NBC's Revolution has been as much of a ratings curiosity in the news as a creative one these days. Reviews have been mixed at best, but ratings are getting a lot of hype as well. Sure, the live ratings have dropped a bit every week, but many are treating this drop like it's a death knell for NBC, despite the fact that Revolution still remains the highest rated scripted show on the NBC schedule.
Is Revolution losing it's lustre? There's still a lot of good press for the show happening, but it's coming with mixed messages. For example, this week, Entertainment Weekly ran a feature, "How J.J. Abrams Pitched 'Revolution'," but then that same writer ran another piece, "Revolution Ratings, You Can Stop Slipping Now." So what's the real story?
I'm taking a Bill Clinton approach right now to Revolution and sharing a few facts. This may mean nothing to a hard core fan who's determined to stick with this show no matter what, it perhaps it will at least shut up a few doubters who like throwing sinking ratings as a defense.
- Number of viewers is important, but advertisers are all about the 18-49 demo. Revolution premiered with a 4.1 18-49 demo. To put in perspective how big that is for NBC, only shows like Sunday Night Football and The Voice exceed that figure. None of their scripted shows come close. NBC's best scripted show before Revolution was The Office, which closed out last season around the low to middle 2.0s. Most other shows barely cracked 2.0. Shows like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation were renewed pulling around 1.3 to 1.7 from week to week.
- Revolution has since slipped to 3.4, 3.2, 3.0, 3.3, 2.8. and 2.6. In every single one of those weeks, Revolution has won it's timeslot. Hawaii Five-0 and Castle have been hovering at or below the 2.0 range.
- Revolution is pulling in DVR + 7 ratings some very amazing numbers. Here's just the numbers from the last three DVR ratings. These ratings run two weeks behind from the live airings.
11/05 - 4.9 18-49 demo, 63.3% increase over live. 4.22 million viewer increase from 8.01 million to 12.23 million. NBC's second place scripted finisher that week? Chicago Fire, 9.2 million.
10/29 - 5.2 18-49 demo, 58% increase over live. 4.1 million viewer increase from 8.6 million to 12.7 million. NBC's second place scripted finisher that week? Chicago Fire, 8.4 million. Law and Order SVU came in a close third at 8.2 million.
10/22 - 5.3 18-49 demo, 66% increase over live. 4.5 million viewer increase from 8.3 million to 12.8 million. NBC's second place scripted finisher that week? Grimm, 7.8 million.
No other NBC scripted shows come close to matching Revolution's numbers, especially the highly publicized comedies. The Office in DVR is pulling a 3.2 in 18-49 demo, but overall ratings don't come close. It's most recent live rating on Thursday only had 4.83 million viewers.
- As far as scripted shows for NBC, Revolution is number one. As long as a show remains strong for its network, it's viable. Revolution's ratings may be sinking a bit, but so is the rest of NBC.
So, next time there's hype about Revolution's sinking ratings, look at the facts. Then you can focus on the real issue, how do they plan on fixing the creative issues? Now that requires a very different analysis...