[09/22/10 - 01:16 AM]
The Futon's Ratings Survival Guide: "Undercovers" and "Law & Order: Los Angeles" (NBC)
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

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.

(Wednesdays at 8:00/7:00c & 10:00/9:00c)

Aside from the "Law & Order" franchise, NBC has struggled mightily on Wednesday nights in recent years - hence the addition of two new series this time around. "Undercovers" snags the lead-off spot at 8:00/7:00c, leaving the obvious comparison to "Mercy" in said slot last season, not to mention the short-lived "Knight Rider" and "The Chopping Block."

"Los Angeles" then takes over the anchor slot at 10:00/9:00c with "SVU" sliding back to 9:00/8:00c. Certainly improving off "Jay Leno" is expected while it's unlikely to replicate "SVU's" significant retention rate in the hour last season (mostly due to its lead-in being "SVU" repeats). If you go back to 2008, "Lipstick Jungle" managed a 77% retention rate at 10:00/9:00c - but a sub 2.0 adults 18-49 rating - before being shuffled off to Fridays after six weeks.

Here's how NBC has fared on Wednesday 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):

wednesdays in 2008-2010timeviewers
adults 18-49
Law & Order: SVU - Season 1110:00 PM9.03
Law & Order: SVU - Season 119:00 PM8.51
Law & Order: Season 19**10:00 PM7.96
Lipstick Jungle: Season 210:00 PM5.12
Knight Rider8:00 PM5.91
Mercy8:00 PM6.64
Life: Season 29:00 PM5.43
The Jay Leno Show10:00 PM5.60
The Chopping Block8:00 PM3.27
Mercy9:00 PM4.34

** includes only first-run, in-season airings in the specified time period

COMING TOMORROW: ABC's "My Generation," CBS's "Bleep My Dad Says" and NBC's "Outsourced."

  [september 2010]  


most recent ratings | view all posts
[12/01/15 - 08:35 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Charts with "The Voice," "Superstore"
The Peacock wins the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49 by wide margins.

[11/30/15 - 12:17 PM]
Premiere of Disney Junior's "The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar" Is the #1 Primetime Cable TV Telecast of 2015 in Kids 2-5
Disney Channel further spins the numbers for Sunday, November 22.

[11/30/15 - 08:58 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Charts with "Sunday Night Football"
The Peacock easily wins the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[11/30/15 - 08:58 AM]
ABC Is the Most Watched Network in Late-Night for the 3rd Week Running
ABC spins the late-night numbers for the week of November 16-20.

[11/30/15 - 08:07 AM]
Patriots-Broncos Football Jumps 16% vs. Last Year's Week 12 Cowboys-Giants Matchup
NBC spins the numbers for Sunday, November 29.

[11/29/15 - 09:45 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: FOX Wins College Football Race with ABC
The network leads the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[11/29/15 - 09:28 AM]
Encore Telecast of "Saturday Night Live," With Host Tracy Morgan, Equals the Show's Best 18-49 Rating for a Rebroadcast Since May
NBC spins the numbers for Saturday, November 28.

[11/29/15 - 09:14 AM]
No. 8 Ohio State at No. 10 Michigan on ABC Is Highest-Rated Game of the Week and Second-Highest of the Season, Both Across All Networks
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, November 28.

[11/28/15 - 08:55 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Tops Demos with "20/20," "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"
The Alphabet leads the night among adults 18-49 while CBS is the most-watched network.

[11/28/15 - 08:46 AM]
"Blindspot" Grows by 63% in 18-49 Rating Going from Live + Same Day to Live + 3 Day Ratings
NBC further spins the numbers for Monday, November 23.

[11/28/15 - 08:45 AM]
"Dateline NBC" Ranks #2 in Its Time Period in Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, November 27.

[11/28/15 - 08:18 AM]
ABC Wins Friday with the Top 3 Shows in Adults 18-49
ABC spins the numbers for Friday, November 27.

[11/27/15 - 12:19 PM]
Nearly 28 Million Watch Bears-Packers on Thanksgiving Night - Second-Most Watched NBC Primetime Game Ever
NBC further spins the numbers for Thursday, November 26.

[11/27/15 - 08:22 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: NFL Sparks Big Numbers for NBC
The Peacock's Packers-Bears showdown easily eclipses the competition last night.

[11/27/15 - 08:21 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: "Empire" Continues Demo Reign for FOX
Said victory comes despite a series low from the network's juggernaut.