Fortunetelling the Future of the 2007-2008 TV Season

Categories: TV Ratings

Written By

October 21st, 2007

crystalball.jpegI don't claim to have psychic powers, but I'm more than willing to take a stab at predicting the future of the 2007-2008 broadcast season by looking backwards at the 2006-2007 season.

Let's take a look at the final 18-49 viewership ranking for shows in the 2006-2007 season compared with their ranking after the 3rd week of the season (which was Oct 2-8, 2006).

18-49 STD Rank on 5/27/07 Show Network 18-49 STD Rank on 10/8/06
1 American Idol-WEDNESDAY FOX  
2 American Idol-TUESDAY FOX  
3 HOUSE FOX 6
4 GREY'S ANATOMY ABC 1
5 Desperate Housewives ABC 2
6 NBC Sunday Night Football NBC 5
7 CSI CBS 3
8 LOST ABC 4
9 HEROES NBC 11
10 Dancing with the Stars ABC 13
11 SURVIVOR: COOK ISLANDS CBS 8
12 CSI: MIAMI CBS 9
13 DANCING W/THE STARS-MON ABC  
14 SURVIVOR: FIJI CBS  
15 24 FOX  
16 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC  
17 OT, THE FOX 17
18 E.R. NBC 7
19 DANCING W/STARS RESULT-TU ABC  
20 Extreme Makeover:HOME ED. ABC 10

Several things jump out at me:

1. Except for 24, which was an established hit show with a traditional mid-season start date, no scripted show that wasn't in the top 20 by the 3rd week of the season made it there, and 7 of the second 10 fell off the list by the end of the season.

2. Primarily because of the double-night juggernaut of American Idol, almost no shows moved up in position after the third week that were already on the list. Exceptions being House and Heroes, last seasons biggest new series hit.

(1) for scripted shows, if you're not in the STD top 20 by the 3rd week, it's unlikely you're going to get there, either by moving up or being introduced mid-season, and (2) unless American Idol stumbles, your STD position on week 3 is falling by the end of season.

3. Six of the seven shows that made the STD top 20 after not having been in the list on week 3 were reality/non-scripted shows.

Mid-season reality shows do stand a chance of cracking the STD top 20.

Let's shift to fortunetelling the current season. Where will the current Season to Date 18-49 top 20 be at the end of the season in May?

18-49 STD Rank on 10/14/07 Show Network Estimated 18-49 STD Rank May 2008
1 GREY'S ANATOMY ABC 4
2 HOUSE FOX 3
3 Desperate Housewives ABC 6
4 CSI CBS 8
5 NBC Sunday Night Football NBC 5
6 HEROES NBC 7
7 DANCING W/THE STARS-MON ABC 9
8 Private Practice ABC 10
9 OFFICE NBC 13
10 Family Guy FOX >20
11 Law And Order:SVU NBC 16
12 BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 18
13 BIONIC WOMAN NBC >20
14 SURVIVOR: CHINA CBS 20
15 CSI: MIAMI CBS >20
16 Two and a Half Men CBS >20
17 SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK NBC >20
18 Extreme Makeover:HOME ED. ABC >20
19 Simpsons FOX >20
20 OT, THE FOX >20

However, if the screenwriters strike happens and it lasts more than a month, I'd see the top 20 being almost exclusively reality and sports by the end of the season.

I come back to this list at the end of the season to keep myself honest. Think you can do better? That's what the comments are for!

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2007 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
  • http://www.PDTreasures.com Geonsey

    This is an interesting prediction, but perhaps you should revisit and revise the list three weeks from the mid-season. You left out “24” and other anticipated series lauching in mid-season. This is a well-thought out prediction, however, and will be curious of the actual results.

  • http://www.PDTreasures.com Geonsey

    This is an interesting prediction, but perhaps you should revisit and revise the list three weeks from the mid-season. You left out “24” and other anticipated series lauching in mid-season. This is a well-thought out prediction, however, and will be curious of the actual results.

  • Bill Gorman

    Good idea, I will come back to this in mid-season.

  • Bill Gorman

    Good idea, I will come back to this in mid-season.

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