Monday, September 4, 2017

The War of 18-49, Beauty and the Beast

The Debate Night Debut

The CBS Studios drama Beauty and the Beast stepped into the troubled post-The Vampire Diaries hour opposite a four-way political debate simulcast on the major networks. For that one night, it looked like the CDub might be onto something here; it averaged 2.78 million viewers and a 1.2 demo rating, with pretty good retention of its Vampire Diaries lead-in (1.6).

But that potential was very short-lived, and the return of regular competition brought out a very different show right from the jump in week two. It was a 0.7 rating, barely half of the premiere night pop, and it fell to exactly half with a downtick to 0.6 in week three. The good news for Beauty and the Beast was that it held up pretty well for the rest of the season, particularly compared with the terrible spring that the year-ago occupant The Secret Circle had. BatB still wasn't doing anything too compelling, but the consistency got it a second chance.

Surrender Monday

But that second chance came in much more treacherous waters, on Monday alongside the network's weakest weeknight anchor Hart of Dixie. After never going below 0.5 on Thursday, Beauty and the Beast opened season two with a measly 0.3 and almost never budged from the number all season. (It had just a single 0.4 in February and a single 0.2 in March.) It was one of the network's weakest shows. But in what would become one of the foundations for our understanding of the relationship between the network's WB and CBS studios, it snuck through for a third season anyway.

The Summer Seasons 

However, we would never again see Beauty and the Beast in the regular season; it returned to Thursday in the summers of 2015 and 2016 to air out its last two short seasons. I struggle to say that this is actually a positive, but it didn't get much weaker than the egregious season two ratings. In season three, it mixed a few 0.3's in with mostly 0.2's, and the final season was a steady diet of 0.2's. Let's hope that all of this paid off for the CBS studio in other outlets.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12012-13Thursday 9:000.610.51.2detail
22013-14Monday 9:000.30-51%0.20.4detail
3Summer 2015Thursday 8:000.23-23%0.20.3detail
4Summer 2016Thursday 9:000.20-13%0.20.2detail

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

3Summer 201514flop0.17-14%12181812
4Summer 201614flop0.17+0%14141414


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

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