TV By The Numbers Is More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine...

Categories: TV Business

Written By

May 14th, 2012

While the claim that TV by the Numbers' predictions kill shows by influencing large numbers of viewers to stop watching* them are pretty routine in our comments, Harry's Law executive producer Bill D'Elia thinks we're a lot more powerful than we actually are too!

*Conveniently ignored by the claimants is the fact that we make our predictions *after* the low ratings are in, and the adults 18-49 viewers that advertisers pay for have *already* stopped watching. Where's the hate for the critics who tell people to not watch in *advance*?

Update: italics added above for the particularly sensitive.

  • JC

    @ Tommy M to counter that, you are right. Learning what we learned in Jedi didnt change how we felt about Empire. That said, in A New Hope we didnt start with someone searching for their sister only to find them in Jedi. If that were the case and the movies stopped after Empire people would have been bent out of shape.

  • forg

    Harry’s Law vs TBTN is so epic

  • Justine

    That is ridiculous. This site and every other entertainment site out there has no influence over what gets renewed or cancelled. They just give the facts. If it was that easy to control a show’s fate, I’d start my own website just to guarantee my favorite shows are renewed in favor of the shows I don’t like.

  • Mark Wood

    Well why blaming this site, or anyone site for a shows fate is utterly stupid there is one thing I have notice more and more over the years.

    When I first started looking at ratings, I knew almost no lay person who did so. Now almost everyone I know Kees somewhat abreast of tv ratings. And I know many a person who will drop shows due to the ratings, ie not wanting to waste their time on a show they feel will not survive.

    I never used to see or hear this.

    It was always I didn’t like or my schedule doesn’t let me watch, or I like another program at the same time more. And he’ll I myself have done it recently when I never used to think that way even when I did see a show with poor ratings.

    So I do think the ease in getting that info ( seriously just ten years ago think of what data was easily avaanle, compared to today), can have some impact on a show. But it would not have a significant impact on the first episode. But again it’s not one site, there are numerous places you can get the data.

  • SalaciousCrumb

    May the force be with you….always.

  • Mark

    I’ts kinda funny but I don’t watch new shows until I see the ratings on here for a few weeks now lol. It’s not the sites fault at all I just don’t want to bother getting invested in a show if it’s going to get canned anyway.

  • karin

    Too much Fringe’s praise on this site is really boring or curious at least,imo.

  • Bill Gorman

    “I actually agree with him. I stopped watching Up All Night because I thought it was going to be cancelled”

    Not because of me.

    I never predicted UAN would be canceled, the worst I ever had it was “toss up” and that wasn’t until pretty late in the Spring.

    I don’t think Robert ever did either, but I’m not going to rummage through his old posts to check.

  • cc

    To think one site has any influence over what the networks or anyone does is stupid.

    I started following this site, just to keep track of shows I liked, nothing more. What ruins this site and too many others, are ‘think they knowitalls,’ coming in and acting like they have some secret information that no one else is privy too.

    No doubt these sites are watched by PTB occasionally to get a feel for what the general public thinks. Do they use what they read for anything useful? Obviously not.

  • Harris

    Why would you stop watching a show that you already started because it will be cancelled? If you’re worried about a cliffhanger, how can you get more cliffhangery than quitting in the middle of a season? It makes no sense to stop watching a show due to low ratings. If you’ve already started watching, you might as well stick with it regardless, unless you aren’t enjoying the show anymore.

  • the twits got it wrong…again twits are hacks

  • The Real Original Ray

    – @Holly, I don’t follow the entertainment press to know this, but I wonder if the publications you mention in your comment had a presence in the industry before the emergence of blogs and online content. I’ve noticed in other niches a tendency to discredit and scapegoat blogs because they are blogs.

    – Evidently there are two kinds of TV viewers in the world – those who watch a show irrespective of its renewal prospects and those for whom that matters. I’m in the first camp and wouldn’t have guessed there were people in the second.

    – Bill and Robert, nice work getting NCIS renewed. Also in influencing all those people to watch football week after week. I don’t know how you do it.

    – Seriously, hats off for getting so much industry attention paid to your site. You’ve taken what is a rather tedious pile of numbers and given it shape and context, with no shortage of humor.

  • Jim

    I use TVBTN to influence how I watch TV. For instance, when a new show debuts, I will DVR the first few episodes and see how the ratings look. If it seems like a positive response from viewers, I’ll watch it (i.e. Revenge) but if it never gets off the ground, I delete before ever investing time in it so as not to be disappointed later (i.e. NYC 22). But I have never stopped watchig a show I enjoy simply because the ratings took a huge turn to the southbound lane.

  • Hillbilly

    Now i can blame TVBTN for Against The Wall for being canceled. You guys are going to feel my wrath very soon. ;)

  • Scott Johnson

    Bill D’Elia is an idiot nuff said.

  • Robert Seidman

    pretty sure I never had Up All Night lower than a tossup. Of course, people make their own predictions based on ratings — often incorrect because they don’t consider the network averages — all of the time. But I’m pretty confident that would be the case whether this website existed or not.

  • Chris

    Blame the networks for putting on bad shows. Blame cable for giving us better options. But honestly, blaming a website most TV viewers aren’t even aware of? And sure as hell not most Harry’s Law viewers. :D

  • Jeffrey Grimshaw

    Guys – Join the club, my name and are not to be uttered within the halls of The Weather Channel because they hold us responsible for killing off their Friday Night Movie – Flick And A Forecast. When will these intellectual giants learn that it is their bad product that is their own worst enemy?

  • Coffee Steve

    Hmmmm..maybe Bill & Robert could start a good stock, bad stock market roundup site and influence the stock market? :-)

    The numbers would be fun to run hehehe

  • Mickey 1.0

    Apparently TVBTN’s power only works on some shows and not others, because you guys completely failed to get Body of Proof cancelled.

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