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Welcome to The Futon's Ratings Survival Guide, our annual 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.
H8R (The CW)
(Wednesdays at 8:00/7:00c)
Since the launch of The CW in 2006, only one new reality series has ever received a second season: 2007's "Pussycat Dolls Present." That ominous prospect undoubtedly hangs over newcomer "H8R," which will lead off Wednesday nights at 8:00/7:00c, followed by "America's Next Top Model," which made the switch to 9:00/8:00c halfway through last season - the first time it hasn't opened the night in the network's history. And considering "Top Model's" continued ratings erosion, "H8R" definitely has its work cut out for itself.
Here's how The CW has fared on Wednesday nights the past two seasons:*
|wednesdays in 2009-2011||time||viewers|
|America's Next Top Model 13||8:00 PM||3.17|
|America's Next Top Model 14||8:00 PM||3.30|
|America's Next Top Model 15||8:00 PM||2.81|
|America's Next Top Model 16||8:00 PM||2.13|
|America's Next Top Model 16||9:00 PM||1.91|
|Fly Girls||9:00 PM||1.11|
|Shedding for the Wedding||9:00 PM||1.07|
|High Society||9:30 PM||1.01|
|Plain Jane||9:00 PM||1.13|
* 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 in its regular time period. A caveat here though: while ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC's target demographic is adults 18-49, The CW's is actually women 18-34. Since that data isn't readily available, we're left with adults 18-49 as the closet approximation.
COMING TOMORROW: The CW's "The Secret Circle."