Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A18-49+ Update: Originals vs. Repeats, Comedies vs. Dramas in 2015-16


Here's a look at the different types of programming in 2015-16. This post will combine the broad programming categories (originals, repeats, sports, specials, movies) as well as the sub-categories within the original series realm (comedies, dramas, reality, news).

Big Four Category Ratings

YearOverallOriginalsRepeatsSpecialsMoviesSports
2001-02981008110076152
2002-0393100758664135
2003-0494100759366159
2004-0594100698563159
2005-0692100658154146
2006-0791100609252136
2007-0890100558454152
2008-0993100539252162
2009-10961005010847196
2010-1193100519847192
2011-12971005010145223
2012-13981004910047227
2013-141031004711349250
2014-151021004711850254
2015-161081005111653271



In a brutal year for original programming, almost every other category held up better than the originals. Sports zoomed to yet another new high as all the NFL franchises had good seasons. And even repeats and movies were up. I've always wondered if there would be a point where repeat/movie volume got so low that only the good ones were surviving, and the average went up. That may be a bit in play here, as...

Big Four Category Real Estate

YearOriginalsRepeatsSpecialsMoviesSports
2001-0258%13%7%14%8%
2002-0362%14%5%13%6%
2003-0461%19%4%11%5%
2004-0563%20%5%8%5%
2005-0662%20%3%8%7%
2006-0763%23%3%5%6%
2007-0861%23%3%5%7%
2008-0965%19%6%4%6%
2009-1062%22%4%4%8%
2010-1164%21%4%4%6%
2011-1266%20%4%2%7%
2012-1364%21%5%2%8%
2013-1462%20%6%2%9%
2014-1566%18%6%3%8%
2015-1666%16%6%2%9%



...both repeats and movies had their lowest percentage of real estate in many years. As always, I'll note that while there were fewer series repeats back at the very beginning of the A18-49+ era, that's because movies were such a viable "filler" alternative. It's probably more relevant to look at those two categories combined, and it was easily a new low for the combined "super-cheap filler" in terms of real estate.

Where is that lost filler going? Only a bit of it is actually being replaced with original series, but that category still ticked up to a new high (66.4% vs. 65.7% last year). The biggest gainer was actually sports, up over a percent to 9.1% this year. Presumably the biggest factor in that growth was ABC's addition of primetime NBA games on some winter Saturdays.

Big Four Original Sub-Category Ratings

YearComedyDramaRealityNews
2001-021211049872
2002-031169712766
2003-041019614166
2004-058211311661
2005-067711112060
2006-078410711958
2007-089810111161
2008-0910110011662
2009-101019911661
2010-111109412161
2011-121179411459
2012-131039412065
2013-141019411871
2014-151079511970
2015-161009611777



It was not a great year for comedies on the big four, though these very general numbers may be a bit too broad to be truly useful. Most networks' overall comedy departments were down just a touch in Plus, and the bulk of the decline from 107 to 100 comes from Fox: they dedicated more real estate to comedies, and their reward for those efforts was the likes of Grandfathered, The Grinder, Bordertown and Cooper Barrett's Guide.

This year was a zenith for the "news" category, largely thanks to strong seasons from the CBS staples 48 Hours and 60 Minutes. The networks have mostly boiled the "news" category down to just the few shows that work, and they mostly continued working the same or better in 2015-16, a year of record-setting league average decline.
 

Big Four Original Sub-Category Real Estate

YearComedyDramaRealityNews
2001-0221%44%14%21%
2002-0319%42%19%20%
2003-0421%41%19%20%
2004-0516%41%26%17%
2005-0616%45%23%15%
2006-0711%48%26%15%
2007-089%40%38%12%
2008-0911%49%28%12%
2009-1013%45%30%12%
2010-1114%43%30%13%
2011-1216%41%30%12%
2012-1319%40%29%12%
2013-1420%44%27%9%
2014-1515%50%24%11%
2015-1615%51%24%10%



For the second straight season, the big four had its heaviest slate of dramas in the A18-49+ era, but it was by a narrow margin and most of these real estate numbers were pretty flat year-to-year. A few comedy expansions are on the way next fall, so maybe this 51% will go down as the high point?

Here's the now updated A18-49+ programming categories post.

Here's the now updated A18-49+ original sub-categories post.

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