Monday, September 7, 2015

Schedules Plus, Explanations & Disclaimers

Updates to the Schedules Plus posts are coming this week, and I'm putting all of the explanatory stuff in one separate post so I don't have to update it on each one of those individually going forward. Aside from the first bullet point, most of this stuff was already in these posts, so you probably don't need to read it all if you've been following along.
  • New for 2014-15 updates:
    • Below each table on the main Schedules Plus pages are two buttons which should create line charts. The first charts the full night average and the second each hour individually.
    • The Plus averages cover only episodes aired on the night of the post. This was mostly to keep episodes out that occurred after a midseason timeslot move, but it also means that special previews/finales on a separate night will be left out of these numbers. (A few shows were further adjusted to include only episodes in their listed time of day.) So if these numbers are slightly different from what you see on War of 18-49 posts, for example, that's probably why.
  • The most important note about this edition of Schedules Plus is that it only includes fall lineups and excludes the many, many midseason replacements, a move meant to simplify this enough that it would be a somewhat achievable task.
    • This approach usually gives a pretty good idea about what was going on in each slot each year, but I will try to make note of midseason shows that vastly outperformed the fall offerings. The Fox network is a major exception, as American Idol (and to a lesser extent 24) have been much more important to the network than the things that occupied their slots in the fall. I still haven't really decided on this, but there's a chance I'll make an executive decision and do winter posts once Fox week rolls around.
    • In the relatively rare instances when a fall series is quickly cancelled and quickly replaced with another original in the fall, I tend to list the second show, since I think it gives a better idea of the real lineup. (If the series is replaced by repeats, I'll stick with the original series.) I will try to remember to clarify these situations in the Notes.
  • In the case of two-season reality shows like Survivor and Dancing with the Stars, the averages are just for the full fall season. This perhaps somewhat inflates the impact of fall-only shows, both two-season reality and cancelled fall series that would drop more in the spring.
  • The nightly averages are not weighted by number of episodes aired; they're simply an average of the listed number in all three hours. They should be taken more as an assessment of the lineup in theory, not necessarily of what actually happened after all the various scheduling quirks in each slot. (For example, averages in 10/9c slots would often be a bit higher if the two-hour episodes for a 9/8c show were included.)
  • Multiple-hour shows are not broken down according to half-hour breakdowns. In other words, a two-hour show like The Biggest Loser will be assigned the average program rating in both the 8:00 hour and the 9:00 hour, even though the show usually grows from 8:00 to 9:00. This generally means that, when comparing the average of an hour over time, the listed rating for this kind of show will be a bit higher than reality in the first hour and a bit lower in the second hour.
  • As with all A18-49+ projects: these numbers, especially earlier ones, should be seen as approximate! 
    • As has been explained in past A18-49+ ventures, there are a few missing weeks in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, which slightly distorts the "league averages" against which A18-49+ is calculated. Though most of the missing weeks are fairly light ones for entertainment programming, this may further affect a show's average if it has missing points.

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