[09/20/10 - 12:18 AM]
The Futon's Ratings Survival Guide: "The Event" and "Chase" (NBC)
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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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.

(Mondays at 9:00/8:00c & 10:00/9:00c)

A quick glance at the data below and you'll see just how badly NBC has been hemorrhaging viewers on Monday nights as of late: from how short lived 10:00/9:00c entry "My Own Worst Enemy" was replaced by "The Jay Leno Show" the following year and did even worse; to how "Heroes's" viewership sunk exponentially with each passing volume. Said failures leave a relatively obvious bar for "The Event" and "Chase" to clear and be considered successful: "Chuck." The rest of NBC's 2009-10 class - "Heroes," "Trauma," "Jay" and "Law & Order" - ultimately came in just under "Chuck's" numbers and didn't survive.

Here's how NBC 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 2008-2010timeviewers
adults 18-49
Heroes: Volume 3**9:00 PM8.15
Heroes: Volume 49:00 PM6.99
Medium: Season 5**10:00 PM7.52
Heroes: Volume 58:00 PM5.86
Chuck: Season 28:00 PM6.59
Chuck: Season 38:00 PM6.03
My Own Worst Enemy10:00 PM4.62
Heroes: Volume 59:00 PM4.39
Superstars of Dance8:00 PM7.55
Momma's Boys**10:00 PM4.93
Law & Order: Season 2010:00 PM6.44
Trauma9:00 PM5.31
The Jay Leno Show10:00 PM5.31

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

COMING TOMORROW: ABC's "Detroit 187" & "No Ordinary Family" and FOX's "Raising Hope" & "Running Wilde"

  [september 2010]  


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