as its season one ratings in 2001-02). Average Joe helped lift the nightly average considerably in 2003-04, but it was ultimately one of those quick flame-out reality concepts for which Fox was (in)famous.



Tuesday


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 Avg
2001-02 Emeril Three Sisters Frasier ScrubsDateline 105
63 75 157 133100
69 145
Rank 10/13 2/13 8/13 8/13
2002-03 Just Shoot Me In-Laws Frasier Hidden HillsDateline 88
(-16%)
62 (-2%) 74 (-2%) 119 (-25%) 104 (-21%)86 (-14%)
68 (-2%) 111 (-23%)
Rank 11/13 5/13 10/13 13/13
2003-04 Whoopi Happy Family Frasier Good Morning MiamiLaw and Order: SVU 100
(+13%)
66 (+6%) 69 (-6%) 102 (-14%) 101 (-3%)132 (+53%)
68 (-1%) 102 (-9%)
Rank 12/13 8/13 4/13 9/13

Avg 101 113 108 107

Perhaps NBC's most problematic timeslot at the height of its empire was this Tuesday 8:00 hour before Frasier. But the problem here didn't really get any worse over the course of these three years, while several other hours (including Frasier itself) did. The introduction of SVU at 10/9c was an improvement on the declining Dateline, but as we'll soon see, it was not that much of an improvement over the huge numbers it was already pulling on Friday.



Wednesday


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 Avg
2001-02 Ed The West WingLaw and Order 139
86 159 172
Rank 1/13 1/13 1/13 1/13
2002-03 Ed The West WingLaw and Order 114
(-18%)
81 (-6%) 111 (-30%) 149 (-14%)
Rank 2/13 2/13 2/13 2/13
2003-04 Ed The West WingLaw and Order 104
(-9%)
71 (-12%) 97 (-13%) 144 (-3%)
Rank 5/13 5/13 3/13 3/13

Avg 67 92 98 86

Even at their very worst, all three of these shows produced ratings that NBC has had a lot of trouble replicating over the last decade. In the ten years since what's listed above, only four times has one of these hours gone higher than the relatively low 2003-04 numbers; at 8/7c, NBC did slightly better with Deal or No Deal in 2007-08 and Revolution in 2012-13, but even those were not close to league average. And 9/8c was only briefly improved with Bionic Woman in 2007-08 and SVU in 2010-11. Law and Order's collapse was more a bit more graceful and drawn-out than that of The West Wing, but it was also pretty sharply downhill from here.



Thursday


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 Avg
2001-02 Friends Inside Schwartz Will and Grace Just Shoot MeER 247
303 178 224 187297
240 205
Rank 1/13 1/13 1/13 1/13
2002-03 Friends Scrubs Will and Grace Good Morning, MiamiER 221
(-11%)
263 (-13%) 186 (+5%) 224 (+0%) 154 (-18%)249 (-16%)
225 (-7%) 189 (-8%)
Rank 3/13 2/13 3/13 2/13
2003-04 Friends Scrubs Will and Grace CouplingER 218
(-1%)
300 (+14%) 166 (-11%) 186 (-17%) 154 (-0%)250 (+0%)
233 (+4%) 170 (-10%)
Rank 2/13 4/13 2/13 3/13

Avg 117 131 137 128

Just like Wednesday, the Thursday numbers have proven impossible for NBC to replicate... although in this case, the numbers are so high that it's a lot easier to forgive them. (2001-02 Friends and ER were only the biggest comedy and biggest broadcast drama of the era, respectively.) Only once was an above hourly number beaten in the subsequent ten years, and that was the very next year at 9/8c (the first time The Apprentice aired in the fall).



Friday


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 Avg
2001-02 Providence DatelineLaw and Order: SVU 93
74 80 124
Rank 2/13 1/13 1/13 1/13
2002-03 Providence DatelineLaw and Order: SVU 85
(-9%)
64 (-14%) 71 (-11%) 119 (-4%)
Rank 6/13 6/13 2/13 2/13
2003-04 Dateline Miss MatchThird Watch 71
(-16%)
70 (+10%) 60 (-16%) 84 (-30%)
Rank 3/13 8/13 3/13 4/13

Avg 56 64 70 63

We've got a new record-holder for biggest Friday series in A18-49+ in the era, as SVU was an absolute beast by Friday standards in its years on the night. That show helped make Friday yet another night whose strongest NBC averages came in the early years, but the other two hours were not quite as unbeatable going forward. In fact, last season of Grimm was NBC's biggest Friday 9/8c number since what Dateline did in 2001-02.



Sunday


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 Avg
2001-02 The Weakest Link Law and Order: CIUC: Undercover 84
77 99 75
Rank 11/13 12/13 13/13 12/13
2002-03 American Dreams Law and Order: CIBoomtown 97
(+16%)
87 (+13%) 118 (+19%) 87 (+17%)
Rank 9/13 9/13 10/13 9/13
2003-04 American Dreams Law and Order: CIThe Lyon's Den 91
(-6%)
78 (-10%) 117 (-1%) 78 (-11%)
Rank 10/13 10/13 12/13 10/13

Avg 160 218 211 196

Though it had a big brand name attached, the third Law & Order series was not that strong out of the gate; its rookie season A18-49+ was just over half of what the mother series was getting at the time. But it took a noticeable step up in season two. It had some help from some better surrounding pieces in 2002-03 (and the end of key drama competitor The X-Files on Fox may have helped as well).

6 comments:

Spot said...

Totally stunned by those SVU numbers. I'd be shocked to see any show even approach that 124 in 01-02. Shark Tank may surpass 110, but the fact that SVU was able to get close to bonafide hit status is amazing. I think this also says something about how strong NBC was in the 10:00 hour, specifically in 01-02. The network averaged a pretty incredible 148 in the hour. It's hard to think that this is the same network that put the Jay Leno Show in this hour five nights a week.


Also surprising to me were some of the Will & Grace numbers. Really interesting to see that the show remained consistent into 02-03 while Friends dropped 13%. It was also only 39 points behind Friends that season. Maybe the show benefited from having Scrubs as a better lead-in or possibly more Friends repeats? I don't know about anyone else, but I've always thought the show lived very much in the shadow of Friends. Cool to see that the show really was a strong player for the network.

Spot said...

Man, SVU has been alive and kicking even on Fridays. Also, interesting to see how well NBC was doing all-around in 01-02. With the exception of the weekends, all of the lineups went above the league average. Now, each network seems to have only 2 days, or 3 if they're lucky, that can do that. Or at least, that's what it feels like.

Spot said...

Shark Tank needs to average like a 2.11 to match SVU. I don't think it is impossible, but unlikely at this point.
.
Kinda crazy that in 2001, NBC's Sundays were playing second fiddle to Fridays. I mean its crazy that NBC had a borderline hit on Friday with a Law & Order and a marginal one on Sundays at 9! Kinda a larger scale of what we sometimes see on CBS currently when Blue Bloods sometimes beats out the Good Wife

Spot said...

Will & Grace did go -40% the years after Friends left the air, so it was clearly helped a lot.

Spot said...

This is dominance at every level, a show averaging on fridays numbers close to hit status, a DAY averaging 247 with 3 megahits. Things change a lot in a decade.


Today NBC's better days are the first ones, 10 years ago, the ones that close the week. Only thing that never changed was wednesdays at 8, zero shows above average since 2001, that's crazy, only ABC thursdays at 8 were worse, until this year when they broke it.

Spot said...

Just wow at their dominance. And those Friday SVU numbers are really something else. I don't think Shark Tank can replicate that as much of a powerhouse as it is.

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