Oh Grow Up Ratings
Pilot Episode aired September 22, 1999
overall rating / share / 18-49 year-olds rating
September 23, 1999
Hmmmm. What does that mean? Well, 7.4 represents the number of households watching Oh Grow Up last night. A rating of 7.4 equals about 10.7 million viewers. The 11 means that 11% of the TVs that were on in America were tuned in to Oh Grow Up. And 5.6 represents the 7 million 18-49 year-olds watching. There. That's what that means.
Hmmmm. So what does that mean? Well, one of my standards for analyzing ratings data is to look at the share. Anything in the single digits is death on a major network. UPN and the WB never climb out of the single digits, but for the American Broadcasting Corporation, that just doesn't cut it. 11 is, in fact, two digits, so it's not an immediate curtain for our little show. The other standard is that anything with a 10 rating or higher is a bona fide hit. At 7.4, we're not threatening to set any records.
Ahhhhh. So what does that mean? Well, in and of themselves, the numbers are not so telling. They have to be compared with the numbers around them. On the other networks at that time, The West Wing scored a 12.0/19. That is one of those over-10 ratings I was talking about. But even that wasn't the top show of the hour. The CMA's 13.4/21 is a very impressive showing and took a lot of wind out of the other networks' sails. They were the the big winner of the night. We were third. Bear in mind, however, that we were third up against some very stiff competition. We did not lose to FOX, or God forbid, UPN or the WB. And we did not turn in embarrassing numbers. Meanwhile, the Country Music Awards are not going to be on every week, so let's hope we can find our way into at least second place very soon.
What else? The other important number isn't actually listed there. It's retention. We need to hold on to Drew Carey's audience. That's our real task. No one is expecting us to bring new viewers to Wednesday night, but they are expecting us to keep the ones they already have. From Drew Carey into Oh Grow Up, 85% of the viewers stayed put. That's decent. I think 90% is a very safe level, so we can use some improvement there. I do fear that any slippage in this area could destroy us. And admittedly, i thought more people would be lured in by all of the promos that have been running. Because of the media blitz, I anticipated inflated premiere numbers followed by a second week drop. Now I have to wish that fate on The West Wing.
So that's my take on the numbers. My initial reaction was disappointment. I didn't want to hear about that big drop=off. They just didn't look like the numbers of a 'hit show.' Of course, unless we displace Friends from the top sitcom spot, I'm not going to be satisfied.
Sooooo... what does it all mean? For now, it all means very little. We've established a baseline, a ground zero. From here we either climb or sink. Those are hte numbers that will matter -- a week from now, a month from now. Then the trends will begin to form and our fate will become more clear.
September 24, 1999
NBC flies high with West Wing
The early Nielsen returns look encouraging for NBC's The West Wing, as the highly anticipated White House drama collected lots of viewers' votes in Nielsen households Wednesday opposite tough competition from CBS' broadcast of the Country Music Awards.
It's too soon to project that NBC has a winner, though, especially since the show's progress among young adults was surprisingly modest vs. the network's year-ago results. West Wing built impressively on NBC's previous-hour results, but skewed fairly old and couldn't match the previous night's adults 18-49 numbers earned by the ABC drama Once and Again.
The West Wing vote count represents a 3% increase over year-ago 18-49 results in the slot from comedies ``3rd Rock From the Sun'' and ``NewsRadio.'' Though the year-ago figures were somewhat inflated by a NewsRadio episode that wrote out Phil Hartman's character, West Wing's 3% build is still an unspectacular advance for a show consistently tagged with front-runner status among the fall's new candidates.
The political drama also found itself somewhat overshadowed by NBC's season premiere of Law & Order and CBS' Country Music Awards, which strummed its sweetest tune in adults 18-34 in three years. West Wing's biggest handicap was its lead-in from another sluggish "Dateline NBC." Viewers may be wearying of the five-night-a-week newsmagazine if early-season results are any indication.
The night also saw ABC doing fairly well with the debuting 9:30 sitcom Oh Grow Up. Grow retained 85% of its 18-49 lead-in from the season premiere of Drew Carey. Last year in the 9:30 slot, Whose Line Is It, Anyway? retained just 73% of its 18-49 lead-in.
As anticipated, ABC's comedies couldn't keep up with year-ago results now that ``Dharma & Greg'' has switched to Tuesdays. Most encouraging results came from the night's new leadoff hitter, Two Guys and a Girl, which won its slot in the 18-49 demographic and improved vs. its season premiere a year ago by 3 share points in adults 18-34. Norm picked up some of the slack at 8:30 with a 5% build on its 18-49 lead-in from Two Guys.
With West Wing off to a good start and ABC's comedy falloffs, NBC now has a shot at passing ABC and controlling the night's 18-49 race. NBC edged ahead of ABC by a 0.2 ratings-point margin in Sept. 22 nightlong results.
Fox remained trapped in its premiere week from hell. The outlook is getting really bleak for Get Real, which barely managed half the 18-49 rating of any Big Four slot competitor and fell below the orbit of UPN's sixth-season premiere of Star Trek: Voyager.
--Tom Bierbaum and Josef Adalian Reuters
September 29, 1999
On Wednesday, an estimated 37 million viewers watched all or part of The 33rd Annual Country Music Awards, which led CBS to a win among viewers and all key demos.
-- The Hollywood Reporter
ABC's Once and Again looked great on Tuesday and Wednesday's Oh Grow Up has performed respectably so far. FOX has flopped with its two premieres so far, Wednesday's Get Real and Thursday's Action.
CBS' Country Music Awards won Wednesday night in homes, viewers and all 18-49 and 25-54 breakouts. The kudocast's ratings also grew by 19% vs. last year in women 18-34. NBC's The West Wing got off ot a good (albheit older-skewing) start, giving the Peacock a chance to wrest the overall Wednesday 18-49 lead from ABC. The Alphabet got an OK start at 9:30 from Oh Grow Up, which retained 85% of its 18-49 lead-in.
-- Daily Variety