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Gossip Girl: Renew or Cancel?

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Written By

November 1st, 2007

UPDATE: 4/2/2009: Gossip Girl was RENEWED for the 2009-2010 season

gossipgirl.jpg

If you follow the conventional wisdom, the CW is after young female viewers. Then surely Gossip Girl at 9PM Eastern Wednesday is an attempt to get them, but has it been successful?

Once again we ask, Renew or Cancel?

Gossip Girl's Rank among New CW Shows, All New Shows

Date Rank among New CW Shows Rank among all New Shows
9/26 #2 of 4 #17 of 20
10/3 #1 of 6 #15 of 23
10/10 #1 of 6 #19 of 24
10/17 #2 of 5 #21 of 24
10/24* #2 of 5 #21 of 26

After week 2 Gossip Girl was leading the weak new CW show line up, which as a whole is at the bottom of the new English language broadcast shows for the season. Recently, it has slipped back to #2 among new CW shows behind Reaper.

For the week of Oct 22-28 it was the 115th broadcast show for all viewers, and #9 of 13 for all viewers and #8 of 13 for 18-49 viewers for CW.

A below average performance for a very below average network.

How is it doing against its competition on Wednesday?

Gossip Girl's Viewership and Rankings for its 9PM Wednesday Timeslot.

Date Viewers (Rank) Adults 18-49 (Rank) Adults 18-34 (Rank) Adults 25-54 (Rank)
9/26 2.48m (6) 1.47m (6) 1.06m (6) 0.88m (6)
10/3 2.75m (6) 1.60m (6) 1.12m (6) 1.13m (6)
10/10 2.80m (6) 1.67m (6) 1.17m (6) 1.19m (6)
10/17 2.41m (6) 1.63m (6) 1.13m (6) 1.08m (6)
10/24* 2.31m (6) 1.42m (6) 0.96m (6) 1.05m (6)

After increasing somewhat in weeks 2 and 3, Gossip Girl has settled back to approximately its debut week viewership.

However, it trails its competition so badly in all categories that its running the race by itself.

Gossip Girl's Lead-In Audience Lost from America's Next Top Model.

Date Lead-In Audience Lost
9/26 -49%
10/3 -40%
10/10 -48%
10/17 -51%
10/24* -45%

Gossip Girl follows CW's biggest show, America's Next Top Model, but almost half the audience tunes out before watching. The worst performance we've analyzed to date.

Conclusions

Negatives

  1. Pitifully low viewership in all categories for an English language broadcast show.
  2. Far below average performance for all new broadcast shows in general.
  3. Below average ranking for CW network shows in general.

Positives

  1. #1 or #2 among new CW shows.
  2. CW new shows have done so poorly that the standard for success is very low.

Verdict: Marginal Cancel

The only reason I think it's only a marginal cancel is that I think CW may want to try and salvage at least 1 or 2 of its new Fall shows. If Gossip Girl goes, it's likely the Fall is a total loss for them.

Note From Seidman: There's another positive Bill didn't list: Gossip Girl's website is in the top 10 among all shows according to the Hitwise Top TV Show Websites list. From a perception perspective at the network, this may be considered a fairly big deal.

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

________________________________________________________

*10/24 data is Live, all other nights are Live+SD

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

 
  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Rena, I agree that here in late 2007 iTunes is pretty much completely irrelevant. When something is the “most” downloaded, we’re talking about thousands, not hundreds of thousands or millions. If it was even a religous half a million people doling out the $2/week for iTunes, The CW would be specific with the numbers. They aren’t specific with the numbers — that’s probably because when you add them all up, they’re still not very good.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Rena, I agree that here in late 2007 iTunes is pretty much completely irrelevant. When something is the “most” downloaded, we’re talking about thousands, not hundreds of thousands or millions. If it was even a religous half a million people doling out the $2/week for iTunes, The CW would be specific with the numbers. They aren’t specific with the numbers — that’s probably because when you add them all up, they’re still not very good.

  • Raine

    Please don’t cancel Gossip Girl.
    I absolutely love this show, and what really upsets me is the fact that I haven’t seen it in weeks? Has it already been cancelled, or are the episodes just not airing as they should be?

    =(

  • Raine

    Please don’t cancel Gossip Girl.
    I absolutely love this show, and what really upsets me is the fact that I haven’t seen it in weeks? Has it already been cancelled, or are the episodes just not airing as they should be?

    =(

  • Raine

    Please don’t cancel Gossip Girl.
    I absolutely love this show, and what really upsets me is the fact that I haven’t seen it in weeks? Has it already been cancelled, or are the episodes just not airing as they should be?

    =(

  • Rena Moretti

    Well observed, Robert.

    The other reason they’re not publishing numbers is that they don’t control them, so if they wanted to do their usual exaggeration, iTunes could contradict them (unlike what happens with Box-Office numbers for movies).

    Knowing that, they’d only publish them if they were significant, which they obviously aren’t.

    That said, if you could get a million people paying $2 each, you’d really have something that could play independently of being on a network at all.

  • Rena Moretti

    Well observed, Robert.

    The other reason they’re not publishing numbers is that they don’t control them, so if they wanted to do their usual exaggeration, iTunes could contradict them (unlike what happens with Box-Office numbers for movies).

    Knowing that, they’d only publish them if they were significant, which they obviously aren’t.

    That said, if you could get a million people paying $2 each, you’d really have something that could play independently of being on a network at all.

  • Rena Moretti

    Well observed, Robert.

    The other reason they’re not publishing numbers is that they don’t control them, so if they wanted to do their usual exaggeration, iTunes could contradict them (unlike what happens with Box-Office numbers for movies).

    Knowing that, they’d only publish them if they were significant, which they obviously aren’t.

    That said, if you could get a million people paying $2 each, you’d really have something that could play independently of being on a network at all.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with Rena and Robert. Just because something is “most downloaded” on iTunes, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s doing well. The CW probably doesn’t have very good ratings so they’re trying to spruce it up with vague references and what little good things they have. People do it all the time.

    I also agree with Reena about the fact that the CW needs to cancel most of their line-up. Why do we want or need to watch shows about who’s sleeping with whom, backstabbing, lying, people cheating in relationships, etc.? Poor rich kids. They have it so hard (I’m being sarcastic for those who didn’t catch that). I mean look at the problems in this show. Don’t we have enough of that in the world already? It’s so superficial. It does not stimulate the brain at all. What’s the point of the show really?

    All in all I think that if the CW wants to get its ratings back up it needs to cancel this show and most of the others. I am seriously worried about the young minds watching this show.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with Rena and Robert. Just because something is “most downloaded” on iTunes, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s doing well. The CW probably doesn’t have very good ratings so they’re trying to spruce it up with vague references and what little good things they have. People do it all the time.

    I also agree with Reena about the fact that the CW needs to cancel most of their line-up. Why do we want or need to watch shows about who’s sleeping with whom, backstabbing, lying, people cheating in relationships, etc.? Poor rich kids. They have it so hard (I’m being sarcastic for those who didn’t catch that). I mean look at the problems in this show. Don’t we have enough of that in the world already? It’s so superficial. It does not stimulate the brain at all. What’s the point of the show really?

    All in all I think that if the CW wants to get its ratings back up it needs to cancel this show and most of the others. I am seriously worried about the young minds watching this show.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with Rena and Robert. Just because something is “most downloaded” on iTunes, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s doing well. The CW probably doesn’t have very good ratings so they’re trying to spruce it up with vague references and what little good things they have. People do it all the time.

    I also agree with Reena about the fact that the CW needs to cancel most of their line-up. Why do we want or need to watch shows about who’s sleeping with whom, backstabbing, lying, people cheating in relationships, etc.? Poor rich kids. They have it so hard (I’m being sarcastic for those who didn’t catch that). I mean look at the problems in this show. Don’t we have enough of that in the world already? It’s so superficial. It does not stimulate the brain at all. What’s the point of the show really?

    All in all I think that if the CW wants to get its ratings back up it needs to cancel this show and most of the others. I am seriously worried about the young minds watching this show.

  • Rena Moretti

    Thank you for the kind comments Elizabeth. :)

    You were particularly nice to CW to say they could go back to high ratings, since they’ve never had high ratings either in its current incarnation or as “The WB” (to my eye, CW is a lot more WB than UPN).

    The problem the CW has is caused in great part with its obsession to target a very small sliver of the population.

    It may sound good to executives when they read the press release and they may opine in public about how they’re gonna stalk their audience (can’t get over that one), but the result is shows that talk down even to their target audience and please very, very few.

    My advice to them is: if you want to be a broadcaster, make programs for a broad audience, and quality storytelling with compelling actors is a start (as opposed to the parade of dead-eyed models that characterizes most CW shows).

  • Rena Moretti

    Thank you for the kind comments Elizabeth. :)

    You were particularly nice to CW to say they could go back to high ratings, since they’ve never had high ratings either in its current incarnation or as “The WB” (to my eye, CW is a lot more WB than UPN).

    The problem the CW has is caused in great part with its obsession to target a very small sliver of the population.

    It may sound good to executives when they read the press release and they may opine in public about how they’re gonna stalk their audience (can’t get over that one), but the result is shows that talk down even to their target audience and please very, very few.

    My advice to them is: if you want to be a broadcaster, make programs for a broad audience, and quality storytelling with compelling actors is a start (as opposed to the parade of dead-eyed models that characterizes most CW shows).

  • n.m.

    Good god, please put this show out of its misery. It’s superficial, insipid, and insulting to everyone involved. Also, the ad campaign for it is intrusive to the point that even if it was a show I was interested in watching, I would not watch it due to the over-hype.

    CW needs to stop trying to pander to an audience made up of 13-16 year old rich girls that doesn’t exist and just make good watchable shows that people of any age bracket or demographic can enjoy if it wants to survive as a network.

  • n.m.

    Good god, please put this show out of its misery. It’s superficial, insipid, and insulting to everyone involved. Also, the ad campaign for it is intrusive to the point that even if it was a show I was interested in watching, I would not watch it due to the over-hype.

    CW needs to stop trying to pander to an audience made up of 13-16 year old rich girls that doesn’t exist and just make good watchable shows that people of any age bracket or demographic can enjoy if it wants to survive as a network.

  • Angie

    I can’t believe someone on here actually claimed that Gossip Girl doesn’t get enough advertisement. Are you serious? It is the ONLY CW show that gets advertised – over advertised if anything. Every time I blink there’s a freaking advertisement with that insipid, weird-looking Blake Lively’s face on it. I hate it for its advertising campaign alone. Not only that, it’s all the CW ever discusses, and they even handed over episodes for MTV to air. Did that boost its ratings? Not a bit.

    Face it, no one over the age or IQ of 20 wants to watch it.

  • Angie

    I can’t believe someone on here actually claimed that Gossip Girl doesn’t get enough advertisement. Are you serious? It is the ONLY CW show that gets advertised – over advertised if anything. Every time I blink there’s a freaking advertisement with that insipid, weird-looking Blake Lively’s face on it. I hate it for its advertising campaign alone. Not only that, it’s all the CW ever discusses, and they even handed over episodes for MTV to air. Did that boost its ratings? Not a bit.

    Face it, no one over the age or IQ of 20 wants to watch it.

  • Angie

    I can’t believe someone on here actually claimed that Gossip Girl doesn’t get enough advertisement. Are you serious? It is the ONLY CW show that gets advertised – over advertised if anything. Every time I blink there’s a freaking advertisement with that insipid, weird-looking Blake Lively’s face on it. I hate it for its advertising campaign alone. Not only that, it’s all the CW ever discusses, and they even handed over episodes for MTV to air. Did that boost its ratings? Not a bit.

    Face it, no one over the age or IQ of 20 wants to watch it.

  • Yohan

    You cannot cancel this great show!
    I love it, it has in my opinion a bit of O.C. feeling to it but the whole Manhattan setting changes that, not in negative way but its different, and we were ready for something new. It’s sad to say i do not influence the view rate cause i watch it a day later in Holland.

    I loved The O.C. and i love GG don’t cancel it please.

  • Yohan

    You cannot cancel this great show!
    I love it, it has in my opinion a bit of O.C. feeling to it but the whole Manhattan setting changes that, not in negative way but its different, and we were ready for something new. It’s sad to say i do not influence the view rate cause i watch it a day later in Holland.

    I loved The O.C. and i love GG don’t cancel it please.

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