Serialized Shows VS The Ratings

Posted: April 14, 2012 by Aaron M Zaffuto in ABC, Fox, NBC, Ratings
Tags: , , , , , ,

Lets get started….

I wanted to make this post to show what serialized shows are and why most often they fail quickly.

Serialized shows are most rewarding to the fans who stick around till the end since there is greater connection with the show and often get a rewarding conclusion for sticking around.

What is a “Serialized” show

A series of television programs that rely on a continuing plot that unfolds in a sequential episode by episode fashion. Serials typically follow main story arcs that span entire television seasons or even the full run of the series, which distinguishes them from traditional episodic television that relies on more stand-alone episodes.

Serials rely on keeping the full nature of the story hidden and revealing elements episode by episode to keep viewers tuning in to learn more. Often these shows employ recapping segments at the beginning and cliffhangers at the end of each episode. Such shows also place a demand on viewers to tune in to every episode to follow the plot

Serials are typically contrasted with procedural drama which rely on a more stand-alone, often referred to as “case-of-the-week”, format.

Ratings:

ALL serialized show fall in the ratings, even LOST did. As the stories get more and more complex often viewers begin to tune out. The best may experience a brief ratings uptick in their 2nd season but the trend is almost always down. That is why new shows that fall in ratings and don’t stabilize at an acceptable level are almost always canceled since there is little history to show it will grow.

FlashForward:

One of my favorite shows. It was ABC try at replacing the ending LOST and yes they gave the show everything they got. Millions on spent marking the show it premiered to very high numbers but that didn’t last long. As the show was approaching it mid-season hiatus ABC tried to reboot the show by releasing the first half on DVD, doing recap shows and spending even more to market the show. I returned to series lows.

The Event:

NBC’s shot at the LOST audience The Event it fell even quicker then FlashForward.

(Click image to make larger)

Lost

Chuck

NBC’s shot at an action/comedy/drama became the little show that could. Chuck never had impressive numbers but they were never awful either. During the first season run the writers strike accrued and only 13 of 22 episodes were filmed. So NBC renewed it for a 2nd season which briefly improved on season one’s numbers only to fall back into cancellation territory. The fans stepped up and the show made it for 5 seasons!

Jericho 

Is the perfect and unfortunate example of why shows with falling ratings are not brought back. After a massive cliffhanger fans campaigned and got their show back with just 7 episodes to close the story. Those episodes were series low ratings.

(Chart coming soon)

Also working on one for Terra Nova

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