My Crazy Ex-Media Plan: Always Entertaining And Award-Winning - In Small Doses

Fractionalizing TV ratings, a skyrocketing number of programs, more entertainment noise and “finding an audience” continue to plague TV executives.

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.

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