The CW's Dawn Ostroff

The new broadcast TV season hasn’t even begun and here’s the first TV ratings exclusive long before the folks at Variety (and elsewhere) have it whispered into their ears by the CW PR department and uncritically parrot it back to you!

The CW’s weekly average ratings will soar over 20% in 2009-2010 vs. the 2008-9 season!

Do I have some magical insight on the brilliant new shows being launched by the CW? Is the programming genius that is CW chief Dawn Ostroff finally going to hit the jackpot? Is someone in the counting room at Nielsen in my pay? No, no, and no.

By abandoning their previously terribly performing Sunday nights (which will happen after September 20 27), the CW practically guarantees a 20%+ jump in its weekly average ratings. Expect the TV media to report it as a near miracle.

Let’s look at the numbers (2008-9 season through 5/20/09, all Live+SD):

CW Sunday viewership average: 1.014 million

CW Monday-Friday viewership average: 2.222 million

CW overall viewership average: 1.850 million

CW Sunday adults 18-49 average: 0.421 million

CW Monday-Friday adults 18-49 average: 1.331 million

CW overall adults 18-49 average: 1.040 million

Assuming that the CW can maintain the same numbers as last season from Monday-Friday (which is reasonable, although some erosion is likely), they’ll see average viewership increase by 20% (2.222/1.850), and adults 18-49 viewership increase by 28% (1.331/1.040), all by just abandoning Sundays!

The CW will likely focus on its women 18-34 ratings, which is its target demographic, but sadly, we don’t get season to date average adults 18-34 numbers for individual shows, making it impossible to calculate any 18-34 numbers on a nightly basis, although it’s highly likely they’ll follow a similar trend.

Be certain that much of the TV media will report this as a stroke of CW programming genius, but you heard it here first!

Note: The overall viewership and adults 18-49 numbers above are directly reported to us by Nielsen, while the Sunday and Monday-Friday averages were calculated by me using Nielsen reported individual show averages and telecast times. Because “specials” are not included in season to date averages, my calculated averages are subject to a certain amount of error, but it likely has little or no effect on the overall relationships described.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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