Ratings are about money. Each viewer is worth advertising money. Over the past three weeks the number of viewers on Tuesday night has declined. Those watching the five networks between 8-10 pm declined 11%, 15% in the demo, 10% in the 50+ crowd. Those watching the three networks between 8-11 pm declined 26%, 31% in the demo, 23% in the 50+ crowd. There are a lot of ways to view the numbers, but the decline from premier night is meaningful.
There is another way to view the numbers, however. In 1960 the highest rated show "Gunsmoke" pulled an average 17.6 million viewers while "NCIS" last night garnered 17.9 million viewers. Yes, "Gunsmoke" viewership represented 37% of TV households while "NCIS" viewership represents less than half the number of TV households today. Sometimes, one has to wonder if in relative value one 1960 viewer was worth more to advertisers than one 2013 viewer.
CBS is the network that in recent years has been the most effective at getting and keeping viewers in a consistent manner. Tuesday night in particular has been the Eye network's to lose. Here's how CBS Tuesday ratings have looked in comparable weeks over the past three years:
*"Person of Interest" ran on Thursday at 9 pm in prior years but in
2012 the Vice-Presidential Debate preempted the normal schedule.
The fact is that "NCIS" has lost significant numbers of 18-49 demo viewers, ostensibly to "The Voice", but probably to a change in how the demo interacts with entertainment options. It will be interesting to see what happens when NBC airs its regularly scheduled 8 pm show "The Biggest Loser" next week. But it's worth noting that they have plans to move "The Voice" second night to the 8 pm slot in the Winter schedule.
"Person of Interest" which last May was pulling numbers like 2.4/7 - 12.76 on Thursday at 9 pm was moved to 10 pm Tuesday with the full knowledge that the move in time slot on weeknights from 9 pm to 10 pm guarantees a loss in the younger 18-34 viewers. What CBS may not have anticipated is that "The Voice" was going to carry the 18-49 demo viewers into "Chicago Fire" which is an appealing show to the demo. Primary "Chicago Fire" cast members include Jesse Spencer, 34, Taylor Kinney, 32, Monica Raymund, 27, Lauren German, 35. and Charlie Barnett, 24.
"Person of Interest" offers cast members Michael Emerson, 59, Kevin Chapman, 51, Jim Caviezel, 45, and Taraji P. Henson, 43. Yes, they've added Sarah Shahi, 33, as a regular. But that's not going to hold the demo as 49-year-olds age out and 17-year-olds age in.
It is a complex issue as it does appear that in live+same day viewers the 50+ group watch different TV than the 18-34 group, and the latter are watching far less live TV than in the past. What moves CBS makes will be interesting.
NBC clearly won the night among the demo viewers. However, they are only getting 60% of the 50+ viewers that CBS gets. How that affects revenue is not clear to me.
ABC is a solid #3 and the rerun of "Scandal" outperformed last week's "Lucky 7" which was canceled, a financially winning move.
Fox, in terms of its prized 18-49 demo, appears to have a lock on #4 except at 9:30 where The CW's "Supernatural" pulled a threatening 1.2/3 compared to "The Mindy' Project" 1.4/4.
The CW premiered "Supernatural" to solid ratings, the highest since 2010.
Edited by phrelin, 09 October 2013 - 12:53 PM.