Mark Pedowitz, president of The CW, made this last reference in talking about two CW shows which aren’t quite pulling their weight -- at least from a traditional Nielsen perspective: “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin.”
“Jane” has been averaging around 1.05 million Nielsen overall average viewers and a 0.4 rating among 18-49 viewers. “Crazy Ex” is about half of this: 553,000 overall viewers; a 0.2 number among 18-49 viewers.
Both shows are well below CW’s seasonal averages in prime time: 1.9 million viewers and a 0.7 rating in 18-49 (860,000 viewers).
But those shows have other things going for them -- both are critically acclaimed enough to get nominations -- such as at this year’s Golden Globes.
So in that regard, Pedowitz says: “It has nothing to do with numbers.”.He says you hope they “find an audience.” Others programmers might say they have “feel” for how certain shows might do -- apart from whatever obvious TV currency is out and about.
Sure. As long as someone is paying the bills. The TV eco-system of TV production is always fraught with danger: Production costs to consider, license fees from networks, and the price advertisers will pay for commercials -- just to name a few business measures.
Pedowitz isn’t alone in his thinking in an age of fractionalizing viewing. Critical success can lead to social-media buzz (sometimes), which in turn will drive young consumers back to TV (again, sometimes).
And perhaps on-air and paid off-air marketing efforts for a TV show will do its job -- especially when it comes to telling potential viewers about all that critical acclaim.
Maybe this is a trend for some -- especially with new digital TV/video platforms.
Netflix has also counted snagging big awards for its shows. It did so on Sunday high for “The Crown,” winning the Golden Globes Best Drama award — and hopefully pulled in new consumers into its subscription model for the long term. For years, premium cable channels HBO, Showtime and Starz -- to name a few -- have done the same.
Back to ad-supported TV: Some expectations of high critical marks can fly in the face of now data-driven hunger TV marketers -- those who no longer make deals in buying programs, rather in buying audiences -- and not just determining all this from Nielsen data.
We are left with nebulous program factors -- or perhaps some keen mysterious metrics -- that TV networks haven’t shared with business press.
"Data" to some. Maybe it's "instinct" to others.