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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.
RAISING HOPE and RUNNING WILDE (FOX)
(Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00c & 9:30/8:30c)
White-hot "Glee" will undoubtedly provide some spark to these two new comedies. This time last year FOX offered up fall editions of summer series "Hell's Kitchen" and "So You Think You Can Dance" to limited results as the night took a step back in general from its "House"/"Fringe" combo in 2008. Should "Glee" then revitalize the night to those kinds of "House" numbers, "Raising Hope" and "Running Wilde" will definitely be perceived as successes if they can replicate "Fringe's" 79% retention rate. Still, FOX spared "Fringe" after posting a 53% retention rate when "Idol" replaced "House" in 2009.
Here's how FOX has fared on Tuesday 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):
|tuesdays in 2008-2010||time||viewers|
|American Idol: Season 8||8:00 PM||24.49|
|American Idol: Season 9||8:00 PM||22.04|
|House: Season 5||8:00 PM||13.27|
|Glee: Season 1**||9:00 PM||12.34|
|Fringe: Season 1.2||9:00 PM||10.43|
|Fringe: Season 1.1**||9:00 PM||9.41|
|Hell's Kitchen: Season 6**||8:00 PM||7.03|
|So You Think You Can Dance: Season 6**||8:00 PM||5.99|
** includes only first-run airings in the specified time period, in-season airings only
COMING TOMORROW: ABC's "Better With You" and "The Whole Truth," CBS's "The Defenders" and NBC's "Undercovers" & "Law & Order: Los Angeles"