Here are some numbers for new series: CBS’ “NCIS: Hawai’i” is averaging 8.7 million viewers, when looking at Nielsen’s live program plus seven-day time-shifted ratings (L7).
CBS’ “FBI: International” is 8.4 million; NBC’s “La Brea,” 8.1 million; CBS’ “Ghosts,” 7.8 million and CBS’ “CSI: Vegas,” 7.3 million for L+7. Further down the list -- NBC’s “Ordinary Joe,” 4.3 million; ABC’s “The Wonder Years,” 3.6 million and Fox’s “Alter Ego,” 3 million.
More recent Nielsen live program plus three days of time-shifted metric
(L3) has ABC’s “Queens” at 2.3 million, Fox’s “Our Kind of People” at 2 million. Tops for the CW: “Legends of the Hidden Temple” with 302,000 viewers.
The top five shows for adults 18-49 range from 1.0 (NBC’s “La Brea) to 0.2 (NBC’s “Home Sweet Home”).
We've walked this floor before -- underwhelming TV audience data that has many shrugging their shoulders. Can someone please define a "hit" in the streaming age?
Well, of course, there are plenty of other metrics we haven’t addressed -- including comparative measures of ad-supported and ad-free programming. We also didn’t include viewing on Paramount+, Peacock, Hulu, or Tubi, because that data isn’t easily accessible.
Leap to the big topic here: A one-stop, cross-platform, verifiable, MRC-approved metric. Nielsen says it is trying -- and it may arrive in late 2022.
Other measuring companies are also looking to pounce. Looking for a new style panel-based measurement. Census-based? Server-based? We await.
It explains why NBCUniversal -- for years now -- remains upset. Do something, they would say. The network has a point.
Analysts and business journalists ponder the obvious. Beyond audience targeting, what are the top new TV shows U.S. viewers watch?
Is it Netflix’s “Squid Game”? Nielsen says “Squid Game” is at 3.26 billion minutes viewed for the week ending October 3 -- almost three times that of its nearest competitor. Is this the best new show? A hit? Compared to other streaming TV content, compared to say “NCIS: Hawai’i.”
Of course, here we are only looking at Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu and Apple TV+. And if we expand this list, do we include all ad-free content or not? (Hello, Hulu.)
And that’s the rub. Lots of questions remain -- for viewers, advertisers, TV producers and prospective competitors big and small.