Gossip Girl vs. The Hills: Don't Believe CW's Positive Spin!

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April 23rd, 2008

thehills.jpgThey'll put a positive spin on it in any way they can, but the truth is things are spinning out of control over in the land of Gossip Girl and Dawn Ostroff known as the CW.

Do I fault the CW for wanting to target 18-34 year olds, specifically females? Not at all. The evidence is crystal clear that advertisers are actually willing to pay a premium for that demographic and we don't like to ever chide anyone for "following the money". We consider that a sensible ploy.

But check this out, courtesy of Travis Yanan who posted this data on Marc Berman's forums:

Show Net HH Rating/Share 18-49 18-34 Women 18-34 Viewers (Millions)
Gossip Girl CW 1.7/3 1.3/4 2.0/6 2.9/8 2.50
One Tree Hill CW 1.9/3 1.4/3 2.1/6 3.3/8 2.93
The Hills MTV 2.4/4 2.4/6 4.0/11 6.3/16 3.75

While I do not find the data particularly surprising, I find it interesting nonetheless. On a couple of levels:

  1. It appears that a show about real life spoiled, skanky girls who do whatever the heck they feel like is a way, way bigger draw than a fictional scripted show about spoiled, skanky girls who do whatever the heck they feel like. Unscripted lands yet another blow against scripted, even in premium target demos
  2. The beat-down in Gossip Girl's (and the CW's) target demo is massive. The Hills did 100% better among 18-34 year olds. While we don't have the gender breakdown, (the women's 18-34 data has been added to the table) 100% is a massive beat-down. 100%. 

I believe in the Internet parlance popular among the 18-34 crowd, The Hills and MTV PWNS Gossip Girl and the CW. For my middle-aged brethren, I'll translate: The Hills and MTV OWNS Gossip Girl and the CW.

My hat is off to MTV.

Update 4/23 5:10pm PDT: Travis Yanan was kind enough to provide the Women 18-34 demographic ratings/share for the three shows in the comments and I've added to the table above.  In the allegedly key demo for Gossip Girl it is out performed by both One Tree Hill and The Hills, in fact The Hills outperformed Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill combined among women 18-34!

"I believe that is truly pwnage," said Yanan.

We agree.

BG: The Hills' performance is even more impressive when you compare MTV's average primetime viewership of 948,000 to CW's average primetime viewership of  2.29 million.

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