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No Nielsen Ratings Glory for BSG Season Four Premiere

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Written By

April 7th, 2008

apollo-bsg.jpgAs predicted, the Battlestar Galactica season four premiere will be bested by about 20 SpongeBob airings. The season four premiere did but a 1.3/2 (Household rating/share) and a 1.1/3 in the 18-49 demo (the good news, I suppose, is that almost the entire viewership was in the demo). , I can't say I understand the phenomenon, but, as they say, it is what it is. Overall, the show drew 2.138 million viewers.

Just another data point of Internet buzz means this: almost absolutely nothing at all. So many things including Monk and Psych on Sunday night (which was generally considered very lousy ratings) beatdown BSG so badly that it's perplexing.

Update: more data -- 1.5+ million 25-54 viewers. 1.4 million 18-49 viewers. Best 18-49 performance since Jan 13, 2006. Best 25-54 performance since October 6, 2006 (season 3 premiere). 606,000 women 18-49 watched -- the best performance the show has ever had by that metric. Chicks dig BSG! (43% of 18-49 viewership was among females). It was the #3 cable program in primetime overall on Friday, and #4 in the 18-49 demo, and #1 in the 25-54 demo.

While I'm a harsh critic of BSG because it set such a high bar with its miniseries/pilot in the wayback, I thought the season four premiere very, very good. But for all the Internet buzz, for the thousands of headlines, for the New York Times coverage to boot -- it did worse than a new episode of Supernatural on the CW, and way, way, way, worse than any airing of Jericho. But, I'm not surprised by that at all. I still can't wait to see who the final cylon is, and because you can never get too much of Tricia Helfer/Number 6...enjoy:

Tricia Helfer as Number 6 on BSG

 
  • http://www.cvillepodcast.com/ Sean Tubbs

    Robert, do you have any indication of how the live Internet stream of the show performed? I’d like to hear your thoughts on whether or not that affected the numbers.

  • Marc

    The BSG premiere pulled in similar numbers to the SGA season 4 finale with 2.1 million total viewers. Both very successful numbers for two shows that were struggling last season.

  • Marc

    The BSG premiere pulled in similar numbers to the SGA season 4 finale with 2.1 million total viewers. Both very successful numbers for two shows that were struggling last season.

  • Marc

    The BSG premiere pulled in similar numbers to the SGA season 4 finale with 2.1 million total viewers. Both very successful numbers for two shows that were struggling last season.

  • Mandi

    How are you comparing BSG on a cable network with other network shows? I would expect that the numbers it drew were pretty good for Sci Fi and for cable in general (wasn’t it the number three cable show for the night?) Don’t paint BSG too harshly, Robert!

  • Mandi

    How are you comparing BSG on a cable network with other network shows? I would expect that the numbers it drew were pretty good for Sci Fi and for cable in general (wasn’t it the number three cable show for the night?) Don’t paint BSG too harshly, Robert!

  • Mandi

    How are you comparing BSG on a cable network with other network shows? I would expect that the numbers it drew were pretty good for Sci Fi and for cable in general (wasn’t it the number three cable show for the night?) Don’t paint BSG too harshly, Robert!

  • Mandi

    How are you comparing BSG on a cable network with other network shows? I would expect that the numbers it drew were pretty good for Sci Fi and for cable in general (wasn’t it the number three cable show for the night?) Don’t paint BSG too harshly, Robert!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Matthew, good point on the multiple airings.

    The data Robert cites is from the single airing of the S4 premiere episode only.

    Cable ratings we get do not aggregate multiple shows. Later airings would appear as separate episodes [evidence our many, many Spongebobs].

    It’s a challenge for the first airing of a show like BSG to make the top 40 cable list [which is all we see, and likely all others report on], subsequent airings have effectively no chance of appearing on our radar.

  • Marc

    2.0+ Million viewers is considered Excellent for a cable show from what I’ve heard.

    This is also before DVR Live + 7.

    As per DVR and counting… SCI FI is a leader in the C3 index, which means more people are watching the commercials show the DVR numbers are important as well.

  • Marc

    2.0+ Million viewers is considered Excellent for a cable show from what I’ve heard.

    This is also before DVR Live + 7.

    As per DVR and counting… SCI FI is a leader in the C3 index, which means more people are watching the commercials show the DVR numbers are important as well.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    We will probably never see the LIVE+7 numbers or the C3 numbers for BSG. I agree that the ratings were fine and that they are actually irrelevant as this is the final season of BSG and the rest of the shows will be produced regardless.

    Thinking about Internet availability, torrent downloads and multiple airings doesn’t really factor into my thinking which was merely this: Internet Buzz is indicative of almost nothing. There was no buzz around CSI: Miami last week, even though it pulled in roughly 7x the BSG numbers.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    We will probably never see the LIVE+7 numbers or the C3 numbers for BSG. I agree that the ratings were fine and that they are actually irrelevant as this is the final season of BSG and the rest of the shows will be produced regardless.

    Thinking about Internet availability, torrent downloads and multiple airings doesn’t really factor into my thinking which was merely this: Internet Buzz is indicative of almost nothing. There was no buzz around CSI: Miami last week, even though it pulled in roughly 7x the BSG numbers.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    We will probably never see the LIVE+7 numbers or the C3 numbers for BSG. I agree that the ratings were fine and that they are actually irrelevant as this is the final season of BSG and the rest of the shows will be produced regardless.

    Thinking about Internet availability, torrent downloads and multiple airings doesn’t really factor into my thinking which was merely this: Internet Buzz is indicative of almost nothing. There was no buzz around CSI: Miami last week, even though it pulled in roughly 7x the BSG numbers.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    We will probably never see the LIVE+7 numbers or the C3 numbers for BSG. I agree that the ratings were fine and that they are actually irrelevant as this is the final season of BSG and the rest of the shows will be produced regardless.

    Thinking about Internet availability, torrent downloads and multiple airings doesn’t really factor into my thinking which was merely this: Internet Buzz is indicative of almost nothing. There was no buzz around CSI: Miami last week, even though it pulled in roughly 7x the BSG numbers.

  • Informant

    First Jericho now BSG ?

    Iraq allegory to close for comfort ?

    “Osama, Obama and your mamma” personality disorder ?

  • Informant

    First Jericho now BSG ?

    Iraq allegory to close for comfort ?

    “Osama, Obama and your mamma” personality disorder ?

  • Informant

    First Jericho now BSG ?

    Iraq allegory to close for comfort ?

    “Osama, Obama and your mamma” personality disorder ?

  • Informant

    First Jericho now BSG ?

    Iraq allegory to close for comfort ?

    “Osama, Obama and your mamma” personality disorder ?

  • Outlander

    As I’ve said before, it’s really striking how far the bar has dropped on SCIFI. Two years ago, getting a 1.3 rating in a premiere would have ensured BSG’s almost-immediate death. The same is true for the Stargates. Today, those ratings are considered good.

    (I’m not insulting any of those shows, I’m simply pointing out that it’s amazing how much more competitive the environment is.)

    Robert, surely BSG is not much cheaper to produce than TSCC – yet TSCC’s lowest rating got a 3.0 in the demo and like a 5-6 rating overall. How do the economics work for these shows? (Put differently, with such low ratings, how can SCIFI afford to produce any original scripted programming at all?) (And no, their awful Saturday movies-of-the-week do not count. :p)

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