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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.
BLUE BLOODS (CBS)
(Fridays at 10:00/9:00c)
With "Ghost Whisperer" and "NUMB3RS" gone, CBS finds its Friday lineup undergoing its biggest shakeup in recent memory. And a much-ballyhooed one that too: returning drama "Medium" really didn't do that much better or worse than the aforementioned series. Nevertheless, the arrival of "CSI: NY" (12.56 million viewers, 3.06 adults 18-49 rating on Wednesday nights last season) should inject some new life into the night, giving freshman entry "Blue Bloods" a boost. Certainly besting short-lived fare like "Miami Medical" is to be expected while holding onto a significant amount of "CSI: NY's" audience will likewise embolden the show's chances to stick around.
Here's how CBS has fared on Friday 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):
|fridays in 2008-2010||time||viewers|
|Ghost Whisperer: Season 4||8:00 PM||10.28|
|NUMB3RS: Season 5||10:00 PM||9.75|
|Flashpoint: Season 2||9:00 PM||9.28|
|The Ex List||9:00 PM||6.00|
|Ghost Whisperer: Season 5||8:00 PM||7.77|
|Medium: Season 6||9:00 PM||7.76|
|NUMB3RS: Season 6||10:00 PM||8.21|
|Miami Medical**||10:00 PM||6.60|
** includes only first-run, in-season airings in the specified time period