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Welcome to our Ratings Survival Guide, a handy new feature which takes each new fall series on the broadcast networks and tells you the numbers it will need to survive for a second season. In general, a show's success isn't so much where it lands on the weekly ratings chart but rather how it performs in two key categories:
1. How much of its lead-in audience it retains. If a show averages 10 million viewers that's a good thing. But if the show that airs before it is averaging 30 million viewers, that's not a good thing. Why? Because 20 of those 30 million viewers decided to turn off that particular channel when the next show came on.
2. How it performs year-to-year in its time period. A new show is usually in its time period because the network thinks it can do better than it did in that slot last year. In other words, do worse than the show that was canceled after three weeks last fall then you too probably are not long for this world.
As you'll see, together these measurements paint a clear picture on how a particular show is doing. So without further ado, let's begin.
LONE STAR (FOX)
(Mondays at 9:00/8:00c)
"Lie to Me" and "24" set the measuring stick for the relative success of "Lone Star": the former held onto about 60% of "House's" lead-in and managed to make it to its third season; "24" was even more successful, retaining just over 77% of "House's" lead-in. If "Lone Star" can land between that floor and ceiling, respectively, it has a more than good chance of sticking around.
Here's how FOX has fared on Monday nights the past two seasons (viewers are in millions, adults 18-49 is the percentage of said viewers in the demographic; all are based on fast national data, using only first-run episodes):
|mondays in 2008-2010||time||viewers|
|House: Season 5||8:00 PM||13.43|
|House: Season 6||8:00 PM||12.24|
|24: Season 7**||9:00 PM||11.01|
|24: Season 8**||9:00 PM||9.10|
|Lie to Me: Season 2.1||9:00 PM||7.60|
|Prison Break: Season 4**||9:00 PM||5.51|
|Terminator: TSCC - Season 2||8:00 PM||5.39|
** includes only first-run airings in the specified time period
COMING TOMORROW: ABC's "Detroit 187" & "No Ordinary Family" and FOX's "Raising Hope" & "Running Wilde"