Monday, July 10, 2017

The War of 18-49, The Originals

Productive Anchor Seasons

The CW came into the 2013-14 season with some very depressing recent performance on pretty much every night other than Wednesday and Thursday. But the network tried to open a third solid night with its new The Vampire Diaries spin-off and old reliable Supernatural. The Originals previewed on Thursday 10/3/13, with a 1.0 demo leading out of a 1.2 lead-in from The Vampire Diaries, then got a 0.9 for its first Tuesday airing five days later. But The Originals showed surprising resilience from that point forward, jumping up to a 1.1 the next week. It jumped around that range for the rest of the fall and winter, not falling below that 0.9 timeslot premiere until late in February.

The stretch run in season one was not good to Originals, which fell as low as a couple 0.6's late in the season. That set the show up for a big drop in its move to Monday for season two, hanging in the 0.6 to 0.7 range for the first half of the season before once again taking a hit in the spring, to a bunch of 0.5's.

Joining with the Mothership

After two years of declines, the network decided to pull a Private Practice and unite The Originals with the show that spawned it. But with The Vampire Diaries also deep into its decline phase, this did little to stem the tide; The Originals usually got 0.4 alongside TVD in the fall, which was about the same rate of decline it was seeing in season two. The pair moved to Friday at midseason and actually held up fairly well; Originals hit a bunch of its familiar Thursday 0.4's early in the winter. But more 0.3's mixed in late in the season.

Coming Off the Bench 

Both vampire shows survived again into 2016-17, but not together; instead, they shared a timeslot, with the announced final season of TVD leading off on Friday through early March and Originals taking over from there. Considering Originals was airing in the much tougher part of the calendar, the show stayed surprisingly close to The Vampire Diaries' performance earlier in the season; it usually hit 0.3 but mixed in a few 0.4's as well, even including one after the end of the regular season. It's always hard to tell on the CW, but it's nice to think this first-run performance actually had some impact in saving The Originals from what could have been a cleaning house for the vampire empire. Instead, The Originals will be back for a fifth season, but once again held for midseason or later.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12013-14Tuesday 8:000.890.61.1detail
22014-15Monday 8:000.58-35%0.40.7detail
32015-16Thu 9:00, Fri 9:000.39-33%0.30.5detailD+
4Spring 2017Friday 8:000.32-18%0.20.4detailB+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

4Spring 201726hit(CWFri)0.32-3%16332424


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

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