Monday, October 23, 2017

War of 18-49 Updates for Cable 2017: Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars and more!


Here's a quick catch-up on War of 18-49 pages for cable shows that have already existing War pages. Click the names in each one of these tables to see the now-updated War of 18-49 page. The last version of this was 11 months ago, so we're covering seasons that have concluded since then. (I'm gonna try to start doing these more frequently so that these pages don't go many months without updates.) See also last week's summer broadcast update.


NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
American Dad!0.50.520.6-4%42+14%detail

It was arguably disappointing how far American Dad! fell when it first made the move from Fox to TBS in 2015, but it's been very healthy in the years since then. The first half of the season (late fall 2016) was particularly impressive, putting up some better raw numbers than anything in the previous season, and it fell a notch when it came back in the spring. Grade: A-.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
The Americans0.10.190.3-27%15-13%detail

Moved to Tuesday after many years on Wednesday, The Americans had a steeper drop than last year, but still not as steep as its declines in seasons two and three. Grade: C.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
Archer0.20.260.4-36%21-23%detail

Archer made the move to FXX this season, which is a pretty good excuse for a big drop. I'd call this a little better than the 15% Plus drop it took while on FX last year. Grade: C+.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
Bates Motel0.40.440.5-20%36-5%detail

The final season of Bates Motel didn't exactly have a wow moment, ending on a 0.46 for the finale that was only up four hundredths week-to-week and didn't even have a y2y trend (-12%) that was much better than the season-long trend. Any finale heat was seemingly more spread across the entire season, which managed to pull off the show's smallest Plus decline ever. Grade: B-.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
Game of Thrones4.34.825.7+25%394+49%detail

The show was absolutely enormous last year and it had unimaginable growth again, setting three more series highs in seven episodes. This is the "truly freaky" that I look for in a Grade: A+. It even made it up to The Walking Dead levels for the finale, with a 5.70 that beat Dead's 5.42 season ender. Overall, there may just not be enough time left for Game of Thrones to make the argument it was a more impressive ratings story than The Walking Dead; even here, the season average is still a good bit shy of the level Dead has been at for three years now. But the opportunity is certainly there for a more impressive peak, especially since it's doing this while airing on a premium channel and getting pirated at huge rates.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
Homeland0.30.430.6-15%35+1%detail

Homeland sorta fell off a cliff from season three to season four but has inched up in Plus in the two years since then. Since it switched with Shameless on the schedule and thus had to air later in the year, it gets the grade edge over Shameless. (Showtime didn't subject it to airing against the Super Bowl as they always have with Shameless.) Grade: B+.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
Nashville0.10.200.3-79%16-75%detail

Nashville was an interesting study in moving from broadcast all the way to a middling at best cable channel. This was probably an even more dramatic move than things like Cougar Town / American Dad! to TBS or Southland to TNT, so I've got no idea what to do with it grade-wise. For all we know, most stuff would drop 80% on CMT. It didn't really seem to "catch on" in terms of momentum across the season, and at this level I would hardly call it much of a game-changer for the network. Grade: C-.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
Pretty Little Liars (summer 2016)0.50.580.7-35%40-24%detail
Pretty Little Liars (spring 2017)0.40.510.7-27%42-13%detail

This show started taking much more severe drops in the second half of its penultimate season, and was in full-on collapse mode through most of the final season. The bleeding arguably slowed down a bit in the last month and certainly for the 0.72 finale. But overall, these are not flattering numbers for an announced final season of a series that was resilient for so long. Grade: D.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
Shameless0.40.540.6-16%440%detail

In a move to the fall, it was another solid season for a series that has stayed very close to the league average rate of decline for several years now. Grade: B.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
Suits (summer 2016)0.40.480.5-21%33-9%detail
Suits (winter 2017)0.30.320.3-36%26-24%detail
Suits (summer 2017)0.30.380.5-21%31-6%detail

Grade is for season six, which is the first two half-seasons listed above. It took a fairly typical Suits drop in the summer but a much steeper one in the winter, when it was compared against one of the show's healthiest runs in winter 2016. Grade: C. It was another fairly typical Suits drop for the first half of season seven this summer, perhaps a bit better than usual on a Plus basis because of its pairing with the strong limited series The Sinner. It was the first time in years that Suits was truly eclipsed by one of its USA peers in the ratings.

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusPlusy2yResults
The Walking Dead (fall 2016)4.95.628.4-16%459-1%detail
The Walking Dead (spring 2017)4.75.095.7-20%416-4%detail

The Walking Dead was buoyed by the biggest historical-adjusted episode of scripted television on record, a 682 for the resolution of the Negan cliffhanger on October 23. You could argue that it unfairly set the show up for some epic post-premiere declines, but the alarms were arguably deserved when the show was down 25% or more in its last three eps of the fall. However, it managed to actually slow the declines to more like the 20% range throughout the spring run. It still adds up to a larger-than-league-average decline for the first time in Dead history. Last year's heights will probably lead to some ugly y2y comparisons, especially with last night's premiere, but I still think this season deserves a good grade. Grade: B+.

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