[09/13/11 - 12:11 AM]
The Futon's Ratings Survival Guide: "Ringer" (The CW)
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

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.

(Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00c)

The CW has had a different Tuesday lineup each fall since its inception: "Gilmore Girls" and "Veronica Mars" in 2006, "Beauty and the Geek" and "Reaper" in 2007, "90210" and "Privileged" in 2008, "90210" and "Melrose Place" in 2009, "One Tree Hill" and "Life Unexpected" in 2010 and now "90210" - after spending its third season on Monday nights - and newcomer "Ringer" in 2011. Last season the netlet nixed "Life Unexpected" despite its 80% plus retention rate in viewers and adults 18-49, meaning they'll likely demand at least the same of "Ringer."

Here's how The CW has fared on Tuesday nights the past two seasons:*

tuesdays in 2009-2011timeviewers
adults 18-49
90210: Season 28:00 PM1.96
One Tree Hill: Season 88:00 PM1.81
Life Unexpected: Season 29:00 PM1.60
Melrose Place9:00 PM1.40
Hellcats9:00 PM1.46
18 to Life9:00 PM0.83

* 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 "H8R" plus NBC's new Wednesday comedies "Up All Night" and "Free Agents."

  [september 2011]  


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