Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Question, Tuesday 6/30/15: Will Viewers Visit the Zoo?


Tonight, CBS premieres the new drama Zoo, based on a James Patterson novel about animal attacks on humans. Like previous CBS efforts Under the Dome and Extant (and unlike many scripted efforts on other networks), this show was explicitly intended for the summer. Certainly, CBS is hoping more for a breakout like Under the Dome (premiered at 3.3) rather than a ratings disappointment like Extant (premiered at 1.6 but still renewed). Will viewers visit the Zoo? That's The Question for Tuesday, June 30, 2015.


Monday, June 29, 2015

SpotVault - Rookie Blue (ABC) - Summer 2015 Ratings





Rookie Blue
Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC







SpotVault - Under the Dome (CBS) - Summer 2015 Ratings





Under the Dome
Thursdays, 9/8c, CBS







SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2015 Ratings





Big Brother
Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS







SpotVault - BattleBots (ABC) - Summer 2015 Ratings





BattleBots
Sundays, 9/8c, ABC







SpotVault - Celebrity Family Feud (ABC) - Summer 2015 Ratings





Celebrity Family Feud
Sundays, 8/7c, ABC







SpotVault - Boom! (Fox) - Summer 2015 Ratings





Boom!
Thursdays, 8/7c, Fox







SpotVault - Mistresses (ABC) - Summer 2015 Ratings





Mistresses
Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC







SpotVault - The Astronaut Wives Club (ABC) - Summer 2015 Ratings





The Astronaut Wives Club
Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC







SpotVault - True Detective (HBO) - Summer 2015 Ratings


True Detective
Sundays, 9/8c, HBO







SpotVault - The Brink (HBO) - Summer 2015 Ratings


The Brink
Sundays, 10:30/9:30c, HBO







SpotVault - Ballers (HBO) - Summer 2015 Ratings


Ballers
Sundays, 10/9c, HBO







SpotVault - Mr. Robot (USA) - 2015-16 Ratings


Mr. Robot
Wednesdays, 10/9c, USA







SpotVault - Complications (USA) - Summer 2015 Ratings


Complications
Thursdays, 9/8c, USA







SpotVault - Suits (USA) - 2015-16 Ratings


Suits
Wednesdays, 9/8c, USA







SpotVault - The Last Ship (TNT) - Summer 2015 Ratings


The Last Ship
Sundays, 9/8c, TNT







SpotVault - Graceland (USA) - Summer 2015 Ratings


Graceland
Thursdays, 10/9c, USA







Friday, June 26, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 6/25/15


Out of town this week, but here's an open thread for last night's ratings. My thoughts and full table to come later.

Premiered this week: Under the Dome (CBS) | Big Brother Wed/Thu (CBS) | Boom! (Fox) | Rookie Blue (ABC)

The War of 18-49, Falling Skies



Thursday, June 25, 2015

2014-15 Predictions Recap: Best Case/Worst Case


Here's a look back at the highlights and lowlights from the Best Case/Worst Case preview posts, in which I predict the Live+SD 18-49 averages for broadcast series before their premieres.

For these averages, I tried to weed out episodes after drastic timeslot moves and (as noted on the individual posts) after the end of the regular season.

War of 18-49 Update, The Walking Dead (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the fifth overall) of The Walking Dead on AMC.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The War of 18-49, Suits


A Solid USA Rookie Becomes Elite In Season Two

Suits came around on the tail end of that roughly five-year period when USA was churning out new drama launches with mid-1 ratings like clockwork. Its lead-in Burn Notice opened the summer 2011 run with 5.167 million viewers and a 1.7 demo, and Suits held onto almost all of it with 4.636 million and a 1.6. Both shows plummeted the next week, to a respective 1.3/1.2, but they bounced back a bit from there and remained in a very close ratings lock-step. Suits even built from Burn Notice on a couple occasions, perhaps most impressively on 7/28/11 when it had a 1.5 to Burn's 1.4. Suits' first season fell pretty much in the middle of a tightly-packed upper tier of USA dramas, slightly behind Royal Pains (1.46) and Burn Notice (1.38) and just ahead of Necessary Roughness (1.23), Covert Affairs (1.23) and White Collar (1.22).

In season two, Suits started with a modest 1.1 demo but grew the next two weeks and only dropped as low as 1.1 once more the whole summer. It seemed to have some real heat at season's end; its 1.4 and 1.5 to wrap up the summer were both two tenths ahead of their respective Burn Notice lead-ins. This strong hold put the show's average just a hundredth behind Burn Notice. And it stacked up way ahead of the other USA dramas, pretty much all of which began taking huge same-day declines in 2012. (The next-highest USA dramas behind the Thursday duo were Royal Pains and White Collar at around 1.0.)

Big Drops, But Not As Big As Its Peers

Beyond season two, Suits hasn't really been able to transcend the general downward trend of the other programming on its network. It shed roughly 20% each of the next two summers, and more than that for the regular season runs. That kept it in about the same relative position in 2013, again narrowly behind Burn Notice in its final season and with about the same-sized lead over Royal Pains (-21%) and Covert Affairs (-20%).

It was dropping just 23% in 2014 that saw the show make another pronounced move compared to the other USA dramas, as Royal Pains and Graceland were both down over a third and Covert Affairs almost half. With Burn Notice gone, that put Suits almost 50% ahead of the next-biggest USA drama. Pains is down about a third again in the opening weeks of this summer, so Suits (returning tonight, June 24) seems poised to reign over the other USA dramas once again unless a newbie breaks out. It's more a question of by how much; can it manage the declines well enough to remain an elite show by general cable standards?

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
1Summer 2011Thursday 10:001.321.101.60detail
2Summer 20121.23-7%1.081.47detail
Winter 20131.070.961.24
3Summer 2013Tuesday 10:001.00-19%0.881.20detail
2014Thursday 9:000.71-34%0.660.76
4Summer 2014Wednesday 9:000.77-23%0.700.90detail
Winter 2015Wednesday 10:000.52-27%0.450.56
5Summer 2015Wednesday 9:000.61-21%0.550.68detailB+
Winter 2016Wednesday 10:000.50-3%0.460.54
6Summer 2016Wednesday 9:000.48-21%0.390.54detail

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow16y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
1Summer 20115243636343
2Summer 20125246624662
Winter 20135146595948
3Summer 20134742575048
20143835404035
4Summer 20144137484042
Winter 20153127333333
5Summer 20153633403637
Winter 20163432373736
6Summer 20163327373635

AVERAGE:42

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

A18-49+ Update: The Network Race in 2014-15


Here's a look from several angles at how the big five networks fared in 2014-15.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 6/19-6/21/15


Out of town this week, but here's an open thread for last night's ratings. My thoughts and full table to come later.

Premiered last night: Celebrity Family Feud (ABC) | BattleBots (ABC) | plus cable notables True Detective (HBO) & The Last Ship (TNT)

War of 18-49 Update, Castle (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the seventh overall) of Castle on ABC.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 6/18/15


Out of town this week, but here's an open thread for last night's ratings. My thoughts and full table to come later.

Premiered last night: The Astronaut Wives Club (ABC) | Mistresses (ABC)

War of 18-49 Update, Blue Bloods (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the fifth overall) of Blue Bloods on CBS.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 6/17/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • On the last Wednesday before it has to start competing with Big Brother, Fox's MasterChef hung a third straight 1.5, while its lead-out Bullseye was also even at 1.0.
  • ABC had a rough night all around, with all four comedy repeats (0.9/0.8/1.0/0.9) down multiple tenths from last week and original Celebrity Wife Swap going all the way from last week's season high 1.2 down to a 0.8 this time. The last 90 minutes got crushed by an American Ninja Warrior repeat on NBC.
  • And CBS was also at new summer lows all around, including The Briefcase (0.8). It will get one crack with a Big Brother lead-in next week.
  • Programming note: I'm out of town for the next ten days. Scheduled open threads will go up at 11:10 ET on notable premiere ratings dates: tomorrow (Astronaut Wives Club/Mistresses), Monday (Celebrity Family Feud/BattleBots) and next Friday (Under the Dome/Big Brother Thursday/Boom!/Rookie Blue). I may sporadically add my thoughts on those posts if possible. Also, there will be War of 18-49 stuff throughout next week, as well as a couple other pre-scheduled things. The next Vault/rankings updates will come the following week. Have a good week and a half!
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted. Full table forthcoming!

War of 18-49 Update, Shark Tank (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the sixth overall) of Shark Tank on ABC.

SpotVault - Tyrant (FX) - Summer 2015 Ratings


Tyrant
Tuesdays, 10/9c, FX







SpotVault - Proof (TNT) - Summer 2015 Ratings


Proof
Tuesdays, 10/9c, TNT







SpotVault - Rizzoli & Isles (TNT) - 2015-16 Ratings


Rizzoli & Isles
Tuesdays, 9/8c, TNT







SpotVault - Defiance (Syfy) - Summer 2015 Ratings


Defiance
Fridays, 8/7c, Syfy







Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 6/16/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: The NBA Finals adjusted up to 8.9 with 23.25 million viewers, up by 1.3 points from the previous couple games. That's 31% above last year's Game 5 finale and a slightly better finale spike than last year's series. The soccer on Fox inched up to 1.8, as did America's Got Talent (2.3) to go even week-to-week.
  • ABC's NBA Finals basketball wrapped up for the series with a preliminary 7.2 rating from 9:00-11:00, which is 10-15% above the low-6 prelims for recent games (which adjusted up to mid-7's). It'll probably adjust up more due to the championship moment coming after primetime, but a double digit average feels like a reach. Still, it'll easily destroy the 6.8 average for last year's finale.
  • Fox was also in the sports business on this night with another USA group stage match in the Women's World Cup. It averaged a preliminary 1.7, two tenths above the Friday prelim 1.5 which adjusted up to a 1.6 final, despite the NBA competition preventing it from spiking in the 9:00 hour. (The Friday prelim breakdown was 1.3 -> 1.4 -> 1.6 -> 1.7; this one was 1.6 -> 1.8 -> 1.7 -> 1.6.)
  • NBC's original lineup had to endure another big dose of sports. While America's Got Talent (2.2) held up OK again, I Can Do That (1.3) got slammed against the bigger NBA hour.

War of 18-49 Update, The Middle (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the sixth overall) of The Middle on ABC.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 6/12-6/14/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Game 5 of the Finals adjusted up to 7.6, tying Game 4 as a series high. HBO got a nice finale spike out of Game of Thrones (4.14), which nearly got all the way back to the series high for the season premiere (4.19 on 4/12/15). GoT had been down year-to-year since the halfway point of the season, but this point was 9% above last year's finale.
  • Sports dominated another three nights of broadcast primetime:
    • On Friday, the second USA match in the Women's World Cup averaged a preliminary 1.5 for Fox from 8:00 to 10:00. It should be up from the USA opener last Monday on Fox Sports 1 (1.28).
    • Saturday saw the NHL return to NBC (1.5) after moving to NBCSN for a couple games. The prelim for Game 5 was slightly below last Saturday's preliminary 1.7.
    • And Sunday had Game 5 of the NBA Finals on ABC. The 6.2 preliminary 18-49 average from 8:00 to 11:00 was just barely above the average in the same period last Sunday. The household overnight hit another new series high 14.2.
  • In entertainment land, Golan the Insatiable (0.6) and American Odyssey (0.5) inched up from last week's lows. ABC has some premieres next week!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Monday 6/15/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: NBC's hockey went up to 2.8.
  • After a huge week two drop last time, ABC's The Whispers (0.9) shed another tenth in week three, putting it on par with lower-end Mistresses ratings in the slot last year.
  • With usual reality winner American Ninja Warrior sitting out this week, ABC's The Bachelorette (1.8) was even, while So You Think You Can Dance (1.3) rebounded to tie the premiere rating for Fox.
  • NBC dominated with the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals (2.6), which got a significant bounce vs. the high-1's for other NBC games. It'll also be up from last year's decisive Game 5, which had a 2.3 on a Friday.

War of 18-49 Update, Rizzoli and Isles (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the fifth overall) of Rizzoli and Isles on TNT.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A18-49+ Update: The New Shows in 2014-15


Here's a look at the new scripted series on the big four in 2014-15:

The War of 18-49, Last Man Standing



SpotVault - Beauty and the Beast (CW) - Summer 2015 Ratings





Beauty and the Beast
Thursdays, 8/7c, CW







SpotVault - The Fosters (ABC Family) - 2015-16 Ratings





The Fosters
Mondays, 8/7c, Freeform







SpotVault - Becoming Us (ABC Family) - Summer 2015 Ratings


Becoming Us
Mondays, 9/8c, ABC Family







SpotVault - Murder in the First (TNT) - Summer 2015 Ratings


Murder in the First
Mondays, 10/9c, TNT







SpotVault - Major Crimes (TNT) - 2015-16 Ratings


Major Crimes
Mondays, 9/8c, TNT







SpotVault - The Game (BET) - Summer 2015 Ratings


The Game
Wednesdays, 10/9c, BET







Friday, June 12, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 6/11/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Game 4 of the NBA Finals adjusted up to a series high 7.6, a scorching 27% ahead of Game 4 last season. Bones (1.2) and CBS' sitcoms also adjusted up.
  • On another Thursday dominated by the NBA Finals, Fox's dramas again shone brightest among the scripted originals. Wayward Pines (1.2) ticked back up to tie its high point, while the Bones finale (1.1) was even with last week.
  • NBC's Aquarius (0.8) mercifully got back a tenth back after last week's collapse, but Hannibal (0.5) made up for it by descending into truly ugly territory.
  • And the CW opened season three of the now summer drama fixture Beauty and the Beast with the same 0.3 it hit for 20 out of 22 episodes last season. Leading out was an iHeartRadio Pool Party special (0.3), even with last year.
  • ABC's NBA Finals had a preliminary 6.3 A18-49 from 9:00 to 11:00, which was about 10% better than the same prelim period on Tuesday and last Thursday. Though there was no late-game drama this time, it could adjust up to a series high.

The War of 18-49, Hart of Dixie



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 6/10/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Celebrity Wife Swap (1.2) went up to a new season high, and The Briefcase (1.0) also added a tenth to put it up week-to-week. Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals on NBCSN (1.33) dropped a bit from Game 3.
  • After a huge drop last week, CBS' The Briefcase stayed at its meh 0.9 in week three.
  • Fox's MasterChef (1.5) was even, but Bullseye (1.0) shed a tenth.
  • The second Wednesday repeat week for The Middle (1.1) and The Goldbergs (1.1) each picked up noticeably, though they didn't help boost Modern Family (1.2) and Black-ish (1.1). With the Stanley Cup Finals on cable rather than NBC for another night, this was good enough to put ABC in a close second behind Fox.

War of 18-49 Update, Boardwalk Empire (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the fifth and final overall) of Boardwalk Empire on HBO.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 6/9/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: The NBA Finals ended up at 18.77 million viewers and a 7.3 demo, each down just a smidge from Game 2 and still way ahead of the 2014 pace. Hell's Kitchen (1.1) adjusted up to avoid a new low, but iZombie didn't.
  • The NBA Finals took its first crack at the Tuesday regulars, and it now looks likely it'll be in play again next week. NBC held up pretty well, with America's Got Talent (2.3) down just a tenth and a reasonable 12% behind the episode on this night last year. Its lead-out I Can Do That (1.6) preliminarily gained a tick back after last week's decline (though the 1.8 -> 1.4 half-hour breakdown is pretty ugly).
  • On Fox, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (0.8) inched up, but the finale of Hell's Kitchen (1.0) dropped to a new low (and miles behind last year's 1.7 finale). And much like The 100 last year, iZombie (0.5) dropped for the last episode of its summer run, though with a 0.5 -> 0.6 breakdown it may be close to adjusting up.
  • As for the NBA Finals, they hit a series high 13.7 in the household overnights and should be way up year-to-year again in the demo. The two-hour A18-49 prelim (5.8) was a touch better than Thursday's rating.

War of 18-49 Update, Cougar Town (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the sixth and final overall) of Cougar Town on TBS.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 6/5-6/7/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE:
    • The NBA Finals Game 2 on Sunday adjusted up to 19.17 million viewers and 7.4 demo rating, up a whooping 23% from Game 2 last season. This was the biggest Game 2 in viewership since 1998, and the biggest Game 2 demo in my 14 years of records.
    • Also on Sunday, The Tony Awards (1.0) avoided going sub-1 for the first time, and a few of the Fox comedies including Golan the Insatiable (0.5) also went up. Game of Thrones had a very impressive 3.65 for HBO.
    • On Saturday, the Stanley Cup Finals adjusted up to 1.9, tying Game 1. Friday's What Would You Do? (1.1) and Whose Line Is It Anyway? (0.5) adjusted up while The Messengers (0.2) was down.
  • ABC got overtime once again for Game 2 of the NBA Finals, which averaged a preliminary 6.1 A18-49 rating from 8:00 to 11:00. This was up from a 5.0 prelim average in the same period last year, which later adjusted up to 6.0. This game started an hour earlier so it may not adjust up as much as the Thursday game, but the time zone-adjusted household overnight was very similar to Thursday's Game 1 (which ended up with a 6.9 final).
  • ABC's dominance left little for everyone else. The Tony Awards on CBS (0.9) preliminarily dipped below 1.0 for what is likely the first time ever. And scripted originals A.D. The Bible Continues (0.7), American Odyssey (0.4) and Golan the Insatiable (0.4) all got crushed. 
  • Friday's winner was the NBC re-air of the film Jurassic Park (1.2), which had pretty great numbers by movie standards the week before Universal's new installment Jurassic World is released in theaters. Meanwhile, What Would You Do? (1.0) came back to earth for ABC, but a very good showing from 20/20 (1.4) made up for it.
  • Saturday was all about NBC's Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which started before primetime but had a prelim 1.7 for the two primetime hours. I'll update after finals.

SpotVault - Hannibal (NBC) - 2014-15 Ratings





Hannibal
Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC







SpotVault - NBA Finals (ABC) - 2015 Ratings





NBA Finals on ABC







Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Monday 6/8/15


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: American Ninja Warrior (2.1) adjusted up to its highest raw rating in about three years, and a new historical-adjusted high. The Island went down to match last week's 1.1.
    • On cable, the Stanley Cup Finals had a 1.36, up from a 1.2 for Game 3 on NBCSN last year, but it just barely beat the US opener in the Women's World Cup on Fox Sports 1 (1.26).
  • It was a rough week two for ABC's The Whispers (1.0), which shed a third of its premiere audience following a barely down The Bachelorette (1.8). It also took a bigger half-hour drop this week (1.1 -> 0.9) than in the prelims last week (1.5 -> 1.4). This number was still about on par with the Mistresses average in the slot last summer, but it's certainly not impossible it could soon be doing even worse.
  • Fox didn't fare much better as So You Think You Can Dance (1.1) dropped two tenths in week two, putting it down 25%+ from last season's second week.
  • ABC's losses meant NBC emerged on top with American Ninja Warrior (2.0) flat at last week's great number and The Island (1.2) preliminarily inching back up to tie the premiere rating.

War of 18-49 Update, Justified (2014-15)


Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the sixth and final overall) of Justified on FX.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Changing Standard for Cable Ratings


Five years ago, the rise of original ratings for cable series was really something to behold. For many shows, the growth felt endless, and the top cable shows became more and more competitive with the broadcast big guns. Judging some of these series compared to the typical rate of decline on broadcast seemed unfair to broadcast; cable was a healthier environment because it was poaching viewers from broadcast. I was never that into the whole broadcast vs. cable narrative, in which people would cherry-pick timeslots where cable successes would outrate broadcast failures. But it was happening a fair amount, and that narrative helped illustrate to the casual follower what a different world it was becoming.

But you don't see that kind of narrative trotted out as much these days. Shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones remain enormous anomalies, but for the shows in the trenches, there is an increasing amount of ugliness that hasn't really gotten reported.

Occasionally, someone in the media will remark on an individual network, that USA's dramas are struggling or that FX's live ratings are going in the tank. But as someone who tracks a fairly large volume of this stuff (if still miles from all of it), I have gotten the sense it's happening to almost everybody. Huge year-to-year declines are all over the cable original map. So before moving forward with commentary on individual cable shows, I wanted to do a more formal look at the bigger picture.

The War of 18-49, Revenge



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