Saturday, March 03, 2007

TVQ, The Year Long Season..(And What's The Deal With Those Hewitts?)

The U.S. TV 'season' needs to be redefined. It used to be a whack of new shows would premiere in the fall, usually September...and then depending how they fared, some would survive and some would be cancelled...and a slew of mid-season replacement series would hit the air, usually in January.

Not anymore.

In the past decade, we've watched as several of the U.S. cable nets began to premiere new series in the summertime, some to moderate success. HBO and Showtime began specifically premiering series 'off prime', as in during the so-called 'down times' like March and June.

And over the next several weeks, there will be no less than 11 series premiering, and at least 5 favourites returning to the airwaves. That's a lot of new TV to have to keep track of again.

This USA Today article examines how the networks have fared thus far with their 2006/07 slate and profiles some of these new series. And this complimentary USA Today article attempts to explain this emerging trend in programming and scheduling. Most of it seems to relate to either trying to avoid 'The Idol', or trying to let existing series eventually find an audience.

At any rate, it seems we're almost at the point of expanding 'pilot season' to being all year round; and should start to question the value of 'sweeps months' and how relevant they really are anymore.

Nevertheless, these new shows TVQ better be spectacular.

TVQ measures the familiarity and appeal of all regularly scheduled broadcast programs, in all scheduled dayparts, to determine targeted audience attraction.

The strength of a program is not always apparent in Nielsen ratings. Programs often succeed when their early TVQ Scores predict on-air success, before the Nielsen ratings can catch up. Programs can achieve strong Nielsen ratings and not have strong appeal. The weak appeal is camouflaged by the "lead-in" and "lead-out" programs.

TVQ measures how much an audience likes the programs.

When I was on U.S. shows and we were looking for a 'star', network and company execs would always be asking if the person we might suggest had 'good TVQ'. I always wondered what that meant exactly. Good 'television' quotient? Bottom line was whether the performer was recognizable to audiences and were they generally liked by viewers.

But looking into it today, stars seem to get categorized as to whether or not they have good Performer Q.

Performer Q measures the familiarity and appeal of personalities in a variety of categories to determine targeted audience attraction. Performer Q data enables clients to make informed decisions about a specific personality's demographic appeal and/or examine the field of possible alternatives.

So in a (somewhat) related topic (and speaking of returning supposed favs), will someone explain to me the Jennifer Love Hewitt attraction?

No offense, but 'Ghost Whisperer' is like watching paint dry while having a tooth extracted... yet it continues to perform well. And a quick review of J LoH's other recent movies and/or television shows reveals nothing to get excited least not in the acting department. Then why the love? And the answer can't just be her boobs. There are many actresses with nice boobs. In fact, most if not all of them have nice boobs. Besides, a good portion of her fans appear to be female. So how come her TVQ/Performer Q is so darn high?

It can't all be attributed to 'Party Of Five', can it?

SONG&ARTIST? - "Say that you'll be true
Say that you'll be true
Say that you'll be true
And never leave me blue..."


Juniper said...

More shows to keep track of? I'll need help! I'm not even sure anymore what I was watching before Christmas/Fall. I remember watching and taping something like 12 hours (crazy for me) of t.v.

The ones I'm still watching:
Bones, House, Heroes, Criminal Minds,

And the ones I'm not but someone in my house is:
The Class and Jericho

The ones that ended or I've dropped:
Rescue Me and CSI (I'll watch re-runs), that Sunset show, 24, and others I can't even recall now....

And the ones that I hope come back:
Sunset 60 and 6 Degrees

And now new shows.... I'll need a digital recorder!!!

Pynchon said...

Never watched "Ghost Whisperer", but my good lady has. She says that it is "watchable".

I'd call that being damned with faint praise.

Jennifer Love Hewitt used to have nice boobs, but they are not what they were.

CAROLINE said...

You underestimate how deep the POF audience loyalty went. I was involved in the PR on that show and we got volumes of mail (like 15x normal). Thank God that was before the web really took off or my life would have been hell.

But I digress. I believe the audience for Ghost Whisperer is old. We've had this discussion before, but it is less to do with her (though she is perfect for that role, polite, sweet, like the granddaughter you never had because yours is a self indulgent emo chick) and more to do with the subject matter. As people hit the back nine, there is comfort in thinking there are nice people like Jennifer Love to help you cross over if you should get stuck.

As for sweeps, they serve the networks more than the audience. They still need them to set ad rates. At some point advertisers are going to cry foul and I think go towards the online model ... you pay based on click throughs so I think eventually they'll commit based on estimates and either get charged more or less based on actual performance. I know a few savvy media buyers who've already started doing that to a lesser degree here, so I am sure the US is the same if not worse.

As for the digital recorder ... once you get one, you will never go back. In 14 months, I have managed to kill two already and my third's on the blink (that's in 14 months). The lesson? Don't buy, rent.

Webs said...

What? I got to the picture of her boobs and stopped reading.

And I saw "Mean Girls" last night.

I can't see straight.

Hope your kid's OK. Let us know.

DMc said...

I'm fascinated by the TVQ thing. I really am. I would love to sit down and talk about it with someone who really knows how it works. It's always struck me as an interesting metric.

As for Love, I remember when Po5 came out the reaction to her being very interesting. Women were right there with her because she was very sympathetic on the show. You rooted for her. And men liked her because...

...well don't make me say it.

Thing is I think that carried on. She did a bunch of interviews where she put it out there that she seemed to be a grounded, kind of conservative girl. She didn't mind sexy but she wouldn't go nude, she didn't splash her sex exploits all over the gossip pages, etc etc.

so now -- she's got no baggage that middle america or older people can get twisted about. she seems non threatening.

And men still like her for the same reasons.

Bill Cunningham said...

JLH is perceived as sweet and sexy yet isn't perceived as being offensive. She's white toast.

As for the show, GW is far better than MEDIUM which is getting predictable beyond measure. The only thing better about MEDIUM is the opening title music.

I would say that if we were to make a comparison - MEDIUM = LAW & ORDER and GHOST = L&O:SVU. It has a "slightly" harder edge.

wcdixon said...

So if I read you right Bill, sounds like you're watching 'Ghost Whisperer'...for the stories. Hmmmm.

Bill Cunningham said...

No, but I've seen several episodes. Mostly because several friends and acquaintances have performed on the show.

When I have seen the show it has been "okay television." An hour's worth of diversion with an occaisional bit of cool.

It isn't my destination on fridays by any means. Neither is MEDIUM.

If you're going after truly offensive shows you should check out CLOSE TO HOME. That's a show for a WHY? case study.