12 July, 2011

Ad Agencies Predict next season's ratings

Writer: MediaSavant

The June 27th, 2011 issue of Advertising Age had a chart of predictions of Household ratings for next season on the major broadcast networks.

The predictions reflect C3 ratings and were averaged from submissions by media agencies—these are agencies that plan and buy media campaigns for advertisers. A “C3” rating is the rating that programs get during commercial minutes within three days of airing. C3 ratings are the currency on which advertising costs are based. They are most similar in size to Live + SD ratings, but rarely exactly the same.

You might be interested in how several geek shows fared in these predictions.

Person of Interest: 7.09
Castle: 5.55
Glee: 4.39 (included because they are at SDCC next week)
Terra Nova: 4.11
A Gifted Man: 3.83
Alcatraz: 3.75
Family Guy: 3.73
The River (mid-season): 3.30
Grimm: 2.30
Awake (mid-season): 2.2
Fringe: 2.16
Community: 1.97
Chuck: 1.97
Vampire Diaries: 1.27
Supernatural: 1.11
The Secret Circle: 1.05
Nikita: 1.01
Ringer 0.76 (included because its Sarah Michele Gellar and at SDCC)

It should be noted that because these are household ratings, shows that tend to have older audiences usually do very well.

Chuck fans may wonder how the predicted 1.97 for Friday at 8PM compares to Monday last season. It’s quite a drop. Chuck’s season 4 finale episode scored a 2.6 Live + SD household rating. Chuck’s replacement on Monday—The Sing-Off—is predicted to get a 3.4, which is higher than Chuck got last 4th quarter (3.2 average).

The “Person of Interest” prediction appears to be quite high to me. I’ve seen that pilot and wasn’t that enamored with it. I’m just not a Jim Caviezel fan. But, CBS claims it “tested well” and it gets CSI’s old timeslot. Everything else in the timeslot skews younger. So, maybe it will do well with the older folk.

If there are any other questions about what’s listed here, please comment below.


  1. Interesting! How do YOU think some of the new shows will do? I know it's illogical, but every year I always predict cancellations before shows even air, and usually tend to be right about 50 or 60% of the time, haha! Looking at the new shows debuting now, are you already predicting any cancellations in your head?

  2. I am predicting Grimm canceled before it airs 4 episodes.

  3. Yeah, I don't expect Grimm to last long at all! Dateline will end up getting extended into the 9pm hour. But since Grimm isn't premiering now until October 21st, I don't think it'll be the first cancellation of the season.

  4. I predict CHUCK cancelled after 13 episodes.

    Oh, I am so brave! ;)

  5. @Head Geek Furious

    Wow, really?? TOTALLY wouldn't have guessed that, lol! You've done it again!

  6. "How do YOU think some of the new shows will do? ... usually tend to be right about 50 or 60% of the time"

    Given most shows get canceled rather than renewed, it's not hard to predict the cancellations. It's harder to predict which shows will make it to a second season. Try that.

    I've seen most of the pilots for the new genre shows. The only one I haven't gotten to is Ringer, the Sarah Michele Gellar one. Terra Nova also wasn't available to me, but I'll see it at Comic-con.

    I was going to write up my thoughts once I've seen all of them.

    I'll just tease now that the most interesting show of the lot is "Awake". But, the estimate above is probably what it will get...or worst.

    The Chuck number is kinda what I expect. It translates to about a 1.1 A18-49 number if the typical conversion from Household ratings to A18-49 holds. The show is bound to lose viewers just because fewer people watch live TV on Friday night. Also, this has been the deadest hiatus I've ever experienced as a Chuck fan. No one seems to be discussing the show much at all.

  7. I should add that the best pilot I've seen doesn't qualify as a geek show unless you mean "musical theater geek."