Friday, February 13, 2015

Fox True Power Rankings, February 2015

The True Power Rankings are back! 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.

New for this round, a "momentum" metric called Heat. Check out this explanation.

These rankings include results through Sunday, February 8.

More February True Power Rankings: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW

Fox ComediesTrueHeatA18-49y2ySkew%MaleCounted Eps
The Animated Anchors
1The Simpsons1.87-14%2.44+5%57%60%5
2Family Guy1.83-4%1.95-1%71%59%4

It's a bit surprising that The Simpsons has a better year-to-year trend than Family Guy considering the absurd amount of inflation caused by the double-Family Guy premiere. But it remains very clear that both of these y2y trends remain highly unrepresentative of where the shows are now, as the January/February results have gotten pretty ugly. The formula has never been a perfect fix when it comes to The Simpsons' NFL lead-ins, but at least some of that negative Heat seems legit.

Fox ComediesTrueHeatA18-49y2ySkew%MaleCounted Eps
The Other Contenders
3Brooklyn Nine-Nine1.55-9%1.68+17%61%56%5
4New Girl1.54+5%1.44-26%62%40%5
5Bob's Burgers1.34+2%1.45-30%63%52%4
6The Mindy Project1.08-7%1.06-21%58%35%5

The year-to-year trends still don't look good for New Girl and The Mindy Project, but they have improved since MasterChef Junior showed up in November. The skews say that these shows shouldn't really share any audience, but even a good/incompatible lead-in has got to be better than Utopia. Will be interesting to see if the improvements can continue when Hell's Kitchen takes over in March.

Meanwhile, Bob's Burgers is kind of the Elementary of Fox; it had a couple results early in the fall (the 0.9 and 1.0 in late November) that were very painfully low, and those will help its Heat look more reasonable than the other Sunday shows.

Fox ComediesTrueHeatA18-49y2ySkew%MaleCounted Eps
The Dunzo

Fox DramasTrueHeatA18-49y2ySkew%MaleCounted Eps
The Renewed

These are a few shows for which it'd be nice if Heat were a little more immediate. For example, Empire had a big spike in True last week when all the original competition came back; but since it's bundled with episode four, whose True score was a bit deflated due to light competition, the Heat doesn't grade as strongly as it seems like it should. (Also, Empire is that very rare show that actually gets significantly hurt because the formula throws out the premiere!) Expect some orange there next week.

On the other side of the coin, Gotham feels like one of the coldest shows on broadcast right now, but it didn't even get into the dark blue category until last week's 1.9 was added. But rest assured, Gotham will likely continue cooling at its current rate; after all, the rolling average still includes one of the show's better points, the 2.5 winter premiere that feels like an eternity ago now.

Fox DramasTrueHeatA18-49y2ySkew%MaleCounted Eps
The Cooling Contenders
4Sleepy Hollow1.34-11%1.46-39%43%49%5

Empire may be the story of the season/decade, but Fox still has a depth crisis. As "second tiers" go, this is about as bad as it gets: shows that are soft, as well as down a ton year-to-year, as well as down a lot since the start of this season. However, Fox doesn't really have much worth building around in the fall: pretty much just Empire, Gotham (I think?) and MasterChef Junior. So these shows could/should still survive out of need to put something on Thursday and Friday.

Fox DramasTrueHeatA18-49y2ySkew%MaleCounted Eps
The Dunzo
6Red Band Society0.98-16%0.6239%36%5

And then there's this bunch. Using the last third of results, these are the four Truly weakest dramas on the big four networks, even behind the recent results from shows like Resurrection and State of Affairs.

Fox UnscriptedTrueHeatA18-49y2ySkew%MaleCounted Eps
1American Idol Wed2.94-5%3.00-21%35%38%2
2American Idol Thu2.48-8%2.30-21%33%37%2
3MasterChef Junior Spring1.68-5%1.6542%n/a2
4MasterChef Junior1.65-2%1.60+19%45%41%2
5Hell's Kitchen1.37-8%1.23-21%45%46%6
6World's Funniest Fails1.21+4%0.9541%47%2
7Utopia Tue1.03-4%0.8059%n/a2
8Utopia Fri1.00+1%0.6345%42%3

It seems like a pretty safe bet that the pairing with Empire is helping the Wednesday editions of American Idol to do so much better than the Thursday ones; however, the average year-to-year numbers are almost identical due to the extra two-hour Thursday episodes early in the season. Perhaps due to the Empire effect, Idol has been rather inconsistent, shooting up and down more than usual, but it seems plausible that these y2y trends could continue to get better since the Olympics took a huge chunk out of the show last season. One wonders if the show will take an Olympics-esque hit after Empire leaves the air in late March, though.

After three weeks of low-1 ratings on Friday, World's Funniest Fails was getting into "definite keeper" territory. Then it shed three tenths in week four, which leaves it less certain at the time of this posting. I think there's a decent chance it bounces back a bit, especially with Undercover Boss leaving the slot soon. Unless it keeps bleeding, it's probably still got a good shot.

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