Cable Show Ratings For Fan Favorites We Rarely See

Categories: '

Written By

November 7th, 2008

More interesting information in a report from MAGNA that includes lots of individual cable show TV ratings particularly ratings information for many shows our readers ask about including Mad Men, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Sons of Anarchy, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Ghost Hunter, Sanctuary, Lincoln Heights, Somebodies, Sarah Silverman Show, Chocolate News, The Shield, Testees, Rita Rocks, Army Wives, My New BFF, Raising The Bar, The Starter Wife and Charm School.

Here are some highlights:

The cable networks have traditionally scheduled many of their strongest original series in the summer, when the regular broadcast season is finished. As audiences for these shows have grown larger and more consistent however, we have seen an increasing number fall and midseason berths.

The prognosis portion of our analysis for cable is a bit different than that of broadcast, because cable originals are much less likely to be pulled before the full number of ordered episodes air. Obviously, rating goals vary by network, and a even a relatively low-rated original series may perform better than repeat programming that fills the rest of the schedule.

Below are some highlights on original cable series that have been running this fall:

Teens are often a hard to reach audience, and other than CW (and perhaps the FOX animated shows) most broadcast programming isn’t really aimed at them. Cable offers a number of original shows that either target teens directly or at least appeal to them. Currently, there are several programs that have been strong among teens, including: Lincoln Heights on ABC Family, Star Wars: Clone Wars on Cartoon Network, Chocolate News on Comedy Central, and My New BFF on MTV.

FX continues to be one of the more prolific cable networks in terms of scripted orginal programming, and while both Dirt and The Riches were canceled after their abbreviated second seasons, new drama Sons of Anarchy has done welll with young adults and will return for a second run. The comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia seems to build audience every year and has already received an order for 39 additional episodes. Testees—the network’s latest comedy to be paired with Sunny—has not been keeping up ratings-wise so it’s future is uncertain. The Shield will end its run in this month, but Damages, Nip/Tuck, and Rescue Me will all return in 2009.

Lifetime’s Army Wives has shown remarkable resilience in its second season, maintaining strong ratings among women in spite of facing tough competition in ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, among others. New comedy Rita Rocks was not particularly strong in its first week, performing slightly worse than its Reba lead-in. The network may decide not to order additional episodes if it can get the same or better ratings from an off-network show it already has the rights for.

I am including data for some of the most requested shows below, but you can download the entire report here for information on all the shows listed above. Note: all the numbers below are ratings points. (i.e. 1% of the relevant demo group).

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures