Monday, November 5, 2012

Post-Superbowl Show Announced by CBS: Is it a Big Deal?

CBS announced today that its hit freshman drama ELEMENTARY, which provides a modern take on Sherlock Holmes in New York City, will receive what CBS called the coveted post-Super Bowl slot. A special episode of ELEMENTARY will be broadcast following CBS Sports' coverage of SUPER BOWL XLVII, on Sunday, February 3rd.

Is this a big deal? Does the time slot after the Super Bowl make a difference to a show's success anytime thereafter?

You can decide for yourself.

Here's a list of post-Super Bowl shows from the past 20 years:

Year Superbowl Network Show Viewers Share
2012 XLVI NBC The Voice 37.6 Million NA
2011 XLV Fox Glee 26.8 Million NA
2010 XLIV CBS Undercover Boss 38.6 Million NA
2009 XLIII NBC The Office 22.9 Million 21%
2008 XLII Fox House 29 Million 27%
2007 XLI CBS Criminal Minds 26 Million 26%
2006 XL ABC Grey's Anatomy 37.8 Million 27%
2005 XXXIX Fox The Simpsons 23 Million 22%
American Dad!
2004 XXVIII CBS Survivor: All-Stars 33.5 Million 32%
2003 XXXVII ABC Alias 17 Million 20%
2002 XXXVI Fox Malcolm in the Middle 21.4 Million 21%
2001 XXXV CBS Survivor: The Australian Outback 45 Million 39%
2000 XXXIV ABC The Practice 23.8 Million 27%
1999 XXXIII Fox Family Guy 22 Million 21%
The Simpsons
1998 XXXII NBC 3rd Rock from the Sun 33.6 Million 34%
1997 XXXI Fox The X-Files 29 Million 29%
1996 XXX NBC Friends 52 Million 46%
1995 XXIX ABC Extreme 22.5 Million 25%

As you can see, only Friends, Glee and The Office have been incredible hits. And these shows were not broadcast after the game during their Freshman seasons. So, the answer to me, is no. Hyping a show after the Super Bowl presents only a minimal advantage, if any.

ELEMENTARY, which has won its Thursday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in key ratings measures in every broadcast against regularly scheduled programming this season, is averaging 14.2 million viewers, 4.6/11 in adults 25-54 and 3.5/10 in adults 18-49. ELEMENTARY ranks as the #2 new series on television this season, only slightly behind CBS’ VEGAS (14.5 million viewers).

The series has also opened strong in international markets. ELEMENTARY is the number one new series in Canada, airing on the Global Network, where it wins its time period in viewers and key demographic categories. In the UK, ELEMENTARY ranks as Sky Living's third highest rated series since 2002, and the top-rated launch of a drama acquisition in the channel's history.

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as eccentric, mischievous detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson, a former surgeon turned sober companion. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sobriety coach. Now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson.

Also, Aidan Quinn stars as Capt. Thomas Gregson, who knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, along with Jon Michael Hill, who portrays Det. Marcus Bell, a top-notch investigator who is initially skeptical of Holmes and his unorthodox methods.

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