Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The War of 18-49, Jane the Virgin


The CW Goes Off-Brand

As of fall 2014, the CW had its DC superhero shows in ascendancy and a still strong vampire empire with The Vampire Diaries on Thursday and The Originals moving to Monday. But with that Originals lead-in, the network tried something totally different: the telenovela-inspired dramedy Jane the Virgin. It didn't really seem to fit with anything else on the network, but there was real interest for the show on premiere night; it opened with 1.61 million viewers and a 0.6 demo rating. It was down a tenth from The Originals, but clearly brought some different audience to the table as it was up by more than 200,000 viewers. 

Jane was down to 0.5 and then 0.4 the next two weeks, and hit 0.4 three more times in the next four weeks. At that point, things were looking shaky; the last two 0.4's were down at least two tenths from the lead-in. But the show seemed to catch on a bit from there, hitting two 0.5's to end the fall and then three 0.6's during the winter months. In the end, its average for the season was only about a tenth below The Originals.

Different Monday Lead-ins

The CW sent The Originals to join The Vampire Diaries on Thursday and decided to embrace what Jane the Virgin had brought to Monday, uniting it with another new dramedy called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. But Crazy never resonated in the ratings to even the small extent that Jane had; it spent most of the season at a measly 0.3, down about half from last year's The Originals, and that probably wiped out any chance Jane had at a sophomore bounce. Jane usually built by a tenth from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but that was still about a tenth below where it had been the previous year.

In season three came another wild change in lead-in; the CW picked up cancelled CBS superhero drama Supergirl and left it in the Monday 8/7c hour it had occupied on CBS. Though it was over double what Crazy had done in 2015-16, it was not something that was gonna boost Jane; it pretty much just kept plugging away with the same 0.3's and 0.4's as the previous season, and even fell to some 0.2's late in the year.


Surrender Friday

For fall 2017, the CW wanted to try doing something more with the established Supergirl lead-in, so it was finally time for Jane the Virgin to leave the Monday 9/8c hour. Jane headed for Friday, where it reunited with its season two teammate Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Once again on Friday, Jane showed that within this universe where everything is low-rated, it at least had a little more audience than Crazy Ex; it was up about four hundredths from CEG on average, despite not having the local programming lead-ins. Both the shows have been renewed for one last season and seem likely to share Friday night with low-rated sophomore Dynasty.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
12014-15Monday 9:000.480.40.6detail
22015-160.37-24%0.30.5detailC+
32016-170.34-9%0.20.4detailC+
42017-18Friday 9:000.24-28%0.20.3detailB-

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow18y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
12014-1529marginal(CW)0.3124363630
22015-1625marginal(CW)0.28-12%21342727
32016-1727marginal(CW)0.30+8%16333324
42017-1822solid(CWFri)0.24-20%17292619

AVERAGE:26marginal(CW)



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

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