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Ratings and Scheduling Issues: I Can't Do This Alone


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#9781

jediknight

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Posted Mar 18, 2012 @ 3:27 AM

Yes and the CW is in serious ratings trouble. And that trouble, degrades the full lineup. Just as NBC problems hurt the rest of its schedule. In house promotion for example is the single largest means of advertising for shows on all networks.

I mean Live plus 7 the CW is down what 25%, its live same day numbers are down much more.

It's amazing how much the CW is missing Smallville right now.

Not too impressive imo, considering there was no new episode of Fringe or Grimm

There may not have been new episodes of Fringe or Grimm but that was for a reason. They didn't want to go up against the NCAA Tournament. It was day 2 of March Madness, of course Supernatural was going to take a hit, and add in the fact that Lehigh's upset of Duke was going on at the same time, and it just makes it worse for Supernatural.
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#9782

hat

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Posted Mar 18, 2012 @ 6:15 PM

Supernatural half hours: 0.7/0.6, irrelevant for determining possible adjustment
Seems like I wasn't the only one bored with this episode. SPN may adjust up, but it still doesn't take away that fans were bored and opted out in the second half. Maybe if the episode had less troubled Sam and more mysterious and dangerous objects to find it might have been more interesting. Even the Leviathans could be more interesting, if they were written less as copies of V/Twilight Zone aliens and something more unique.

But I believe that Kim Manners was the only one that had the imagination and the guts to break away from the staus quo of this show and keep the audience guessing. The show has gone down hill since Kim died and Kripke decided to follow his original plan, which, in my view, is pretty cliched, bland and just plain stupid.
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#9783

Observe

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Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 6:15 AM

Seems like I wasn't the only one bored with this episode. SPN may adjust up, but it still doesn't take away that fans were bored and opted out in the second half. Maybe if the episode had less troubled Sam and more mysterious and dangerous objects to find it might have been more interesting. Even the Leviathans could be more interesting, if they were written less as copies of V/Twilight Zone aliens and something more unique.

But I believe that Kim Manners was the only one that had the imagination and the guts to break away from the staus quo of this show and keep the audience guessing.


I also think there is a lot more wrong with this show than the imo at best obtuse and at worst just plain stupid decision to do away with a character/actor who was a big draw for a lot of viewers at a time when the ratings were already falling. While Gamble can turn out a good and sometimes excellent episode, I don't think she has the vision for a larger storyline, and she and her team are creatively bankrupt – this season and last have been a mess (again: imo). The writing is appalling and the lack of continuity even worse than that. Even Ackles, when asked at the LA Con what this season was about, said, "I don't know."

I don't expect the ratings to tick up anywhere near the "heights" (and I use the term loosely) of this season ever again, even after Cas returns – the structural problems with the show are too great now and the constant rinse-repeat of the same tired storyline only serves to make it obvious how much better earlier seasons were. I think the show is going out with a whimper instead of a bang, which is a shame for all involved as well as the audience.

Edited by Observe, Mar 19, 2012 @ 6:17 AM.

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#9784

Demian

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Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 9:01 AM

Even Ackles, when asked at the LA Con what this season was about, said, "I don't know."

Hee! Did he really?

I don't expect the ratings to tick up anywhere near the "heights" (and I use the term loosely) of this season ever again, even after Cas returns...

They won't. Ratings always drop in the spring and stay there. I was expecting more of a decrease for this one, actually, though I guess they've hit a floor of sorts, and that 1.7 million viewers represents the hard-core, die-hard, not-over-'til-it's-over core of people who won't quit this series until it's dead.

Actually, given how many sites there are with instant recaps nowadays, it seems like half the people still watching are only doing so because they've got to publish something about it the next morning.

I think the show is going out with a whimper instead of a bang, which is a shame for all involved as well as the audience.

Yeah, it really is. But I've been saying they never should have gone past Season Five for years now, so I should probably shut up about it.

Edited by Demian, Mar 19, 2012 @ 9:03 AM.


#9785

LightMyCandle

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Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:38 AM

While Gamble can turn out a good and sometimes excellent episode, I don't think she has the vision for a larger storyline


This. She has done some great individual episodes, but this is her second year in charge and it's just as lost and directionless as last year. She just doesn't have the big picture in mind. Getting rid of Cas and Bobby was very short sighted of her. At least they could break up the repetitive nature of the brotherly angst.
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#9786

stealthyone

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Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 1:34 PM

I've been saying they never should have gone past Season Five for years now, so I should probably shut up about it.


Yeah, I think many shows are unable to sustain high quality past five seasons. For SPN, I think the show started going downhill midway through season four, for a variety of reasons. I lost interest in Castiel when they changed him from this cool, otherworldly being into an emo angel trying to find his way; I'm tired of thinking Dean's getting a big storyline only for it to fizzle out (e.g., going from vessel to punching bag/cheerleader with an assist from the car); I'm tired of seeing the same story/episode done a different way; and I'm tired of Sam's "Will he or won't he?" stories stretching all the way back to season one. Will he go evil? How about now? Now? Will he go crazy? How about now? Or now?

Also, I think it's kind of sad that I could sit there and watch a character I used to love (Bobby) die and say, "Meh." I was so tired of Bobby by that point that the episode had little impact, and I can only shake my head at the proclamations it's the best ep this year and possibly in the history of the show. But hey, the way SPN has killed and brought back multiple characters, I guess I'm entitled to feel bored by depictions of death on the show.

Personally, I feel the show lost a lot when Kim Manners passed away, and Sera Gamble did it no favors when she took over as showrunner. But yes, I'm one of the people sticking around until the bitter end. Having much lower expectations than ever before helps a lot. It's my only explanation for my ability to enjoy episodes this season that other people hate.

Edited to add: I'm very curious to see ratings next week when other shows opposite SPN come back and "Hunger Games" releases. I would think Show would get a boost from Cas coming back given how many people like him, but then again, there's a lot of competition coming ...

Edited by stealthyone, Mar 19, 2012 @ 1:39 PM.

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#9787

LightMyCandle

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Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 1:57 PM

Also, I think it's kind of sad that I could sit there and watch a character I used to love (Bobby) die and say, "Meh." I was so tired of Bobby by that point that the episode had little impact, and I can only shake my head at the proclamations it's the best ep this year and possibly in the history of the show.


100% agreed on this. Bobby lost me when he chewed Dean out in Lucifer Rising and since all he did in season 5 was whine about how horrible his life was, he never won me back. Add that to the fact that I was furious and crushed when they got rid of Cas and I couldn't muster up any emotion at all when Bobby finally did die, except for a 'why am I surprised' snort.

I thought the episode was boring and by the end, I was hoping he would go with the reaper because I was just wanted it to be over. I'm honestly surprised at how many people, the actors included, raved about the episode. Maybe it's because they miss Jim, because the writing didn't get to me at all. I will say that it's always a pleasure to have Steven Williams on my screen, so there was that.

I would think Show would get a boost from Cas coming back given how many people like him, but then again, there's a lot of competition coming ...


At this point, I really doubt the ratings are gonna move much at all.
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#9788

Meso

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Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 4:08 PM

I would think Show would get a boost from Cas coming back given how many people like him, but then again, there's a lot of competition coming ...

Quite apart from external competition (Fringe, Hunger Games), Cas coming back could weigh against Woobie!Sam's storyline. Viewers like me definitely want to check back in on Friday's SPN for Cas, but I frankly can't take one more minute of WoobieSam's hellpain story that comes and goes as the showrunners need it to. Of course, fans who are eagerly waiting for Sam's breakdown may typically not be fans of Cas and want to avoid his screentime. So next week's ratings will have complicated issues factored in. Sadly, I have now decided to DVR the next episode and ff through segments that are completely unbearable to me. :(
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#9789

stealthyone

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Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 6:11 PM

LightMyCandle: I'm glad I'm not the only one not loving Bobby or his swan song episode. But yes, I did enjoy Steven Williams being back.

Meso: You bring up a good point about Cas and Sam fans not necessarily wanting to see the other character's storyline. Hmm. Had not thought of that in terms of how it would affect ratings.
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#9790

Observe

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Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 6:11 PM

It looks as though the competition from The Hunger Games may be pretty intense.

Edited by Observe, Mar 19, 2012 @ 6:11 PM.

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#9791

saltrounds

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Posted Mar 24, 2012 @ 11:31 AM

It looks as though the competition from The Hunger Games may be pretty intense.


It looks like you're right Observe: ratings falls all round, and TV By the Numbers is speculating that The Hunger Games and basketball on the other channel made a difference...

0.6 1.57

I don't expect the ratings to tick up anywhere near the "heights" (and I use the term loosely) of this season ever again, even after Cas returns – the structural problems with the show are too great now


I agree. The structure and pacing of last night's episode wasn't good.

Edited by saltrounds, Mar 24, 2012 @ 11:33 AM.

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#9792

yimhappy

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Posted Mar 24, 2012 @ 2:01 PM

I wish someone would keep a chart of ratings with factors like big competition.

This season, I'm starting to have this theory that ratings dip big the week after an especially disliked episode.
Fan reaction was bad for the Becky/Wedding episode, so then the next week epi drops to 1.55 million. But that 1.55 million watch a decent Ben Edlund episode, and then ratings are up again for Death's Door.

The next 1.55 million episode followed "Adventures in Babysitting". Alice Jester struggled to say something nice about that episode.
A lot of people complained about last week's episode too.

I know that this proves nothing, and that fans don't influence Neilsen families. But if fans hated it, maybe casual viewers did too. I can imagine wanting a break after a particularly bad episode. That's how it works for me. By bad, I mean not just boring, but offensive.
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#9793

Ulkis

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Posted Mar 24, 2012 @ 3:32 PM

Meso: You bring up a good point about Cas and Sam fans not necessarily wanting to see the other character's storyline. Hmm. Had not thought of that in terms of how it would affect ratings.


As a casual viewer, I recorded last night's episode specifically for Mark Pellegrino/Lucifer. Love him.

Edited by Ulkis, Mar 24, 2012 @ 3:33 PM.

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#9794

housekeeper

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Posted Mar 24, 2012 @ 9:21 PM

I was actually curious to see what the ratings were considering all the Misha/Cas hype and was surprised to see an all time low .. I didn't watch because I do not watch any eps that has Misha/Cas ..
The reason I don't is that the episode descrition always imply it is supposed to be a Sam ep but then ends up being all about Cas somehow and I just stopped watching when Cas had anything to do with the episodes..
I already knew I'd be disappointed so why watch it ?
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#9795

Tralah

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Posted Mar 24, 2012 @ 9:28 PM

I'd actually say it was a very Sam-centric episode even with Castiel's return in the mix. I do think it was a mistake to cram all that in one episode though. The ratings are disappointing, but it does seem there was a lot stacked against the episode with the basketball game that caused some markets to move the episode so it didn't air at the normal time and the Hunger Games had its huge premiere. It seems like the ratings were down for other shows that night too, not just Supernatural.

Edited by Tralah, Mar 24, 2012 @ 9:30 PM.

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#9796

Observe

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Posted Mar 24, 2012 @ 9:35 PM

The ep is currently #4 on iTunes' top TV downloads. :-)
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#9797

Otaku

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Posted Mar 24, 2012 @ 10:57 PM

Hat

Supernatural half hours: 0.7/0.6, irrelevant for determining possible adjustment
Seems like I wasn't the only one bored with this episode. SPN may adjust up, but it still doesn't take away that fans were bored and opted out in the second half. Maybe if the episode had less troubled Sam and more mysterious and dangerous objects to find it might have been more interesting. Even the Leviathans could be more interesting, if they were written less as copies of V/Twilight Zone aliens and something more unique.


Hat, you can't use half hour numbers to judge a show performance. Period. While it gives you a general idea of a shows level of performance, the half hours in fast national are based on the specific time period literally 9:00 pm to 9:59.59pm.

Finals reflect the specific performance of the show ie the moment the first shot appears to the moment of the last frame of the production credits. Usually these do not align perfectly between fast nationals and finals, especially with the CW.

For example, I know several markets where the show ends before 9:59, in fact in my market, they don't even air the final credits, so typically the episodes end about 9:53. Meaning that in some markets you are going to have a dramatic drop off in ratings for the last ten minutes. in Fast Nationals. And when adjusted with finals you can see all of that disappear. Now I m sure my market isn't what occurs nationwide, but from a lot of different cities you hear about the show ending a few minutes before ten. Those few minutes of ad time, or local programming can drag down your fast national half hour levels for the 9:30 half hours.

You can only judge final half hour numbers to determine if an episode holds its audience.

I mean seriously even Robert or Bill from TV By the Numbers is telling you (which you have quoted) that you can't use fast Nationals to judge adjustments.

And what do you do you use those numbers to judge the shows audience drop off during the hour. You can't. Finals only.

In fact just look at the viewer totals for each original episode (I use that as with more decimal point you can see changes easier), every new episode has been adjusted up to some degree, and this isn't typical.

So what you and I don't know (except in the rare times we see published final half hours in demo and viewers) is which half hour (or even 15 minute block) is more heavily changed with the adjustment of Final numbers. Based on the six weeks of data that I have which does include those numbers its all been part of the 2nd half hour. Which tends to support the fact that in many markets the CW ends earlier.

Edited by Otaku, Mar 24, 2012 @ 11:05 PM.

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#9798

Kimit

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Posted Mar 31, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

Ratings went up a bit from last week.

Supernatural (Viewers: #5, 1.72 million; A18-49: #5, 0.7/ 2). Worth positively mentioning for Supernatural was growth out of Nikita of 75 percent among adults 18-49.


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#9799

Otaku

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Posted Mar 31, 2012 @ 2:42 PM

Oh and for those curious we have a season average increase in viewers from DVR of 41%. Our average (not counting this week and last as DVR results for those weeks are yet out) is 2.5 million viewers for our average.

And hardly surprising about the demo increase with both Hunger Games heavily taken away the younger female adult ratings, and College BB heavily taken away men 18-34 for the last two weeks) no longer being such a dramatic influence on the show.

One other thing. From data I found of Fringe and Glee two years ago.

Two years ago Glee had 20% of its audience from online streaming, Fringe had 17% of its total audience from online streaming.

I have yet to find any data on any specific CW show, but what we do know is on average the CW has the highest rate of any network, that its also grown at a faster rate then DVR use. I then plotted out the Neislen data over the adoption of DVR use since 2006.

I think its safe to say that shows on thr CW as of this year should be getting 20-30% of their total audience due to legal streaming.

In fact its such a strong part of the CW business model that they have pushed online streaming to 8 hours after it originally aired, even though this impacts DVR use.

DVR viewers typically only watch commercials 20% of the time.

I think its also safe to say that SPN probably is on the low end for the CW (say 20% of total audience). That means SPN is averaging all told about 3 million for its average audience.

Meaning when you talk about decline of total audience over the life of the CW (which is also start of measurable gains by DVR), that since Season two SPN is down very little when we talked about total fan base.

Now that doesn't mean that it makes as much revenue, it doesn't. Live viewers are easily the strongest money earner for any viewing method for the show. I wouldn't be surprised based on online pushing into DVR 3 so deep into anything beyond same day DVR use, that online might actually be earning more for the CW then the DVR viewers (which again on average only 20% watch commercials).

It also doesn't mean that the show hasn't lost some fans (even in large numbers), one only has to look at season 4 to know thats not true. But while its lost viewers from its peak, and probably some to many original viewers, it probably as also gained new viewers to things like the stripping of the show, and people who got up on things like DVD and netflix, or even caught up from online streaming.
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#9800

Gwonk

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Posted Mar 31, 2012 @ 5:58 PM

stripping of the show


Wait wait.

When did I miss that?

You'd think I'd hear more about naked Js...
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#9801

morrigan2575

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Posted Apr 4, 2012 @ 5:54 AM

Thankfully SPN is on a break until 4/20...hopefully by then DirecTV/Tribune can work something out.
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#9802

Demian

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Posted Apr 21, 2012 @ 2:16 PM

Transferring this from the Media thread. From Blackmantra:

Ratings link.

.6/1.484
These were really bad. Was there a blockbuster movie or sports pre-emption somewhere?
This post has been edited by Blackmantra53: Today, 12:14 PM



#9803

Gwonk

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 7:46 AM

These were really bad. Was there a blockbuster movie or sports pre-emption somewhere?

4/20?
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#9804

Raynell

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 7:57 AM

I think the fan bingo for this week is 1) Nielsen ratings system is useless 2) SPN doesn't need ratings. The irony is of course that these explanations only work on episode-to-episode basis for some people: ratings for one episode "proves" a character that appears in it is not a draw despite popular belief, while another low-rated episode is not a reflection of a character that is in it, but instead is because of the aforementioned reasons.

For me, I just think people can't be bothered to tune in live weekly when they know they can catch up later, and especially when the show/storyline isn't as compelling as in previous years. But I believe SPN and other shows still need ratings as long as the current way to put out shows on network TV, i.e. ratings = advertisement dollars, remains.
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#9805

saltrounds

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 8:30 AM

4/20?


Perhaps it was a similar scenario to Thanksgiving, when people apparently weren't watching because they were busy tidying up the guest bedroom and shopping for a turkey. Only in this case they were busy tidying up so they didn't fall over anything while high, and out grocery shopping because pot gives you the munchies. :)

For me, I just think people can't be bothered to tune in live weekly when they know they can catch up later, and especially when the show/storyline isn't as compelling as in previous years.


I know a lot of people who've switched to Grimm (me included). I agree it's more a case of Supernatural just not being "must-watch" TV any more. The impression I get is that it's "might watch if I can remember to" TV these days.

Edited by saltrounds, Apr 22, 2012 @ 8:33 AM.

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#9806

yimhappy

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 2:02 PM

I thought that SPN always has ratings drop off in Spring.

Although, I can't help but think that Garth was a weak episode to start a hiatus with. There's no proof, but my head keeps going to "ratings drop after especially weak episodes" theory. Miles vary on whether Garth was that weak.
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#9807

muffilator

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 4:55 PM

The New York Times had an interesting article about television ratings decreasing in general:

In the four television weeks starting March 19, NBC lost an average of 59,000 viewers (about 3 percent) in that 18-to-49 age category compared with the same period last year, CBS lost 239,000 (8 percent), ABC lost 681,000 (21 percent) and Fox lost 709,000 (20 percent).

In the last few weeks, new viewership lows for network series have been recorded nightly among 18- to 49-year-olds, the group that still commands the highest advertising prices... [snip]

Another explanation behind the steep decline in network shows is the way networks now parcel out episodes of their more popular offerings. Around March, they begin inserting strings of repeat, which, more than ever, viewers avoid. Jay Sures, a partner in the United Talent Agency, said his company’s research found that “the disruption of the ordered pattern of episodes is a big issue.”


ETA: yimhappy, the article also said that spring viewership decreases each year but that this year the decrease is significantly more than would normally be expected.

Edited by muffilator, Apr 23, 2012 @ 4:57 PM.

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#9808

MadCaps

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:26 PM

Heh! I'm just amused that The CW doesn't even warrant a mention in an article about American network TV ratings. It really has become irrelevant in a way that the WB and UPN never were. At least they got mentioned under the netlet designation. But the CW is just completely off the radar these days.
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#9809

Blackmantra53

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:43 PM

t “the disruption of the ordered pattern of episodes is a big issue.”

I agree with this. Supernatural has had more blocks of consecutive re-runs this season than in any other and I don't think that has been helpful.
Unless one is an avid fan with nothing better to do, after a couple of weeks of re-runs one can forget to look for a new episode, or decide it can be obtained through timed recording, time-shifting or download at a later date, none of which may contribute to ratings.
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#9810

Otaku

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:18 PM

Finals

1.57
.7 adults 18-49. 2nd best show in demo and viewers again for the network.


OK, thanks to the Wall Street Journal we have some solid numbers for online viewing

This year the the average performance for the CW is for legal online streaming to account for 20% of a shows total audience.

Last year that rate was 10%, and if a mediaweek report can be trusted the year before that was 3%.

Those numbers make since, as Nielsen has stated that online growth for all networks has been faster then DVR. And that online growth has been highest on the CW, as the largest group of people who stream is 18-34, then 18-49.

the first year SPN aired, 99% of a shows total audience watched a show only off of live broadcast.

By the 2cd year DVR use had started growing, but still at a fairly low level.

Lets look at some hard numbers
All same week comparison (same week in April for each season).

Season one
3.62 million viewers = 3.66 million (estimate based on 1% time shifted, DVR)
Season Two
3.25 million = 3.40 million (estimate based on average time shift for that year, DVR)
Season Three
2.2 million = 2.72 million(first new episode after writers strike, without the strike it based off of other data would probably have been 3.0 million to 3.20 million
Season 4
2.7 million = 3.45 (based off of closest data I have to that date and to that original broadcast number)
Season 5
2.445 million (first year to have measurable online streaming, ie over 1%), DVR (based on year's average) took us to 2.87. Add online total audience would be 2.96 million (based on CW average that year).
Season 6
2.26 million = 2.65 DVR (based on average for the episodes I have that season) online based on CW average of 10% total audience would push it to 2.92 million.
Season 7
1.57 million = 2.40 million (estimate based on Live Plus 7 data for the last episode to score 1.55 million, DVR), .480 (online streaming) total audience of 2.88 million.

Previously I had guessed at the amount the CW might be gaining (based solely off the knowledge that it was a faster rate then DVR's, how much faster I didn't know). But with that information, we can now get a educated guess.

This also makes a lot of sense in why the CW has pushed up the time for when legal streaming begins for all its programs (a mere 8 hours after broadcast).

Now those numbers are all based on the assumption that SPN scores average for the CW in online viewing. If its more, then clearly as a show most of the audience hasn't left just few if differently. Even if its below average say 15% this year, 7.5 last year, and 2% for season 5. Would still mean that we have had far, far less viewer erosion then fans think.

At 15% this year it would mean this week's episode between live broadcast, between DVR and between online viewing would be 2.76 million.

Just something for every to think about before they post how terrible the audience levels are for the show and how the "ratings" reflect the quality (or lack there of) of the show....

Now this is only about audience erosion and how its nowhere near what people think it is. This is not a post about how much revenue the show can generate versus previous years. That's another whole issue (though thinks to the general state of the CW, its better news then its been most seasons which is kind of frightening, since the lions share is from live broadcast.

Edited by Otaku, Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:20 PM.

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