Posts Tagged ‘Nielsen’

Ratings Ebbs and Flows

October 21st, 2009 | Jonathan Gray

Since I’ve been recording the Nielsen overnights, from TV By the Numbers, and have been ranking them at the end of each week, I’ve got a few observations on what’s going up and what’s going down. (Note, though, that these are from overnights, and thus at times don’t account for the refined toggling that occurs later. Take em with a grain of salt in other words):

  • The Simpsons finished in the top 10 in ratings this week, even beating Football Night in America and CSI: Miami. Way to go, Lisa! And very cool to see it doing so well this year.
  • Speaking of oldtimers with attitude, 60 Minutes has placed in the top 10 in overall viewers two weeks in a row now. For a show that was in the top 10 for 23 years in a row (1977-2000), it’s clearly still ticking (ouch. Sorry, bad joke)
  • The very top has been pretty reliable: Sunday Night Football, Grey’s Anatomy, and House have ruled the roost for four straight weeks, if we’re talking 18-49 ratings, or NCIS, NCIS: LA, Dancing with the Stars, and Sunday Night Football have ruled if we’re talking overall viewers. There’s your evidence that I don’t have a Nielsen box in my home
  • NCIS’s viewing numbers are quite remarkable – almost 4 million more than its closest competitor (that’s a difference of 3 Melrose Places), and up a full 3 million from last year. Indeed, while I don’t care much for the show (though I also don’t wish it ill), it’s encouraging to see shows slowly climb the ratings charts, as surely this gives hope that all of one’s middling favorites can also ascend to lofty heights one day … or at least that’s what I hope NBC think when they look at Chuck
  • Eastwick has dropped the most precipitously, from #35 to #63 in 18-49 ratings, #36 to #63 in overall viewers
  • Leno’s numbers haven’t moved in big ways, but over time they’re going down. His Monday 18-49 ranking has gone from #56 to #66, Tuesday from #41 to #52, Wednesday #53 to #61, Friday from #62 to #69, and while Thursday hasn’t dropped, it’s only gone up a smidgeon from #59 to #58. Euthanasia calls
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The New Shows’ Week 4 in Review

October 19th, 2009 | Jonathan Gray

Not much change from last week, so I’ll spare you the full list and numbers. Suffice it to say:

  • NCIS: LA is still doing really well, ranking #4 in overall viewers, and #19 in the 18-49 demo, easily the most successful of the class of 2009
  • Glee, The Vampire Diaries, and Jay Leno’s Thursday night all had their best ratings to date
  • Modern Family, Flash Forward, and Accidentally on Purpose recovered a bit from weaker showings the previous week
  • Three Rivers and Eastwick edged closer to oblivion, both slipping slightly
  • And Melrose Place is back in the undisputed last place, in both overall viewers and 18-49 demo ratings (and in class)
  • Viewing in general was up last week, about a quarter of a million people per show on average. Measure the above three failures relative to that

So, my cancellation predictions remain the same as last week

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The New Shows’ Week 3 in Review

October 12th, 2009 | Jonathan Gray

A look at how the new shows fared this past week, with ranking within 18-49 demo ratings, and ranking of total viewers in parentheses:


The Hits

  • NCIS: LA (13, 3) has dropped in the 18-49 demo since starting, but is still going strong
  • The Cleveland Show (14, 38) is up from a regular success, since it’s in the top 20 in the demo. It’s slipped, so it might go back down, but for now it’s doing very well

The Successes

  • The Good Wife (32, 9) is a really solid performer, without the volatile numbers that characterize many other new shows (see below), and with strong total viewer numbers
  • Flash Forward (31, 28) had a bad week, dropping from the top 20 to 31 in the demo, and down 3.36 million viewers from its premier. But ABC picked it up for the season, so it’s on firm footing
  • Modern Family (27, 31) is in a similar situation to FF: down in the demo, 4.28 million viewers down from its premier, yet picked up for the season and still doing okay
  • Cougar Town (30, 37) also got picked up, dropped in the demo, and lost viewers
  • Glee (28, 43) offers a rare situation: it’s doing better, up 8 spots in the demo since 2 weeks ago, and up 7 spots in viewers
  • Vampire Diaries (60, 70), like The Good Wife, just keeps moving along with the same numbers, all of which are very impressive for The CW


  • Accidentally on Purpose (37, 48) is continuing a slow creep downwards, but is doing better than New Adventures and Gary Unmarried, so it’s probably safe for now
  • the forgotten (51, 32) is struggling, and could easily drop a level
  • Mercy (56, 44) is probably only protected by being the least unsuccessful of three new unsuccessful medical dramas
  • The Middle (49, 52) is exactly there, in the middle, though it got picked up for a season, so clearly ABC have some trust in it … for now
  • Jay Leno (best 47, 55; worst 71, 69) can do okay on Tuesdays, but otherwise is doing poorly

Drop Zone

  • Three Rivers (62, 41) has lousy demo numbers, not horrible, but low enough to make it CBS’s most cull-able new show
  • Hank (64, 53) was tellingly the only sitcom not to get a full pick-up this week from ABC, and with its numbers, I’d be surprised to see it around much longer
  • Community (52, 66) got a slightly new timeslot this week, sign #1 of being cut, and it dropped 17 spots in the demo, sign #2 of being cut
  • Trauma (57, 62) has bad numbers, and “wins” the worst-performing medical drama sweepstakes
  • Eastwick (55, 65) has gone down 20 spots in the demo and 29 in overall viewers in 2 weeks. I’d say it’s easily ABC’s most likely to be killed
  • Brothers (80, 74) was dead last in the 18-49 demo, and close to that in overall viewers. Surely it will be axed
  • Melrose Place (78, 80) had its best week, but when that equates to 78 in the demo, and last (80) in overall viewers, that’s pretty awful. Would somebody tell CW that Aaron Spelling is dead?

Other Observations

  • Total viewership is down about 800,000 per show on average from two weeks ago
  • This week’s top 10 were (from top to bottom) Sunday Night Football, Grey’s Anatomy, House, The Office (yay Jim and Pam!), Desperate Housewives, Family Guy, Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Football Night in America, and Two and a Half Men in the demo, and NCIS, Dancing with the Stars, NCIS: LA, Sunday Night Football, 60 Minutes, CSI, The Mentalist, Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife, and Criminal Minds in total viewers
  • Who says sitcoms are dead? 4 of those top 10 in the 18-49 demo are sitcoms, DH is a comedy more broadly conceived, and Grey’s is comically bad, if that counts


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The New Shows’ Week 2 in Review

October 5th, 2009 | Jonathan Gray

Now that I have another week of Nielsen ratings to work with, let’s reevaluate how the new shows are doing. After the fold …
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Why Was Beautiful Life Cancelled, and is Brothers Next?

September 30th, 2009 | Jonathan Gray

A brief pause from reviews to discuss the passing of Beautiful Life, and the low ratings of Brothers. Both cases illustrate how much the extratextuals matter. After the fold …
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Who Will Stay and Who Will Go? A Look at the Numbers

September 26th, 2009 | Jonathan Gray

A pause from the reviews now to look at the new show’s numbers, and to discuss what those numbers tell us about the past five days, the “first official week” of the Fall season. After the fold …
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Changes at Nielsen: Rating Representation and Surveillance

September 30th, 2007 | Jonathan Gray

Nielsen have been pretty active recently, with announcements, changes, and additions left, right, and center. I believe Ivan’s going to handle one of those possible changes/shakeups, so I’ll focus on three others.

Increase in the National TV Ratings Sample SizeThere’s the announcement that they’ll be tripling their TV ratings national sample size by 2011 (hence rising from 12,000 households with 35,000 people to 37,000 households with 100,000 people). Sam Ford over at the Convergence Culture Consortium blog discusses this, though more from me below.

Hey! NielsenThey also introduced a service called Hey! Nielsen, which is ostensibly a social networking and opinions site. CCC also beat us to the punch here, with a post from Eleanor Baird. She finds the site interesting in three ways, arguing that it signals:

  • “a desire to work with fan groups and give them extra clout, something that I believe echoes a change in attitude in the industry as it tries to quantify things other than eyeballs to sell to advertisers”;
  • “a move towards more diverse measurement from an online group”; and
  • “an interesting move is that it is seeking to build a more direct, trusting relationship with an audience that probably has fought in the past to keep the shows they wanted on air because of low ratings”

Certainly, offering evidence of Baird’s first point, my quick browse through the site suggested a marked cult fan presence. Hey! Nielsen gives a score to shows that are being talked about, and the day I visited, Supernatural, Jericho, and Firefly easily topped the television scores.more below… Read more…

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