[10/02/12 - 10:08 PM]
The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season, Part 7: 4% of Broadcast Series Have Changed Networks
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

1) Only 32% of broadcast network shows make it to a second season.
2) Shows that premiere in September have the best chance of survival.
3) Scripted and unscripted shows fail at the same rate.
4) Friday night is indeed the "death slot."
5) 10 o'clock is just as successful as any other time period.
6) 5% of shows that are announced don't even air.
7) 4% of broadcast series have changed networks.
8) New shows on average lose 14% of their audience by episode two.
9) Cable dramas are almost twice as likely to return as broadcast ones.
10) History is on the side of the majority of this fall's new shows.

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

Welcome once again to "The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season," our recurring feature about, well... the 10 things you need to know about the new season. The goal of this venture is to address not only common questions people have about television but to also demystify (or potentially reaffirm) stigmas out there about certain networks, time periods, genres and so forth. It's been a few years so we'll revisit some of our previous research as well as dig into some new areas we haven't touched on before.

So with that in mind let us put on our journalistic caps and give you the cold, hard truth about what's potentially ahead for some of your favorite new and returning shows...

7. 4% of broadcast series have changed networks.

In the past 13 seasons (that's 1999-2000 through 2011-2012), 42 broadcast shows have changed networks. That's out of not only the 892 series that premiered during said span but also the 81 other broadcast shows that weren't new when our tracking began in the fall of 1999. Here's the breakdown, which excludes the UPN/WB merger of 2006:

america's most talented kids (nbc to pax)
buffy the vampire slayer (wb to upn)
flashpoint (cbs to ion)
for your love (nbc to wb)
grounded for life (fox to wb)
hughleys, the (abc to upn)
i'm a celebrity, get me out of here! (abc to nbc)
jag (nbc to cbs)
listener, the (nbc to ion)
medium (nbc to cbs)
mysterious ways (nbc to pax)
paradise hotel (fox to mynetworktv)
pjs, the (fox to wb)
roswell (wb to upn)
sabrina, the teenage witch (abc to wb)
scrubs (nbc to abc)
secret millionaire (fox to abc)
wwe smackdown (upn to mynetworktv to syfy)

1 vs. 100 (nbc to gsn)
american princess (nbc to we)
america's most wanted (fox to lifetime)
arrested development (fox to netflix)
contender, the (nbc to versus)
cougar town (abc to tbs)
friday night lights (nbc to directv)
futurama (fox to comedy central)
game, the (cw to bet)
greg behrendt's wake-up call (abc to soapnet)
high school reunion (wb to tv land)
hole in the wall (fox to cartoon network)
law & order: criminal intent (nbc to usa)
make my day (wb to tv land)
making the band (abc to mtv)
merlin (nbc to syfy)
monday night football (abc to espn)
nanny 911 (fox to cmt)
simple life, the (fox to e!)
singing bee, the (nbc to cmt)
southland (nbc to tnt)
surreal life, the (wb to vh1)
world's most amazing videos (nbc to spike tv)
world's wildest police videos (fox to spike tv)

These 42 series amount to just 4% of the 973 that have aired on the major broadcast networks during the aforementioned period. You can even slice that number even further: three never actually aired on their original network ("American Princess," "Greg Behrendt's Wake-Up Call," "Make My Day"), six are/were revivals many years after their original runs completed ("Arrested Development," "Futurama," "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here," "Paradise Hotel," "World's Most Amazing Videos," "World's Wildest Police Videos") and one was shared between networks from the start ("Mysterious Ways").

Also note that just 12 of the above series got a new home after their first seasons meaning a network change is far more likely for shows with multiple years under their belts. In other words, freshman shows have a 1% shot of getting a second chance elsewhere. To give that some perspective, yesterday we detailed that 5% of shows that are announced don't even air. In short: a new series has a better chance of not airing at all than switching networks.

PREVIOUSLY: 5% of shows that are announced don't even air.

TOMORROW: How big of a weekly drop should a new show expect?

  [october 2012]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

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