In The TV Show Forest This Series Fell To A 0.0 Demo Rating... Did It Make A Sound?

There is something always disturbing about published ratings of TV shows that get this number via Nielsen measures: a 0.0.

In the past, and even now, this could be represented by what are called “hash” marks -- which would either zero or a number that is too small to be important.

Of course, we know someone was watching somewhere: The director, the producer and technical staff of the show, family and friends of the cast or on-air talent.

Funny to see business stories with data that seems to suggest that -- in theory -- no one anywhere was watching.

For the first episode of the final season of The CW's “Roswell, New Mexico”, the show recorded 430,000 total Nielsen-measured viewers, according to one TV publication and a “a 0.0 demo rating.”

This was down from the previous seasonal averages 550,000 and a 0.1 in the demo. The publication didn’t classify what specific “demo” -- but one can assume it was the broad and long-used, but now slightly out of favor one of adults 18-49. (TV Watch confirmed this through other sources.)



Now, of course, this is not the whole story. This published data didn’t reveal whether this measure included time-shifted viewing through three or seven days, nor that of any video-on-demand, or streaming viewing.

For sure we could also identify perhaps many other U.S. TV shows on small cable networks, on local digitally based over-the-air TV networks, or other platforms, that also regularly get a 0.0 rating in a demo.

All this amplifies the issue of our outmoded TV measurement system, as headlines have blared over the last several years and months in this publication and elsewhere. Data credibility has been iffy at best. Something -- or someone -- has gone missing.

Perhaps for more edification of this issue viewers and business observers should look at another summer show on the CW -- also on its farewell tour like “Roswell” -- posting a 0.0 in the demo (and 320,000 viewers).

The name of that show: “In the Dark.”

1 comment about "In The TV Show Forest This Series Fell To A 0.0 Demo Rating... Did It Make A Sound?".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 10, 2022 at 10:10 a.m.

    Wayne, the implication in this "TV publication's" story is that Nielsen is not measuring the audience properly---at least that's what I would draw from your article. But it's entirely possible that with a panel of only 40,000 homes that a show with a very low rating---a tiny audience----that some demo comes up with no Nielsen homes tuned in per minute for a specific telecast. The only way to cure that so that it never happens no matter how small the audience  is for the industry to pay for Nielsen to expand its panel to 10 million homes or more. Then you would probably never get a zero rating---but is the cost worth it for what amounts to an exception? Who will foot the bill to rectify this situation---the big networks?

    As I understand it, the plan for Nielsen's new "big data" national rating service calls for the melding of set usage data from STB and ACR panels that may involve many millions of homes---so, in theory, we won't have the zero rating problem in the future. Sadly, we  won't know who is watching the commercials, either---but that's a subject for another article.

Next story loading loading..