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Moonlight: Renew or Cancel?

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October 28th, 2007

5/13 UPDATE: Moonlight Has Been Cancelled By CBS

moonlight.jpg When I read this feature about shows that fans wanted to save or sink, and the simple "status" based only on whether new episodes had been ordered or not [which may overstate the potential of a show based on the possible writers strike] I thought there's a better way, even using entirely public information, that we could assess the potential future for a show after the first 5 weeks of the season.

12/5 UPDATE: Moonlight Fans, MediaWeek reports that you can expect to see the show brought back next year.

So we initiate our "Renew or Cancel" feature with Moonlight, the CBS show airing at 9PM Eastern Fridays, that based on our comments has developed an enthusiastic fan following already.

Moonlight's Audience & Rank among New Shows and New CBS Shows

Date Audience, Live+SD (million) Rank among all New Shows Rank among New CBS Shows
9/28 8.54 #10 of 20 #3 of 4
10/5 8.05 #13 of 23 #3 of 4
10/12* 7.10 #12 of 24 #3 of 4
10/19 7.67 #10 of 24 #3 of 4
10/26 8.39    

It lost 17% of it's debut audience through 10/12 [when ABC's Women's Murder Club opened], but rebounded nicely the following 2 weeks.

It's total Live+SD audience hasn't been overwhelming compared to other new shows, and has finished ahead of only Kids Nation among new CBS shows. For the week of Oct 15-21 it was #19 of 24 overall for CBS.

But the lack of audience can be somewhat attributed to its Friday position in the schedule.

How then is it doing vs. its Friday competition?

Moonlight's Rankings for its 9pm Friday Timeslot.

Date Viewers Adults 18-49 Adults 18-34 Adults 25-54
9/28 #1 #1 #1 #1
10/5 #1 #1 #1 #1
10/12* #3 #3 #3 #2
10/19 #2 #1 #1 #1
10/26** #2 #1    

The demo wins are very positive for CBS which is weak, again, this season with younger viewers.

Another thing that studios look at is the audience kept [or lost] from its lead in show, Ghost Whisperer.

Date Lead-In Audience Lost
9/28 -2%
10/5 -10%
10/12* -20%
10/19 -14%
10/26** -13%

I'm not sure whether that 13% is a big negative for CBS, but it is trending in the right direction.

Conclusions

Negatives

  1. Only in the middle of the pack among all new shows
  2. Only #3 new show of 4, and recently #19 of 24 overall for CBS
  3. Loses ~13% of lead-in audience from Ghost Whisperer, which is then gained back by Numb3rs.

Positives

  1. Audience has rebounded to at or near its debut week.
  2. Timeslot demo wins for youth hungry CBS.

Verdict: Based on current publicly available information, I'd call it a marginal renew because of the demo wins.

Wondering about other shows? Check our all our Renew or Cancel? posts.

If you want to follow Moonlight ratings every week, bookmark this page.

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*Women's Murder Club debut, ALCS game #1

**based on Overnight Fast National data

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

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Moonlight Fans We’d Like Your Help!

We’re considering creating widgets for different shows containing their latest ratings that you could put on your website or Facebook page. Below is our first attempt at a widget.

Currently, you can use the “Get Widget” button to put it on your blog or webpage. Go ahead and try it out.

I should have it available for Facebook distribution very soon.

Is something like that interesting to you?

Would you like more ratings information in the widget? (that’s going to make it larger)

Are those dimensions good or would a wider and shorter widget be better?

Feel free to comment below or email me, bill@tvbythenumbers.com with any questions.

 
  • foo

    Excellent article! I hope you’ll do other on-the-fence, not-yet-full-season-pickup shows as well, like Dirty Sexy Money or Chuck.

  • foo

    Excellent article! I hope you’ll do other on-the-fence, not-yet-full-season-pickup shows as well, like Dirty Sexy Money or Chuck.

  • Robert Seidman

    There definitely will be others and I know Bill’s plan is to keep the focus on shows in the middle of the pack where the outcomes are not obvious.

    Dirty Sexy Money and Big Bang Theory were the next candidates on the list, but since Bill already did one CBS show he might be swayed by your suggestion and do Chuck sooner.

  • Robert Seidman

    There definitely will be others and I know Bill’s plan is to keep the focus on shows in the middle of the pack where the outcomes are not obvious.

    Dirty Sexy Money and Big Bang Theory were the next candidates on the list, but since Bill already did one CBS show he might be swayed by your suggestion and do Chuck sooner.

  • Robert Seidman

    There definitely will be others and I know Bill’s plan is to keep the focus on shows in the middle of the pack where the outcomes are not obvious.

    Dirty Sexy Money and Big Bang Theory were the next candidates on the list, but since Bill already did one CBS show he might be swayed by your suggestion and do Chuck sooner.

  • ImTheBunny

    Thanks so very much for the “renew”. We like hearing anything that tells us that Moonlight is sticking around. We especially love it when the decision is based on statistical analysis and not “I don’t think I liked it” reviewing. Thanks so much for your article!

  • ImTheBunny

    Thanks so very much for the “renew”. We like hearing anything that tells us that Moonlight is sticking around. We especially love it when the decision is based on statistical analysis and not “I don’t think I liked it” reviewing. Thanks so much for your article!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com/2007/10/28/moonlight-renew-or-cancel/ Paula Campbell

    Renew! I love this show! I haven’t missed an episode. I think the intereaction between Beth and Mick is excellent and the storylines are intriguing. Kudos to cast, crew, writers etc.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com/2007/10/28/moonlight-renew-or-cancel/ Paula Campbell

    Renew! I love this show! I haven’t missed an episode. I think the intereaction between Beth and Mick is excellent and the storylines are intriguing. Kudos to cast, crew, writers etc.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com/2007/10/28/moonlight-renew-or-cancel/ Paula Campbell

    Renew! I love this show! I haven’t missed an episode. I think the intereaction between Beth and Mick is excellent and the storylines are intriguing. Kudos to cast, crew, writers etc.

  • jan

    Renew….this show is my all time favorite, the chemistry, the music,the lighting, everything works…It’s a keeper for sure.

  • jan

    Renew….this show is my all time favorite, the chemistry, the music,the lighting, everything works…It’s a keeper for sure.

  • Mel

    Great article and analysis!! I enjoy Moonlight and my daughter loves it.
    I really like Chuck — yes, please, let’s hear Chuck’s chances next.
    Thanks!

  • Mel

    Great article and analysis!! I enjoy Moonlight and my daughter loves it.
    I really like Chuck — yes, please, let’s hear Chuck’s chances next.
    Thanks!

  • Mel

    Great article and analysis!! I enjoy Moonlight and my daughter loves it.
    I really like Chuck — yes, please, let’s hear Chuck’s chances next.
    Thanks!

  • Candace

    Interesting analysis. And the fan base for this show is very enthusiastic. The show is getting better every week, and deserves a chance to continue for at least the full season. It may never be a giant hit, but it is surely producing some rabid fans.

  • Candace

    Interesting analysis. And the fan base for this show is very enthusiastic. The show is getting better every week, and deserves a chance to continue for at least the full season. It may never be a giant hit, but it is surely producing some rabid fans.

  • Candace

    Interesting analysis. And the fan base for this show is very enthusiastic. The show is getting better every week, and deserves a chance to continue for at least the full season. It may never be a giant hit, but it is surely producing some rabid fans.

  • Laera

    Renew! Moonlight is the BEST new show to come along in a long time. More Moonlight please!. Thanks.

  • Laera

    Renew! Moonlight is the BEST new show to come along in a long time. More Moonlight please!. Thanks.

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