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August 30, 2015

Hollywood worried about new season already

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 2nd 2007 3:06PM

Katee SackhoffHollywood is the most impatient entity in the entire galaxy. Industry experts and execs are already worried that the new season isn't living up to expectations.

Please note that we are one week into the new season.

There are only two new shows so far that have shown any strength: Bionic Woman and Private Practice. Of course, they've only had one episode each, less than a week ago, so who knows if those numbers are even solid? Returning shows, such as Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and CSI: Miami are still big ratings-getters, but even their numbers are down. ABC, CBS, NBC are down in the 18-49 demo too

Question: when I reach age 49, does that mean I have to turn in my TV to the networks and start reading AARP magazine and playing golf?.

Maybe the numbers will look different when Nielsen reveals the full ratings picture, including DVR numbers. They now make up 20% of the Nielsen sample, up from 9% last year.

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It is no wonder that so many new shows flop in the ratings (and who do they use for those anyway-it isn't my family or friends). A new show comes is shown on a given night then you don't see it for several weeks and it shows up on another night. Then if it makes it for the 6 weeks or so from the season premieres to the holidays, it goes on sabbitical while mid-season shows come on. The whole thing is crazy!!!! Besides if the show is well written and I find I really love it, chances are it will be canceled.

October 16 2007 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have long thought that the Nielsen Rating System was bogus. The past few years, I have watched new TV shows and everyone in the office would be talking about how great they were the in the morning. Next thing I know, the shows have been canceled. I don't know who has the Nielsen boxes, but they can't represent what people actually watch. With a few network exceptions, I find myself watching original cable series more and more. At least the shows aren't gone after only a couple of weeks. The quality, for the most part, is better anyway. What's with the 18 to 49 demographic being so important. I am a baby boomer, sucessful and in good shape mentally and physically with money to spend. I enjoy smart, quality productions, whether they are dramas, comedies, Sci-fi or the very few reality shows that are good and not just shows that are cheap to produce. We baby boomers are smart, know what we like, are young at heart and represent a very large segment of the population. We are basically ignored. No wonder the Networks are losing viewers. Too many good shows are axed before they can find their audience. Unless the Network executives wake up and the Nielsen debacle is fixed, the migration from Network viewing will continue.

October 10 2007 at 3:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think there's a trend toward folks not watching shows on network/cable tv, rather renting them as videos later. The DVDs are devoid of advertisements, which makes the shows much more pleasurable to watch (and shorter!). The day will come, probably soon, when ads will be placed on DVDs of shows. Until then, that's my avenue for watching popular tv series.

October 07 2007 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's the foolish problem. The "Pilot." In this modern age of "get it sold to advertisers" the content providers (the networks) are playing a "bait and switch" game. They produce a great "pilot" with great directors and story. The advertisers are sold and commit to advertising time, then face reality when the series doesn't meet the expectation built by the pilot. When the series fails the advertisers bulk and the networks pull the series. In the old days the advertiser actually got what they paid for. They knew then that a show commited to had a good chance of making it if given the time. Now, new shows are questionable commodity.

October 03 2007 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rex from Ars

I don't even know if this is relevant or not, but to follow up on what Brent McKee was saying:

"The Match Game" was originally a flop. Unlike today, CBS didn't yank the show immediately, but they did send the show a cancellation notice when it still had 6 episodes left to film. The writers knew the show was going to be canceled, so they decided to have a little fun and fill the questions with double entendres and slightly naughty talk. The show's ratings immediately took off, and "The Match Game" went on to become the most popular game show of the 70s.

Nowadays, they would have just yanked it after 2 episodes.

October 03 2007 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



It got a full season run. I can only assume that teenagers full of angst saw this show and fell so totally in love with it that losing it must've been like the end of their first relationship if they fret over this like this. Man. Even I (!) was only 17 back then and I'm in my thirties now.

October 02 2007 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

The rating system may very well be broken. The sample may very well be too small (though take a listen to the number of people polled for a presidential election sometime - usually 1500 people rarely more than 5000), and the model that advertisers use for selling their product to the public may very well be thoroughly outmoded. It doesn't matter. Shows got ratings that were just as bad fifteen years ago using the same system but it was virtually unheard of for shows to be canceled after two or three episodes. And for the ad buyers it really doesn't matter that their current 30 second spot has gone the way of the dodo. That doesn't enter into the ratings equation - they're paying for the eyeballs that the show delivers. No, what matters is instant gratification - the show has to be successful right out of the box or it is branded a failure and thrown out.

But for the viewer who is jaded by having shows canceled before you can even watch them this is a disincentive to watching a new show; why bother when it's likely to be canceled anyway? Stick with established shows that are in their second season or later; they never get canceled due to low ratings and tend to run until the star's contracts and the options on those contracts run out. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy - people don't watch new shows because they're worried about getting caught up in something that's going to be canceled, and the new shows get canceled because no one is watching.

October 02 2007 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The DVR #'s won't matter, because it's assumed those commercials are being skipped. How come cable shows can afford the best actors/actresses and make quality products (and I'm not referring to pay channels)? The system is totally broken.

October 02 2007 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to agree with justelise. The current Nielsen Rating system is outdated and does not take a large enough sample to be relevant. I can't understand why its easy to determine what website I visit, how long I was there, what I looked at, what ads were clicked, etc, etc, etc and yet they cannot come up with a system that can tell when I turn on my tv, what channel its on, how long I watch, if I surf during commercials, etc, etc, etc...I think that the current lack of a tracking system will only speed up the revolution from turning on the TV to watch shows to turning on the computer to watch shows.

October 02 2007 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am tired of hearing the major networks whine about ratings. They're whining about a system that is virtually irrelevant due to the minuscule amount of homes that participate in the ratings system. How can such a small sample be statistically relevant today? I would start trying to start up an alternate ratings system that accounts for downloads, web views, and DVRs (that aren't already accounted for) as well. All of my friends are very loyal watchers of the shows they love, and I would like to think that after a summer of reality crap the vast majority of people are happy to welcome them back too. I don't know if these ratings drops really mean anything.

If you want to keep the ratings up, kill the commercials, you can stream advertisements at the bottom and in the lower right corner of the screen. You can run full length commercials split-screened with the closing credits of each show. The 30 minute comedy is also a dying breed. Stop buying so many of them, then you won't have to cut half your lineup by November.

October 02 2007 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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