As the New Year approaches, the first quarter of
the new broadcast television season is ending with not much for advertisers to
be joyful about.
All of the networks except for NBC were doling
out makegoods in December and if you factor out the two nights of The Voice and
Sunday Night Football, NBC would also be close to a makegood situation too.
None of the series on any of the five
English-language broadcast networks can be labeled breakout hits and even the
few that have had some success do have some downside. While advertisers are
protected through ratings guarantees and do get makegood commercials for
ratings shortfalls, media buyers point out that most of their clients want to
be in the programs they buy in the upfront rather than being shifted around to
alternate programming they might not have been interested in.
NBC's new sci-fi drama Revolution is
both the top-rated new drama and the top-rated new series in the adults 18-49
demo, averaging a 3.0 rating. The series is also the fifth highest-rated drama
overall in the advertiser-desired demo behind CBS' NCIS, ABC's Grey's
Anatomy and Once
Upon a Time, and CBS'
Criminal Minds. It is also the 16th highest rated
series in broadcast primetime. The series also skews a bit younger than most
broadcast dramas with a median age of 48.
However there are a couple of potential areas
for marketers to be concerned about. The series is third in viewers among freshman
series, but averaging only 8 million, a number that has been declining since it
premiered. It is also off the air until March 25 and history has shown that
broadcast network series -- particularly sci-fi series -- that take long
hiatuses lose a significant number of viewers upon return, from which some
never recover. NBC is betting that won't happen to Revolution.
After Revolution, there is a big dip in the
18-49 ratings among the new broadcast series. The second-highest rated new
series in the demo are NBC sitcom Go On and CBS' drama Elementary,
both with a 2.4. Go On is the top-rated new
comedy, the 11th highest rated comedy and 29th highest rated series in the demo
overall. Go On also
skews a bit younger, with a median age of 46, and is averaging 6.3 million
viewers. Elementaryis the second highest rated new
drama and is also the second most watched new drama, averaging 11 million
viewers per episode. It skews older though, with a median age audience of 58,
but that's in the ballpark of most drama series.
There are only two other new broadcast network
series that averaged 2.0 18-49 rating in fourth quarter -- ABC drama Nashvilleand the already cancelled CBS
sitcom Partners. Nashvilleis averaging 6.5 million viewers and has a median age
audience of 53, while Partners was averaging 5.9 viewers and had a
median age audience of 49.
Here's a list of the other new broadcast network
series and their fourth quarter 18-49 ratings: ABC sitcom The
Neighbors (1.9); CBS
drama Vegas (1.9); NBC drama Chicago Fire (1.8); NBC sitcom The
New Normal (1.8); Fox
sitcom The Mindy Project (1.8); ABC drama 666
Park Avenue, which was recently pulled off the air, (1.5); ABC
sitcom Malibu Country (1.5); ABC's cancelled drama Last Resort (1.5); NBC sitcom Guys
with Kids (1.4); Fox
sitcom Ben and Kate (1.4); NBC's cancelled sitcom Animal
Practice (1.2); CW drama Arrow (1.2); Fox's cancelled drama The Mob
Doctor (1.0); CBS'
cancelled drama Made in Jersey (1.0); CW drama Beauty
and the Beast (0.7);
and CW's cancelled drama Emily Owens MD (0.4).
The new CBS drama Vegas is the most watched new
series and the most watched new drama, averaging 11.3 million viewers, but it
skews old with a median age of 61. Elementaryis second, followed by Revolution. The CBS cancelled drama Made
in Jersey was the
fourth most watched new drama series before it was axed, averaging 7.3 million
viewers, but what did the series in was its paltry 1.0 18-49 rating and its
median age audience of 64, the oldest skewing series in primetime.
ABC's Last Resort was the fifth most watched new series,
averaging 6.5 million viewers but like Made in Jersey, its low 18-49 rating of 1.5 resulted
in the network pulling it. ABC dramaNashville is also averaging 6.5 million but is hovering right at a 2.0
in the 18-49 demo so it stays alive for now.
The most watched new sitcom this season has been
ABC's The Neighbors, averaging 6.5 million, but it is also
averaging below a 2.0 18-49 rating, with a 1.9.
Here's a list of the other new broadcast network
series and their fourth quarter viewers per telecast averages: Go On (6.3
million); Chicago Fire (6.3 million); Partners (5.9 million); 666
Park Avenue (4.7
million); The New Normal (4.5 million); Animal
million); Guys with Kids (4 million); The Mindy Project (3.4 million); Arrow (3.6 million); Mob
Doctor (3.4 million); Ben
and Kate (2.9
million); Beauty and the Beast (1.8 million); and Emily
Owens MD (1.3
Audience fragmentation resulting from more
quality programming in cable primetime and more viewers watching TV programming
in time-shifted mode has eroded the broadcast networks' live primetime
viewership. While more viewers seem to be settling into shows as the season
progresses, the networks other than NBC are still showing sizable declines over
last year's fourth quarter in both viewers and in the 18-49 demo.
For all primetime programming in live-plus-same-day
measurement based on Nielsen data among viewers 18-49, Fox's ratings are down
27.6% to a 2.1 from a 2.9; CBS is down 14.3% to a 2.4 from a 2.8; The CW is
also down 14.3% to a 0.6 from a 0.7; and ABC is down 9.1% to a 2.0 from a 2.2.
NBC is up 17.4% to a 2.7 from a 2.3.
Among total viewers in live-plus-same-day
measurement, Fox is down 25.4% to 6.09 million per night from 8.16; CBS is down
8.4% to 10.12 million from 11.05; ABC is also down 8.4% to 7.54 million from
8.24 million; and The CW is down 3.8% to 1.52 million from 1.58. NBC is up
17.8% to 7.86 million from 6.68 million.
The numbers get a little better when looking at
regularly scheduled programming in live-plus-three-day commercial ratings, with
the most recent data available from Nielsen measured through Nov. 25.
Among viewers 18-49 of regularly scheduled
programming in C3 ratings measurement, Fox and CBS are both down 18.5% to a 2.7
from a 2.2; The CW is down 14.3% to a 0.6 from a 0.7; and ABC is down 8.3% for
a 2.2 from a 2.4. NBC is up 14.8% to a 3.1 from a 2.7.
Among total viewers measured in C3, Fox is down
20,7% to 5.65 million from 7.13; CBS is down 10.3% to 9.8 million from 10.93
million; ABC is down 9% to 8.06 million from 8.86 million; and The CW is down
8.7% to 1.52 million from 1.67 million. NBC is up 14.3% to 8.55 million from