Monday, February 8, 2016

Cable Ratings PREDICTIONS: February 6 - 8, 2016

Every so often I will publish my predictions for the ratings of some of the shows airing soon. These posts will be published on whenever I feel like taking the time to write them out, as they take some time to do. The predictions are entirely my own, and I justify each one with some information. I will be predicting the ratings for FROM THE BOTTOM UP, BEOWULF, BLACK SAILS, SHAMELESS, BILLIONS, FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE, and LOVE & HIP HOP. Enjoy!

SATURDAY (2/6): 
FROM THE BOTTOM UP, on Centric, is entering its fourth week on air. The show premiered to 105,000 (on Centric), then rose to 146,000 for its second week, and was back down to 102,000 for week 3. With only 3 episodes of data to use as reference, the accuracy of the prediction will have much greater margin of error. Assuming the 146K is a fluke, I would expect a little under 100K for the fourth episode (somewhere around 90K-100K), but if I'm taking the 146K into account, then I'd predict a soft recovery somewhere in the range of 115K-120K in viewers.
BEOWULF, on Esquire, is in a similar situation as this will only be the third episode of the series. The show premiered January 23 to 267,000 viewers, and dropped to 199,000 for the second one. It's not as easy to predict numbers for lower rated networks as the numbers tend fluctuate more than other networks, but if we follow the general trend, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see the numbers drop to the low 100,000's, or possibly even just below (95K-100K).
BLACK SAILS, on Starz, aired the third episode of its third season this past Saturday. The first episode of the season had 843,000 viewers which was on par with the 860K of the second season premiere, and 846K of the series premiere in 2014. The second episode of the season had 759,000, which was similar to the 746K from the second season, but quite a difference from the 840K from the first season. The first season and second season had 671,000 and 691,000 for their third episodes respectively. For the most part, the ratings from the 3 seasons have been consistent so far, so I would expect the ratings for the third episode to be somewhere in the range of 670K - 695K, but I'm leaning more towards the 670K figure.

SUNDAY (2/7):
SHAMELESS, on Showtime, aired the fifth episode of its sixth season on Super Bowl Sunday. The show aired at 9pm so it was entirely encompassed by the Super Bowl. This will be the show's fifth time airing against the "Ratings Monster" (didn't in Season 3), so I have plenty of data to help guide this prediction. Excluding season 1, on the nights that the show aired against the Super Bowl, the ratings have been the lowest for the season. In 2011, it had 953,000 viewers (out of a 947K season average) In 2012, the episode had 1.01M viewers (out of a 1.49M average), in 2014 it had 1.22M (out of a 1.57M average), and in 2015 it had 1.26M viewers (out of a 1.58M average). The 2012 episode was down 47% from the season average, 2014 was down 29%, and 2015 was down 26%. Super Bowl 46 (2012) was seen by 111.35M viewers, Super Bowl 48 (2014) had 112.19M, Super Bowl 49 had 114.44M viewers (and 96.95M  during the 9pm hour), and according to preliminary figures, the coveted Super Bowl 50 "only" brought in 100.00M viewers (but that will most definitely be adjusted up), and during the 9pm hour it had dropped to 96.03M (very similar to last year). So far this season has averaged 1.62M viewers, so assuming that the Super Bowl episode drops between 25% and 30% (based on previous years data), I would expect between 1.13M and 1.21M viewers.
BILLIONS (also on Showtime) aired the fourth episode of the inaugural season this past Sunday. The first 2 episodes of the season were released early, so their Live+SD viewership was at 904,000 and 950,000 viewers, but the third episode rose all the way to 1.28M viewers having not been released early. The season as a whole has averaged 1.05M viewers, and that seems low because of the ratings from the first 2 episodes. Using the same metrics I used to calculate the SHAMELESS predictions (25% - 30% decrease), the show should get between 735,000 and 788,000 viewers; however, since this episode again wasn't released early, the actual number will most likely be between 896,000 and 960,000, with emphasis on the lower end.

MONDAY (2/8):
FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE has its series premiere tonight simulcast on Adult Swim, HLN, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. It's quite difficult to accurately predict the ratings for series premieres, especially when their simulcast, but I will do my best to try. TBS's other late night show CONAN had 475K, 774K 952, and 558K for its four episodes last week, which is about average for the show.  With the cachet of a series premiere, I wouldn't be surprised if the show crosses the 1M viewers threshold just on TBS. Combined TNT, TruTV, Adult Swim and HLN airings should get somewhere between 1.1M and 1.4M viewers, with a combined average of somewhere around 2M - 2.2M viewers.
LOVE & HIP HOP on VH1 is airing its eighth episode of the season Monday. It has not dropped lower than 2.28M viewers yet this season, and has a high of 2.92M on January 4th. The 8th episode of the fifth season had 2.54M, and had 2.38M for the third season episode. Based on that trend, and the general direction the season has gone, I would expect around 2.7M and 2.75M viewers for this episode.

I probably won't post the full articles for each of these days until at least the end of the week, but I will do a follow up post tomorrow going over the actual viewership vs. my predictions. Thanks!

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