Sunday, August 17, 2008

Moonlight & Jericho top list of genre shows with stable ratings

SyFy Portal's Michael Hinman has written a great article explaining how steady Moonlight's ratings were over its 16 episodes.

'Jericho,' 'Moonlight' Most Stable Genre Shows

They were both unceremoniously canceled by CBS, but while the audiences for "Jericho" and "Moonlight" weren't vast, they were stable.

The two shows topped a list of 13 programs tracked through Fast National ratings from Nielsen Media Research over the 2007-08 season, showing they maintained the strongest audiences in terms of stability.

"Jericho" had a stability index rating of 92.9, according to SyFy Portal, while "Moonlight" had a stability index rating of 87.9. The numbers, which show the amount of audience retained based on the show's highest overnight rating versus its average, is meant to give a snapshot look of how much audience on average a show retained throughout the course of the season.

The two index numbers come despite "Moonlight" finishing seventh and "Jericho" 11th among the network shows tracked by SyFy Portal in terms of average overnight ratings. "Jericho," over the course of seven episodes, only witnessed a 16.7 percent total audience drop-off between its best viewership night and its worst viewership night, while "Moonlight's" audience eroded by 19 percent over 16 episodes. "Jericho" finished with an average overnight rating of a 3.9 rating/7 share, while "Moonlight" averaged a 5.1/9.

"Lost," which topped network genre shows for the 2007-08 season with a 7.7/12, finished in the middle of the pack when it came to holding on to its audience. Its stability index rating was an 81.1 that included a total loss of 26.3 percent of its audience between its highest and lowest ratings. It finished behind "Dexter" and "Heroes" to take a seventh ranking.

The CW showed solid stability in its numbers as well. "Supernatural" had a stability index rating of 86.4 to have the third best rating among the shows tracked by SyFy Portal, which included a 27.3 percent audience drop-off. "Smallville" was right behind with an 83.9 stability index rating.

"Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" had the worst rating of the 13 shows, picking up just a 50.5 that included a 59.5 percent audience erosion between its highest and worst ratings. At the same time, "Sarah Connor" also had its series premiere right after a highly rated NFL postseason game which artificially inflated its numbers for the premiere, with its second week providing more stable ratings.

"Sarah Connor" finished fourth among shows based on average overnight ratings with a 5.6/9 behind "Lost," "Heroes" and ABC's "Pushing Daisies."

Advertisers typically are looking for shows that have dependable audiences to help justify spending money on commercials, and typically shows with stable ratings have a chance to move on. Of course, that is just one of a number of factors that go into the decision-making on whether or not a show is renewed, as was evidenced by the fact that both "Jericho" and "Moonlight" were cancelled. However, seven of the top 10 shows in the stability index rating have been picked up for the 2008-09 season, leaving out "Journeyman" as the only other show with a 69.5 rating.

Of the top 10 shows based on average overnight rating, only six are returning for another season.

For a complete listing of the genre shows tracked in average overnight rating and stability index rating, click here.

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