Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/30/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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



BOB'S BURGERS (FOX)

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 returning to the earliest hour (at 7:30) in fall 2015.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 7/29/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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





Seed
Mondays, 9/8c, CW







SpotVault - Backpackers (CW) - Summer 2014 Ratings





Backpackers
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


Married
Thursdays, 10/9c, FX







SpotVault - Satisfaction (USA) - Summer 2014 Ratings


Satisfaction
Thursdays, 10/9c, USA







SpotVault - Rush (USA) - Summer 2014 Ratings


Rush
Thursdays, 9/8c, USA







Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

The War of 18-49, Hawaii Five-0



HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)

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. It returns there in fall 2016.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 7/16/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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



SHAMELESS (SHOWTIME)

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. 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 every single season.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
1Winter 2011-12Sunday 9:000.59+17%0.400.82detail
2Winter 20130.82+16%0.591.07detail
3Winter 20140.81-1%0.580.89detail
4Winter 20150.71-13%0.530.88detailB+
5Winter 20160.64-9%0.470.75detailB+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow16y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
1Winter 20111816241620
Winter 20123023353431
2Winter 20133928515143
3Winter 20144331474645
4Winter 20154232524842
5Winter 20164432514345

AVERAGE:36



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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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





Extant
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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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


WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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...

WHAT MATTERS:
  • 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



GAME OF THRONES (HBO)

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).

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. Ultimately, the issue is kinda trivial, because the Game of Thrones ranking position is pretty clear; it's miles behind top drama The Walking Dead and new 2014-15 breakout Empire, but well ahead of everything else. It's probably a stretch to say basic cable would have enough impact to change that story.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
1Spring 2011Sunday 9:001.120.901.40detail
2Spring 20121.91+71%1.602.20detail
3Spring 20132.61+37%2.302.90detail
4Spring 20143.68+41%3.403.90detail
5Spring 20153.52-4%2.534.19detailA-
6Spring 20163.85+9%3.254.35detailA

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow16y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
1Spring 20114435553555
2Spring 20128168938593
3Spring 2013124109138114138
4Spring 2014195180207191202
5Spring 2015209150249249246
6Spring 2016264223299273299

AVERAGE:153



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

Friday, July 4, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 6/25/14 & 7/2/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • CBS has done pretty well on the two Big Brother Wednesdays before next week's arrival of Extant. Big Brother (2.3)'s season premiere was up a tenth year-to-year on 6/25, and it was still up a tenth year-to-year even after a big week two drop on 7/2 (1.8). (The second Wednesday airing last year (1.7) on the eve of the 4th of July ended up being that season's low point.)
  • After a blah start for NBC's co-production drama Taxi Brooklyn (1.0), it's at least kept itself in the conversation with a 100% hold in week two (1.0). It's not totally inconceivable it could end up getting The Night Shift-esque numbers once original America's Got Talent arrives on the night, but it's still got to survive two more episodes after repeats.
  • And though that big spike a few weeks ago for So You Think You Can Dance (1.4/1.4) proved to be a fluke, the show is still holding up decently; the 1.4 on July 2 was just a tenth behind the airing in the same week last year.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 6/24/14 & 7/1/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • NBC had to air an America's Got Talent repeat (1.9) on 6/24 so they could throw the original at the Rising Star premiere. The Tuesday original return on 7/1 (2.6) was even with the previous Tuesday original two weeks ago. The Night Shift (1.2) dipped by a tenth after the still strong Got Talent repeat on 6/24, which was apparently enough of a hold to score it a renewal. It then bounced back by two tenths on 7/1 (1.4).
  • A couple more 0.2's were enough to get the CW's Famous in 12 the axe. Arrow repeats fill in next week.
  • On cable, FX's Tyrant (0.61/0.53) had a soft start, going about 25% behind the already modest Fargo debut from a couple months ago. Even with a reasonable 13% drop in week two, it remained well behind the Fargo pace. And it's been even worse than usual in the early summer for USA's Covert Affairs (0.41/0.34), which opened at 34% behind the previous summer premiere and shed another 17% of that audience in week two. (That put it 59% behind week two of last summer!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Monday 6/23/14 & 6/30/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • In yet another less-than-encouraging sign for the second season of the "limited series," Under the Dome (2.1) came back at over a third behind last summer's breakthrough 3.3 premiere. Dome only avoided a new series low because the show had a 2.1 for an episode with an irregular start time late in season one. This is pretty close to the kind of drop that happened with early season two of The Following; and though Dome will hope to improve on that trend once the inflated series premiere comparison is behind it, The Following's trend got even worse in subsequent episodes. But, for perspective: a 2.1 still makes it one of the very biggest shows of the summer, and still miles ahead of the dramas CBS put in this slot in-season. Season one was such a revelation that the show still has much room to fall before we stop talking about it as a ratings success.
  • It hasn't been too exciting on the other networks over the last couple Mondays. On Fox, 24: Live Another Day (1.4 on 6/23, 1.4 on 6/30) hasn't rallied from the huge drop it took when we last checked in on 6/16. However, MasterChef (1.7 on 6/23, 1.9 on 6/30) scored a season high. And ABC's The Bachelorette (1.5 on 6/23, 1.6 on 6/30) took a dip on 6/23 and bounced back a touch last night.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 6/22/14 & 6/29/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Sundays in the summer remain a tough nut for the broadcasters to crack. ABC was first to give it a crack, but it had a relatively soft start from new singing competition Rising Star (1.5 on 6/22). This may have been a bit stronger than ABC's last major music competition premiere foray, Duets (1.7 on 5/24/12), given it's over two years later and the show skewed a little younger than Duets. However, the general point is the same: this is not ABC's game-changer, and it's even farther from being that after a 20% week two drop (prelim 1.2 on 6/29). It soundly lost to NBC's special America's Got Talent (2.1) on 6/22 and had to deal with the always potent BET Awards (3.1) last night.
  • It got even uglier last night as CBS entered the fray. Though Big Brother (1.8) continued its solid start, nearly even with the 2013 Sunday premiere (1.9), CBS continued to surround it with weak and highly incompatible pieces. New drama Reckless (0.6) retained a paltry third of the BB demo (yet 70% in total viewership). Since the return of Unforgettable (0.9) actually picked up some steam at 10/9c, CBS may be tempted to try flipping the dramas around here (or they may just kill Reckless altogether).
  • The biggest cable story on 6/22 was the solid premiere of TNT's drama The Last Ship (1.2 with 5.33 million viewers), the closest thing to a new breakthrough on cable this summer to date. It joined a softening Falling Skies (1.0 on 6/22), which tied its series low and was down big from last summer's 1.5 start. HBO brought back True Blood (2.2 on 6/22) for its final run in relatively healthy fashion, down just a bit from last year's 2.4 start, and starting last night it led into new HBO drama The Leftovers. Much more cable to come!
    • 6/29 UPDATE: The Last Ship (1.1) had a solid week two hold; not so much for True Blood (1.6), which plummeted to easily its lowest number since season one (excluding a 4th of July episode in season four). The Leftovers (0.8) opened at half of True Blood's delivery. 

Spotted Ratings, Weekends Roundup 6/20-6/21/14 & 6/27-6/28/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • It has been an absolutely brutal ride for NBC's Crossbones since it was pre-empted for hockey a few weeks ago, shedding a third of its demo rating in each of the last two episodes (0.6 on 6/20, 0.4 on 6/27). It may bounce back a bit since its lead-in Meredith Vieira special on 6/27 did much worse than the usual Dateline numbers, but it has another pre-emption upcoming on the 4th of July. The moral of the story is that this isn't looking like a renewable option anymore.
  • While ABC's unscripted lineup has made it the dominant Friday network, the Saturday lineup has taken a hit since the Sing Your Face Off days thanks to the burn-off of The Assets (0.2 on 6/21, 0.3 on 6/28).
  • Disney had a pretty good start from the Boy Meets World continuation Girl Meets World (1.3) on 6/27. Disney stuff isn't really in my wheelhouse, but it seems that (at 5.16 million total viewers) this skewed much more toward the 18-49 demo than the usual Disney fare, building from its movie lead-in (5.67m, 1.0) in 18-49 but declining in total viewership. It will be interesting to see if this very Disney Channel-flavored show can keep the older Boy Meets World nostalgics plugged in.

SpotVault - Under the Dome (CBS) - Summer 2014 Ratings





Under the Dome
Mondays, 10/9c, CBS







SpotVault - Unforgettable (CBS) - 2014-15 Ratings





Unforgettable
Sundays, 10/9c, CBS







SpotVault - Reckless (CBS) - Summer 2014 Ratings





Reckless
Sundays, 9/8c, CBS







SpotVault - Taxi Brooklyn (NBC) - Summer 2014 Ratings





Taxi Brooklyn
Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC







SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2014 Ratings





Big Brother
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS







SpotVault - Rising Star (ABC) - Summer 2014 Ratings





Rising Star
Sundays, 9/8c, ABC







SpotVault - Wipeout (ABC) - Summer 2014 Ratings





Wipeout
Sundays, 8/7c, ABC







SpotVault - Rookie Blue (ABC) - Summer 2014 Ratings





Rookie Blue
Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC







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