Friday, July 29, 2016

The War of 18-49, Unforgettable

Respectable Newbie on a Huge Network

The CBS crime drama Unforgettable opened its run with 14.09 million viewers and a 2.9 demo rating on 9/20/2011, about 20% behind its lead-in from NCIS: Los Angeles (3.6). That was surprisingly close to where CBS' much more-ballyhooed newbie Person of Interest opened later in the week (3.1). Unforgettable didn't hold up quite as well post-premiere as PoI, but still rather well. It hung in the low-to-mid 2's for most of the season, dipping to around 2.0ish toward the end of the season. It was not a bad performer; only a couple occupants in the Tuesday 10/9c hour have done better in the A18-49+ era. But it arrived on the CBS of 2011-12, which was arguably the strongest season for a three-hour network since the fall of Must See TV in 2004. Something had to go, and it was Unforgettable.

A Second Life as Summer Filler

There were a lot of rumblings about Unforgettable moving to cable after its cancellation at the 2012 upfront. Ultimately, the revival came not from cable but from CBS itself, as part of a push into added summer original programming. Airing after low-2's from Big Brother, Unforgettable was incompatible and mostly averaged very low-1's, and its ratings were less than half of the other entry in the CBS summer drama slate (Under the Dome). But soon after the end of the summer run, Unforgettable managed another renewal.

It returned to air the second half of season two on Fridays in late spring 2014, then was back on summer Sundays in 2014. It had fairly similar ratings to the 2013 run, but it had arguably been lucky to score that renewal to begin with. It seemed to stack up a little better in the 2014 landscape, but it was cancelled again.

The A&E Season 

Perhaps nothing illustrates the power of the Sony studio better than the fact that Unforgettable somehow got revived again, on cable channel A&E. Based on how it was scheduled, they seemingly didn't even want it; season four of Unforgettable effectively got burned off on Fridays and largely during the holiday season in late 2015/early 2016. On cable, where there's usually more scheduling flexibility, that is pretty rotten treatment. And the ratings complied; it opened on a 0.12 rating, just 20% of its CBS series low, and went fractional-of-fractional (a 0.09) in the second hour of the premiere. From there, it held in the low zero point ones for the most part, and got cancelled for a third time. Maybe the biggest impact of the A&E run was that it got this rather interesting story to War of 18-49 eligibility...!

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12011-12Tuesday 10:002.251.802.90detail
22013-14Fri 8:00, Sun 9:001.02-55%0.801.30detail
3Summer 2014Sunday 9:000.91-11%0.601.10detail
42015-16Friday 8:

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

3Summer 201448flop0.70-1%32584853


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

No comments:

Post a Comment

© 2009-2022. All Rights Reserved.