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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.
MIKE & MOLLY and HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)
(Mondays at 9:30/8:30c & 10:00/9:00c)
"The Big Bang Theory" definitely upset the ratings apple cart on Monday nights last season: not only did its audience grow by four million viewers from season two, it grew from its significant "Two and a Half Men" lead-in - a number which lead-out "CSI: Miami" (which usually grew the 9:30/8:30c audience) couldn't maintain. The expectations for newbie "Mike & Molly" obviously aren't that high: "Rules of Engagement" held just under 83% of "Two and a Half Men's" audience the year before and went on to seasons four (and now five). The danger zone is 62%, which was how the short-lived "Worst Week" performed in 2008, a retention rate that saw it exit at midseason.
As for "Hawaii Five-0," it's replacing "CSI: Miami," a show which (until "Big Bang's" arrival last season, as mentioned above) traditionally grew CBS's audience from the 9:30/8:30c half-hour. If we discount "Bang's" numbers as an anomaly then theoretically, "Hawaii" should be doing at least 10% better than "Mike & Molly." Conversely, if "Mike & Molly" captures lightning in a bottle a la "Big Bang," "Hawaii" could lose up to 30% of that audience and still be viable to continue on a la "Miami." In other words, there's a wide range of possibilities and measuring sticks for this one.
Here's how CBS has fared on Monday 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):
|mondays in 2008-2010||time||viewers|
|The Big Bang Theory: Season 3||9:30 PM||14.13|
|Two and a Half Men: Season 6||9:00 PM||14.91|
|Two and a Half Men: Season 7||9:00 PM||14.87|
|How I Met Your Mother: Season 4||8:30 PM||9.70|
|CSI: Miami: Season 7||10:00 PM||14.10|
|Rules of Engagement: Season 3||9:30 PM||11.03|
|The Big Bang Theory: Season 2||8:00 PM||9.94|
|CSI: Miami: Season 8||10:00 PM||12.50|
|How I Met Your Mother: Season 5||8:00 PM||8.88|
|Worst Week||9:30 PM||9.84|
|Accidentally on Purpose||8:30 PM||8.49|
|Rules of Engagement: Season 4||8:30 PM||8.20|
COMING TOMORROW: ABC's "Detroit 187" & "No Ordinary Family" and FOX's "Raising Hope" & "Running Wilde"