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Women's Murder Club: Renew or Cancel?

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Written By

April 30th, 2008

5/13 UPDATE: Women's Murder Club Has Been Cancelled

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April 30, 2008 Update: with lackluster performance in a new time slot following Dancing With the Stars, WMC seems to be trending towards "cancel". The original "renew by the slightest of margins" verdict reached last December now looks even slimmer. This may be one show that actually has a shot at performing better on Friday night. Here's the original post:

ABC's Women's Murder Club, Friday 9PM Eastern, has got both Angie Harmon and a San Francisco location [personal bias!] But it's been consigned to Friday nights, often thought of as a primetime Death Zone.

Even with that handicap it has pulled some respectable average viewer numbers, and so we ask: Renew or Cancel?

Women's Murder Club Ratings among New ABC Shows, All New Shows

Date Viewer Rank among New ABC shows Viewer Rank among all new shows
10/12 #2 of 7 #2 of 24
10/19 #4 of 8 #4 of 24
10/26 #4 of 8 #4 of 24
11/2 #3 of 6 #3 of 22
11/9 #2 of 5 #2 of 22
11/16 #3 of 7 #3 of 22
11/23 #3 of 6 #4 of 22
11/30 not aired not aired
12/7 #2 of 6 #2 of 19

Within a very strong ABC new show line up, Women's Murder Club ratings have been between second and fourth for both ABC new shows and all new shows in general.

Women's Murder Club ratings rankings are even more impressive considering its position on Friday, a relatively light viewer night overall.

How is it doing against its competition on Friday?

Women's Murder Club Ratings and Rankings @ 9PM Friday

Date Viewers (Rank) Adults 18-49 (Rank) Adults 18-34 (Rank) Adults 25-54 (Rank)
10/12 10.85m (1) 3.30m (1) 0.98m (2) 3.91m (1)
10/19 9.71m (1) 2.72m (3) 0.70m (4) 3.52m (2)
10/26* 8.70m (1) 2.45m (3) 0.75m (4) 3.09m (2)
11/2 9.60m (1) 2.58m (3) 0.64m (4) 3.47m (3)
11/9 9.60m (1) 2.62m (4) 0.80m (5) 3.35m (2)
11/16 8.91m (1) 2.38m (3) 0.75m (5) 3.11m (2)
11/23 7.58m (1) 2.03m (5) 0.60m (6) 2.62m (4)
11/30 not aired not aired not aired not aired
12/7 8.53m (1) 2.32m (1) 0.83m (3) 3.27m (2)

More than any other new show we've looked at, Women's Murder Club ratings show a radical skewing towards older, and I mean much older viewers.

It has won its timeslot in terms of average viewers each and every week, but except for its debut week and to an extent on 12/7, it has trailed badly in the youth age demographics. Case in point, on November 23, Women's Murder Club ratings for adults 18-34 in its timeslot were sixth.

After the post-debut dip, Women's Murder Club ratings have been reasonably stable and relatively high for average viewers for a Friday night, but nobody born since 1975 is watching the show.

(*10/26 data is Live, all other data is Live+SD, useful for rankings but not viewership trends).

Conclusions

Positives

  1. Women's Murder Club ratings have been near the top for all new shows since its debut and near the top for ABC, even more so after Samantha Who?'s post-Dancing swoon.
  2. Women's Murder Club ratings have won its timeslot for average viewers every single week it has aired.

Negatives

  1. Women's Murder Club ratings for adults 18-34 have been woeful, and 18-49 ratings have not been much better.

Verdict: Renew by the slimmest of margins.

Women's Murder Club ratings are a test of exactly how much ABC values young viewers. If it's renewed, not so much. If it's cancelled, plenty.

Strike Status: I have somewhat conflicting information, but I believe that as of today there are 1-2 fresh episodes left. I have no information on when they (it) will air.

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

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

 
  • http://www.tvjots.com Chandra

    “Women’s Murder Club ratings are a test of exactly how much ABC values young viewers. If it’s renewed, not so much. If it’s cancelled, plenty.”

    I disagree. I think whether or not ABC renews “Women’s Murder Club” will demonstrate how much the network values *diversity* among all viewers.

    Not everyone who watches TV and is a worthy consumer is also between the ages of 18 and 34/49. It’s nothing short of ridiculous how much importance advertisers and their minions attach to those last two demos. But, yeah, that’s the way it is…

  • http://www.tvjots.com Chandra

    “Women’s Murder Club ratings are a test of exactly how much ABC values young viewers. If it’s renewed, not so much. If it’s cancelled, plenty.”

    I disagree. I think whether or not ABC renews “Women’s Murder Club” will demonstrate how much the network values *diversity* among all viewers.

    Not everyone who watches TV and is a worthy consumer is also between the ages of 18 and 34/49. It’s nothing short of ridiculous how much importance advertisers and their minions attach to those last two demos. But, yeah, that’s the way it is…

  • http://www.tvjots.com Chandra

    “Women’s Murder Club ratings are a test of exactly how much ABC values young viewers. If it’s renewed, not so much. If it’s cancelled, plenty.”

    I disagree. I think whether or not ABC renews “Women’s Murder Club” will demonstrate how much the network values *diversity* among all viewers.

    Not everyone who watches TV and is a worthy consumer is also between the ages of 18 and 34/49. It’s nothing short of ridiculous how much importance advertisers and their minions attach to those last two demos. But, yeah, that’s the way it is…

  • Rena Moretti

    To put it another way, if ABC cancels WMC it shows that ageism is King in Hollywood.

    I don’t think that’s going to happen. WMC is one of the only 2-3 new shows that are actually good.

    It has thrived in spite of very scant promotion and a really, really bad title that made a lot of people not give it a first look.

    If ABC bothered to promote it the way it promoted the awful (in my view) Pushing Daisies, this show would have been flying from the start.

    If ABC doesn’t renew it, then what is it going to renew? Samantha Who? that few watch if it’s not stuck after that dancing show?

  • Rena Moretti

    To put it another way, if ABC cancels WMC it shows that ageism is King in Hollywood.

    I don’t think that’s going to happen. WMC is one of the only 2-3 new shows that are actually good.

    It has thrived in spite of very scant promotion and a really, really bad title that made a lot of people not give it a first look.

    If ABC bothered to promote it the way it promoted the awful (in my view) Pushing Daisies, this show would have been flying from the start.

    If ABC doesn’t renew it, then what is it going to renew? Samantha Who? that few watch if it’s not stuck after that dancing show?

  • Rena Moretti

    To put it another way, if ABC cancels WMC it shows that ageism is King in Hollywood.

    I don’t think that’s going to happen. WMC is one of the only 2-3 new shows that are actually good.

    It has thrived in spite of very scant promotion and a really, really bad title that made a lot of people not give it a first look.

    If ABC bothered to promote it the way it promoted the awful (in my view) Pushing Daisies, this show would have been flying from the start.

    If ABC doesn’t renew it, then what is it going to renew? Samantha Who? that few watch if it’s not stuck after that dancing show?

  • Rena Moretti

    About the idea that Friday is the Prime time Death Zone:

    That’s what the networks were saying about Saturdays and now they don’t even bother to program that night. Is Friday next? When does it stop?

    I’m amazed the networks don’t seem to realize that to have big hits you have to have a number of shows out there.

    CSI started on Fridays just to give an example.

    Saturday used to be a high viewership night. The only reason it’s not is that network programmers are way too in tune with their slanted views of who should watch TV to make them look “hip”.

  • Rena Moretti

    About the idea that Friday is the Prime time Death Zone:

    That’s what the networks were saying about Saturdays and now they don’t even bother to program that night. Is Friday next? When does it stop?

    I’m amazed the networks don’t seem to realize that to have big hits you have to have a number of shows out there.

    CSI started on Fridays just to give an example.

    Saturday used to be a high viewership night. The only reason it’s not is that network programmers are way too in tune with their slanted views of who should watch TV to make them look “hip”.

  • Rena Moretti

    About the idea that Friday is the Prime time Death Zone:

    That’s what the networks were saying about Saturdays and now they don’t even bother to program that night. Is Friday next? When does it stop?

    I’m amazed the networks don’t seem to realize that to have big hits you have to have a number of shows out there.

    CSI started on Fridays just to give an example.

    Saturday used to be a high viewership night. The only reason it’s not is that network programmers are way too in tune with their slanted views of who should watch TV to make them look “hip”.

  • Rena Moretti

    Two more thoughts:

    WMC is the highest rated show on ABC that night. I don’t see how its renewal could even be in question.

    It improves on its lead-in and is the tentpole of the night.

    As far as the low young viewers ratings, I think ABC has a lot to account for on that one. Any show or movie with strong female leads gets a big female following. I don’t think ABC even bothered to do anything to reach that audience.

    They probably think that “on Friday Nights, young people are out” and that’s the end of their “thinking” on this matter.

  • Rena Moretti

    Two more thoughts:

    WMC is the highest rated show on ABC that night. I don’t see how its renewal could even be in question.

    It improves on its lead-in and is the tentpole of the night.

    As far as the low young viewers ratings, I think ABC has a lot to account for on that one. Any show or movie with strong female leads gets a big female following. I don’t think ABC even bothered to do anything to reach that audience.

    They probably think that “on Friday Nights, young people are out” and that’s the end of their “thinking” on this matter.

  • Rena Moretti

    Two more thoughts:

    WMC is the highest rated show on ABC that night. I don’t see how its renewal could even be in question.

    It improves on its lead-in and is the tentpole of the night.

    As far as the low young viewers ratings, I think ABC has a lot to account for on that one. Any show or movie with strong female leads gets a big female following. I don’t think ABC even bothered to do anything to reach that audience.

    They probably think that “on Friday Nights, young people are out” and that’s the end of their “thinking” on this matter.

  • jay turney

    WMC’s renewal in this time of PC and slim pickings is obviously not in question. And that is the problem. I watched the show with a friend last night, as I’ve never seen it all the way through. Halfway through I realized this is not just a soap opera – it glorifies vigilantes, freelance women cops ( of course ) who single out men like a kind of star chamber. All they need is a lab technician and a Mike Nifong to make it a facsist paradise. Law and Order is bad enough. This is not just soap opera fluff – its dangerous. It indicates how ignorant the average American is of their constitutional rights. A real-life group like this would get a lot of cops rightfully fired – yes, even if they are as cute as Angie Harmon.

  • jay turney

    WMC’s renewal in this time of PC and slim pickings is obviously not in question. And that is the problem. I watched the show with a friend last night, as I’ve never seen it all the way through. Halfway through I realized this is not just a soap opera – it glorifies vigilantes, freelance women cops ( of course ) who single out men like a kind of star chamber. All they need is a lab technician and a Mike Nifong to make it a facsist paradise. Law and Order is bad enough. This is not just soap opera fluff – its dangerous. It indicates how ignorant the average American is of their constitutional rights. A real-life group like this would get a lot of cops rightfully fired – yes, even if they are as cute as Angie Harmon.

  • jay turney

    WMC’s renewal in this time of PC and slim pickings is obviously not in question. And that is the problem. I watched the show with a friend last night, as I’ve never seen it all the way through. Halfway through I realized this is not just a soap opera – it glorifies vigilantes, freelance women cops ( of course ) who single out men like a kind of star chamber. All they need is a lab technician and a Mike Nifong to make it a facsist paradise. Law and Order is bad enough. This is not just soap opera fluff – its dangerous. It indicates how ignorant the average American is of their constitutional rights. A real-life group like this would get a lot of cops rightfully fired – yes, even if they are as cute as Angie Harmon.

  • Rena Moretti

    Is this really a place for mis-directed political diatribes?

  • Rena Moretti

    Is this really a place for mis-directed political diatribes?

  • Rena Moretti

    Also, if anything, this show is quite socially liberal in tone and content.

  • Rena Moretti

    Also, if anything, this show is quite socially liberal in tone and content.

  • Rena Moretti

    Also, if anything, this show is quite socially liberal in tone and content.

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