Ratings Analysis: 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' and 'Sleepy Hollow' are Live+7 Premiere Week winners
NBC's 'The Blacklist' and CBS' 'Big Bang Theory' are also winners
TV ratings are not, as a rule, about delayed gratification. Overnight ratings arrive first thing in the morning. Live+Same Day Nationals come mid-afternoon the next day. Live+3 Day DVR numbers come five or six days after premiere.
But Live+7 figures? They take a solid three weeks to show up for some reason.
Don't ask me. I don't make the rules.
If networks made the rules, they'd want Live+7 audience figures to be deeply meaningful, because everybody wants to maximize the perceived audience for their shows. They'd want to include Live+7, but also OnDemand and Hulu and Netflix and iTunes and streaming and everything else. They don't get to and so it's hard to know what value Live+7 figures actually have. Last year, ABC cancelled shows with 60 percent ("666 Park Avenue") and 71 percent ("Private Practice") Live+7 growth among adults 18-49 and replaced those shows with "Betrayal" and "Lucky 7." As a rule, Live+7 ratings are less exciting than you probably want them to be. Successful shows generally get big bumps in viewers and 18-49 ratings, but maybe not high percentage bumps. Low rated shows get high percentage bumps, but that's because they start off low rated to begin with. Low rated shows that don't get high percentage bumps just get cancelled.
I probably won't look at Live+7 ratings very often, but the Live+7 figures just came in for Premiere Week, Monday, September 23 through Sunday. September 29.
Let's give a look to the numbers...
For the purposes of listing, I could either list based on ranking post-bump, or I could list based on the bump. I'm going to list based on the size of the bump, but then I'll look in more depth.
1. "The Blacklist" (+5.7 million to 18.28 million)
2. "The Big Bang Theory" (+5.16 million to 24.16 million)
3. "Sleepy Hollow" (+4.96 million to 13.43 million)
4. "Elementary" (+4.92 million to 15.1 million)
5. "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (+4.89 million to 17.01 million)
6. "NCIS" (+4.65 million to 24.67 million)
7. "Castle" (+4.46 million to 15.92 million)
8. "Person of Interest" (+4.33 million to 16.76 million)
9. "Modern Family" (+4.28 million to 15.94 million)
10. "The Crazy Ones" (+4.28 million to 19.73 million)
A few quick notes on the Top 10 in overall Live+7 growth: The show with the biggest percentage growth is, obviously, "Sleepy Hollow," which rose 58 percent. This is semi-notable because "Sleepy Hollow" is the only show in the Top 10 for an episode that wasn't its premiere. The show with the smallest percentage bump is, also obviously, "NCIS," which rose 23 percent. ABC has three shows in the Top 10, NBC has one, FOX has one and CBS has five. While several shows are close, "Sleepy Hollow" is the only show in the Top 10 with 50 percent growth and then you have to go down to "Parenthood" (+2.77 million to 7.82 million) and "Glee" (+2.7 million to 7.77 million) to find shows another show with 50+ percent overall growth. For premiere week, no show posted 60 percent growth, something only "Smash" and "Hannibal" did for the totality of last season. "New Girl" tied "Sleepy Hollow" with a 58 percent overall bump, after getting a 55 percent bump last season overall.
1. "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (+2.3 to a 7.0 rating)
2. "The Big Bang Theory" (+2.2 to a 7.8 rating)
2. "Sleepy Hollow" (+2.2 to a 5.3 rating)
4. "Modern Family" (+2.1 to a 6.2 rating)
5. "Grey's Anatomy" (+1.7 to a 5.1 rating)
5. "The Blacklist" (+1.7 to a 5.5 rating)
7. "The Crazy Ones" (+1.5 to a 5.4 rating)
8. "Elementary" (+1.4 to a 3.5 rating)
9. "New Girl" (+1.3 to a 3.4 rating)
9. "Criminal Minds" (+1.3 to a 4.1 rating)
A few quick notes on the Top 10 in Live+7 growth in the key demographic: As was the case with the overall Top 10, "Sleepy Hollow" had the biggest percentage growth, with 70 percent, followed by "Elementary" with 66 percent and "New Girl" with 65 percent. Other shows growing by 60+ percent include "Glee" at 62 percent (+1.2 to a 3.2 rating), "Hostages" at 65 percent (+1.2 to a 3.0 rating) and "Parenthood" at 67 percent (+1.1 to a 2.7 rating). Last season's biggest demo gainers, percentage-wise, were "Hannibal" at 77 percent and "Grimm" at 75 percent. CBS had four shows in the Top 10, ABC had 3, FOX had 2 and NBC had 1.
Let's look at some other interesting and semi-interesting things from the Live+7 ratings, before I become tired of this and opt to move on.
*** Because of the long delays for Live+7 figures, there's a lot of dramatic irony to this list. We know, for example, that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has posted two weeks of steep drops. We also know that the "Crazy Ones" premiere was boosted by airing after "The Big Bang Theory" and that it has also fallen steeply in the two subsequent weeks. However, we also know that "Sleepy Hollow" and "The Blacklist" have remained fairly consistent in their next two airings.
*** Last season, although "Big Bang Theory" still ranked ahead of "Modern Family" in total Live+7 ratings in the key demo (7.2 to 6.4), "Modern Family" was adding 2.2 key demo points per week, above the 1.9 for "Big Bang Theory." At least for a week, "Big Bang Theory" has also moved add in added points, though "Modern Family" still has the percentage advantage. If you care about such things.
*** Live+7 really only changes a little. NBC's Sunday Night Football was Ppemiere Week's top show in the 18-49 demo in Live+SD, but slips behind "Big Bang Theory" after Live+7, since nobody DVRs Sunday Night Football." Overall, the same is true, with "NCIS" and "Big Bang Theory" leaping up ahead of Sunday Night Football with Live+7 figures. Otherwise, there are few big moves, other than the boosts you'd expect for "Sleepy Hollow" and "Blacklist."
*** "Lucky 7" was your first show cancelled and Live+7 numbers won't give ABC any regrets. After doing a 1.3 in Live+Same Day, "Lucky 7" rose only to a 1.5 in Live+7, 21 percent growth. "Betrayal," which has sunk in two subsequent Sunday airings, saw its premiere rise a respectable 42 percent to a 2.4 key demo rating.
*** On the ABC comedy front, "The Goldbergs" rose from a 3.1 to a 4.1, or 33 percent, while "Trophy Wife" went from a 2.3 to a 2.9, or 29 percent. "Back in the Game" got a REALLY small Live+7 DVR bump from a 2.2 to a 2.5, which has to be at least a small cause for concern, though "The Middle" has always been a tepid DVR-performer.
*** On the FOX comedy front, where all four shows were in their second weeks, "New Girl" was the obvious winner and that's already been discussed. "The Mindy Project" also got a 50+ percent key demo bump, going from a 1.5 to a 2.2 key demo rating, as did "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," going from a 1.8 to a 2.8. Of course, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" hasn't been anywhere near that Live+SD number in its past two airings. "Dads" rose 37 percent from a 1.5 to a 2.1 key demo rating.
*** Reality shows, as a rule, don't get much of a DVR bump, which is part of why the networks like them. They reward live viewing, because people get voted out and whatnot. "The Voice" is one exception, adding 1.1 and 1.0 key demo ratings points in Live+7. "Survivor" went up a 0.8 to a 3.2 key demo rating. "The X Factor" and "Dancing with the Stars" add comparatively tiny Live+7 figures. Percentage-wise, the best Live+7 gainer among young viewers was FOX's "MasterChef Junior," which rod by 55 percent, adding a 0.9 key demo ratings point to a 2.5 rating.
*** Last season, "Revolution" averaged a 2.5 Live+SD rating and then grew 68 percent to a 4.2 in Live+7. For its Wednesday premiere, "Revolution" did only a 1.8 in Live+SD and then rose 59 percent to a 2.9 in Live+7.
*** "Grey's Anatomy" just missed the Top 10 in overall growth, but it added 3.89 million viewers and did 13.16 million viewers in Live+7. I only mention that because, as I've mentioned before, the "That show's still on?!?" tweets come out every week. Yes. It is.
If y'all have any specific thoughts, I can update this post. I'm not gonna run through EVERY show's Live+7 ratings, but I can mention other notables...