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Story: 'Heroes,' 'Lost,' 'Jericho' lose viewers (time for a change?)

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Story: 'Heroes,' 'Lost,' 'Jericho' lose viewers (time for a change?)

Old 05-02-07, 10:53 AM
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Story: 'Heroes,' 'Lost,' 'Jericho' lose viewers (time for a change?)

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...8515.htmlstory

May 2, 2007

From the Associated Press

For three of television's most popular new serial dramas, absence apparently made viewers' hearts grow cold.

NBC's "Heroes," ABC's "Lost" and CBS' "Jericho" all returned from lengthy hiatuses recently to find a significant part of their audiences gone.

"Heroes" was seen by just under 12 million people in its return, according to Nielsen Media Research. Although that clearly established the freshman drama as NBC's most popular show, it's down from the season's 14.7 million viewer average.

"Lost" had 11.9 million viewers last week, a sharp fall from the season average of 15.1 million, Nielsen said. "Jericho" was CBS' most pleasant surprise this season, but the 7.6 million people who watched last week was down 2 million from its average.

To be fair, each of the shows now faces stiffer competition than earlier this year. But the results are likely to affect how networks schedule these dramas in the future. Since viewers don't like the narratives broken up by repeats or by extended breaks, more will probably be scheduled like Fox's "24." That show doesn't start its season until January and runs straight through to the end in May.
We were discussing this in the Heroes thread. I think most of us would rather have these shows scheduled like 24 is.

I think it's time for the networks to break the very long tv season into 2 parts separated by the Thanksgiving and New Year holidays. That would be around 1 1/2 months of repeats of comedies and dramas that are not serials.

Then the networks can schedule the 24's, Heroes, Lost's & Jericho's starting from mid January on.

Chris
Old 05-02-07, 11:00 AM
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They are just now firuring people do not like repeats and breaks?!
Old 05-02-07, 11:10 AM
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But each of those shows' lost 2M are the same people. They just got DVRs during the breaks and are no longer counted.
Old 05-02-07, 11:14 AM
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Lost has been back from hiatus for almost 3 months. The article makes it sound like they just had a long break. I'd guess the loss in viewer's is mostly related to its time change when it came back. Did they even average 15 million in the first 6 episodes of the season or is that last year's average?
Old 05-02-07, 11:17 AM
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We are a nation with ADD. We lose interest in things with incredible speed, and the fact that networks put shows on hiatus (or cancel them altogether) after a handful of episodes isn't helping. Figure it out, network execs.
Old 05-02-07, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Cusm
They are just now figuring people do not like repeats and breaks?!
Yeah right?
Old 05-02-07, 11:35 AM
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I know the break hurt my viewership of Heroes. I was into it when it started. Then it went off the air for a few months. When it came back, my enthusiasm for it was pretty low. I recorded them on tape & they have just sat there until a week ago when I got bored enough to watch a few episodes. Not a good sign when the only reason to watch a show is bordom.
Old 05-02-07, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim
Lost has been back from hiatus for almost 3 months. The article makes it sound like they just had a long break. I'd guess the loss in viewer's is mostly related to its time change when it came back. Did they even average 15 million in the first 6 episodes of the season or is that last year's average?
Lost was pulling about 16m an episode before the break.
Old 05-02-07, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Cusm
They are just now firuring people do not like repeats and breaks?!
They're television executives... did you expect them to be that sharp?
Old 05-02-07, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by resinrats
I know the break hurt my viewership of Heroes. I was into it when it started. Then it went off the air for a few months. When it came back, my enthusiasm for it was pretty low. I recorded them on tape & they have just sat there until a week ago when I got bored enough to watch a few episodes. Not a good sign when the only reason to watch a show is bordom.
And Heroes has been excellent since it came back!

Chris
Old 05-02-07, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by resinrats
I know the break hurt my viewership of Heroes. I was into it when it started. Then it went off the air for a few months. When it came back, my enthusiasm for it was pretty low. I recorded them on tape & they have just sat there until a week ago when I got bored enough to watch a few episodes. Not a good sign when the only reason to watch a show is bordom.

I think heroes has been kicking ass. It is my favorite show out there right now.
Old 05-02-07, 01:09 PM
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I think the problem has more to do with "Nielsen Media Research" then anything else. I don't know why anyone, (reporters, networks, fans) even acknowledges them as a credible source.
Old 05-02-07, 01:10 PM
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The problem with Heroes is that I forgot what the hell was going on when it came back. There are so many characters on that show, it's hard to keep track of all the plotlines.
Old 05-02-07, 01:19 PM
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This just in:

TV execs have discovered that water is wet and the sky is blue.

In other news:

I've realized that I could've contributed to the loss in viewers by not starting the "Lost" thread at precisely 12:00 am. I'll try better with the "Heroes" thread, lest that one is bogarted too.

BTW...."Jericho" had viewers?
Old 05-02-07, 01:22 PM
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As a fan of all three shows I can say that with so much going on in each show, a prolong hiatus makes keeping track of all the storylines and players damn near impossible. If someone like me, who likes serialized dramas, gets frustrated keeping track of these things after a long wait, I can't imagine what the average person thinks.

I read a story recently about how ratings for The Sopranos were also down. I was watching the show this past week and had no freaking idea who "Vito Jr." was until someone mentioned his father was gay. When you have real life to deal with, plus a plethora of entertainment choices, you're brain isn't going to keep all the facts straight on what the hell is going on on Lost. At least mine isn't.
Old 05-02-07, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lukewarmwater
I think the problem has more to do with "Nielsen Media Research" then anything else. I don't know why anyone, (reporters, networks, fans) even acknowledges them as a credible source.
They're the only game in town. Do you know of any other credible source that measures TV viewership?
Old 05-02-07, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlieK
They're the only game in town. Do you know of any other credible source that measures TV viewership?
I wouldn't consider the Nielsen's "credible". Particularly since not EVERY viewer is represented in their "club".

It's time for a change. Nielsen's monopolization of deciding what passes for "entertainment" on television needs to end.
Old 05-02-07, 01:48 PM
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I tivoed Heroes and I must admit it took me 2 weeks to watch the episodes, but it is freakin amazing!!! But because of the break, it just to me longer to get back into it.
Old 05-02-07, 01:54 PM
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Honestly, I'd prefer that all TV ran in "24" style.
Old 05-02-07, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rogue588
I wouldn't consider the Nielsen's "credible". Particularly since not EVERY viewer is represented in their "club".
Are you suggesting that Nielsen needs to be in 112 million TV households and collect data for 284 million people for them to be credible? That's a pretty tall order, not to mention incredibly impractical.

By next year, they'll be in about 10,000 homes recruited by geography, sex, race, age, etc. to be as representative of the country as possible. Ten thousand is more than enough to extrapolate what the country as a whole is watching.

Do you think there's a show out there that's watched more than 'American Idol' and Nielsen's just cooking the books? Do you think they're underreporting shows like 'Lost', 'Heroes', or 'Veronica Mars' due to some kind of agenda?

Originally Posted by Rogue588
It's time for a change. Nielsen's monopolization of deciding what passes for "entertainment" on television needs to end.
This is currently the currency of television, and Nielsen does have a monoploy on it. That doesn't mean they're incorrect, though.

Ultimately, there needs to be some kind of system set up to gauge who is watching what. That's how commerical time is sold, which is what keeps networks on the air. What alternative would you suggest?
Old 05-02-07, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlieK
Are you suggesting that Nielsen needs to be in 112 million TV households and collect data for 284 million people for them to be credible? That's a pretty tall order, not to mention incredibly impractical.
Works for me. In this day and age, exactly why is this "incredibly impractical"?

Originally Posted by CharlieK
By next year, they'll be in about 10,000 homes recruited by geography, sex, race, age, etc. to be as representative of the country as possible. Ten thousand is more than enough to extrapolate what the country as a whole is watching.

Do you think there's a show out there that's watched more than 'American Idol' and Nielsen's just cooking the books? Do you think they're underreporting shows like 'Lost', 'Heroes', or 'Veronica Mars' due to some kind of agenda?
To use one of your examples...if AI can handle the "voting" why couldn't Nielsen? Why would I have to be one of the "chosen ones" to get one of their cherished boxes or "notebooks" to tell them what shows I watch? Obviously i'm not being represented if AI is one of the hottest shows on the air right now..
Old 05-02-07, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim
Lost has been back from hiatus for almost 3 months. The article makes it sound like they just had a long break. I'd guess the loss in viewer's is mostly related to its time change when it came back. Did they even average 15 million in the first 6 episodes of the season or is that last year's average?
The first 6 episodes averaged 16.7 million if I recall correctly, which is similar to the Season 1 average and about 1-2 million lower than the Season 2 average.

At least the falling ratings after hiatus, certainly with Heroes and LOST, has nothing to do with the quality of the episodes we've been given -- both shows have aired among their strongest hours in their respective runs ("String Theory" for Heroes, "Flashes Before Your Eyes", "The Man From Tallahassee", "One Of Us", "D.O.C." for LOST) since returning from hiatus.
Old 05-02-07, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hardercore
At least the falling ratings after hiatus, certainly with Heroes and LOST, has nothing to do with the quality of the episodes we've been given -- both shows have aired among their strongest hours in their respective runs ("String Theory" for Heroes, "Flashes Before Your Eyes", "The Man From Tallahassee", "One Of Us", "D.O.C." for LOST) since returning from hiatus.
Yes, but you can't negate how bad poorly received the 6 episode Lost "mini-season" was. It is an ensemble show and for the first six episodes they removed the ensemble. For gods sake, they gave us an entire episode about a tattoo. Come on. I can see this playing a bigger role in the decline in viewers than the break, but definitely a combination of the two is to blame.

Plus the creators were still in "stretch-it-out" mode for the first six episodes. The drop in viewers helped push them along and stop stringing us along, which has resulted in better episodes for the remaining 2/3rds of the season.

Last edited by Michael Corvin; 05-02-07 at 02:55 PM.
Old 05-02-07, 02:55 PM
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I'm not naive enough to think that my cable provider isn't monitoring what my cable boxes are tuned to and/or recording at any given time. I wouldn't mind that data being shared with Nielsen if it actually gave me a vote.
Old 05-02-07, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim
Lost has been back from hiatus for almost 3 months. The article makes it sound like they just had a long break. I'd guess the loss in viewer's is mostly related to its time change when it came back. Did they even average 15 million in the first 6 episodes of the season or is that last year's average?
The time change and the general public just getting tired of having their chain jerked.

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