Ratings Spotlight – Women 18-34

Yesterday in their weekly ratings recap, USA TODAY printed the top 15 shows from the first three months of the ’10-’11 season with Women 18-34. I found a number of things interesting that I thought I would note. First the list:

Spotlight: Tops with women 18-34

Viewers (millions)

 1 Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 2.7

2 Glee (Fox) 2.5

3 Modern Family (ABC) 1.9

4 Private Practice (ABC) 1.8

* Desperate Housewives (ABC) 1.8

* The Office (NBC) 1.8

7 Dancing With the Stars (ABC) 1.7

8 Sunday Night Football (NBC) 1.6

* House (Fox) 1.6  

10 How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 1.3

* Cougar Town (ABC) 1.3

* Family Guy (Fox) 1.3

* Big Bang Theory (CBS) 1.3

* Dancing w/Stars Results (ABC) 1.3

Source: Nielsen, season to date (Sept. 20-Dec. 19), network prime-time; excludes pre- and postgame sports

  • We all knew that ABC did well with Women. In fact if this was Women 18-49, this list wouldn’t surprise me at all. But color me shocked that even with the younger demo, GREYS topped GLEE. Now obviously it’s not by much and GLEE does air at 8p where HUT levels are lower, so technically it’s a tie, but I am somewhat surprised the hot and fresh GLEE isn’t stronger than the 7 year old GREYS.
  • Speaking of ABC, they have half of the shows listed, including two 7 year old shows in the top 5 and the hottest comedy that’s only in its 2nd year. Also present here is a monster reality franchise that seemingly skews old, but clearly still has the younger females tuning in. To anyone that thinks one of ABCs problems is rooted in their identity, I don’t know how else to say it, but you’re wrong. Just like CBS knows their audience, so does ABC. They just haven’t been as successful maintaining it across the board, like CBS. Maybe Paul Lee will help with that.
  • We all knew that THE OFFICE is not only NBCs biggest hit, but it’s also one of the biggest hits on TV. Plus when you factor in DVR, it’s in the top 5 of all shows in the demo, proving that the Thursday pileup hurts some live viewing. We also know that NBCs entire comedy Thursday is very strong with young males. But look at how big THE OFFICE is with young females. This is just flat-out a mega hit. Once again, to anyone that thinks NBC should end this show in May when Steve Carell departs, sorry that would just be silly and frankly, bad business. Even the biggest OFFICE fan could tell you that
  • Along the same lines, we know what a monster hit FAMILY GUY is. In live viewing some weeks it even beats DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. It’s obviously a very young male skewing show. – Witness its success on Adult Swim and TBS. But I gotta say, I would never have guessed how strong it is with young females. Like THE OFFICE, this is a mega hit.
  • SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL is top ten with young females. Is it possible some of these young females are watching with male spouses? I guess. Still impressive (Not that the NFL needs more proof how huge they are)
  • CBS is the biggest and most successful network by a mile, these days. But if there’s any proof that they tend to skew older and more male, look no further than the fact that they only place two shows in this list and they are comedies – TBBT and HIMYM. I think this only cements the fact that a Thursday 2 hour comedy block is coming sooner rather than later. If MAD LOVE breaks out this Spring, I could definitely see CBS making that either their 8p Monday or Thursday anchor and HIMYM occupying the other 8p slot with TBBT moving to 9p Thurs. That would certainly cut into GREYS and make CBS even stronger on Thurs. (It also makes so much sense why CBS scheduled MAD LOVE on Monday rather than Thursday. It has more breakout potential on Monday without IDOL)
  • More than half these shows have been on the air at least seven seasons. So much for younger people being more fickle.
  • Yes COUGAR TOWN loses a chunk of its MODERN FAMILY lead in. But in this young demo, it’s stronger than TBBT and DWTS results show. Couple that with deserved critical acclaim and I think Season 3 is a lock. It’s not an accident (I think) that ABC will air all of its 22 eps behind MODERN FAMILY, even though they are using that prime real estate to try out MR. SUNSHINE. I think ABC knows critical and commercial hits are hard to come by and anyone that thinks it’s a hit solely because of its time slot needs only to be reminded of all those flops that aired behind GREYS and LOST.
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