AP Bio #12

How many episodes does it take to renew a freshmen comedy on NBC? The world may never know. In this last post of the semester on “AP Bio” I want to provide my own feedback on if it is likely to be renewed. In short, I think will get renewed but likely could get moved to a show that airs in the off season during less competitive times when it can earn slightly higher ratings.

I read an argument today that AP Bio would likely be renewed for a regular season time again because NBC usually renews one weak show a year and currently this show is the strongest of the other weaklings like “Champion”. However looking at examples of past shows that article listed such as “Undateable”, & “Great News” they had slightly stronger ratings than AP Bio currently has. These shows seemed to average out closer to a high .8-1.0 range for their first seasons. AP Bio currently has a .76 average rating, though this is boosted by the episode that aired after the olympics closing ceremony which had a 1.4 rating, the only episode to earn a rating above a .9

Splitting Up Together #12

Apparently the ABC Tuesday 9:30pm timeslot has become somewhat of a death sentence the past few years for the network. Since Fall 2016 four shows have now occupied this time slot; “The Real O’Neils” & “Imaginary Mary” last season, “The Mayor” in the Fall & now “Splitting Up Together”.

Currently its a bit difficult to determine exactly how “Splitting Up Together” as its ratings are still on an initial decline and have yet to level off. Although this past week the ratings did dip down to a 1.0 rating with 3.62 million viewers. While this does seem like a strong performance it is worth noting that “The Mayor” also had ratings of a 1.2 with 3.8 million viewers in one of its early weeks as well and that show got cancelled. “Imaginary Mary” also had an average rating of 1.02 and was cancelled so it will be important in the coming weeks to keep an eye on the shows ratings to see if it can break the mold in this Tuesday comedy block. One last thing worth noting is that “Imaginary Mary” had ratings that slid as low as 0.5 later on its run so as long as “Splitting Up Together” doesn’t slide that far it may be safe.

A.P. Bio #11

In its eleventh week on the air, I have begun to run out of things to discuss since NBC has yet to renew the show still. So this week I have decided to analyze the way the show is engaging with its viewers on social media, particularly twitter.

The show does not seem to have a very strong following on social media, (only ~7,000 followers) but it does do an excellent job of engaging with those followers that it does have. The show constantly will reply to tweets that viewers have tweeted at the show, usually replying with some snarky comment or other humor. Additionally the show did a live Q&A twitter thing with one of the shows leads last week to engage the viewers as well outside of just the show.

So while the show may be struggling to get more viewers, its engagement technique is likely to be effective in retaining the viewers that it does have by keeping them constantly engaged with the show. This could be a benefit for the show if it were to get renewed as it is working to keep the base it has and thus hopefully retain similar ratings were it to survive for a second season.

Splitting Up Together #11

With three weeks of ratings for Splitting Up Together now, I figured it might be a good time to analyze the Halo effect the show had been receiving from Roseanne and see if that halo has dissipated, or if it still exists and has reduced for Splitting Up Together in a proportion similar to the way it has for Roseanne. So below is a table of the ratings for both shows in their first three weeks, and the percent change in viewership week to week for each show.

  Roseanne Ratings % Change Splitting Up Together Ratings % Change
Week 1 5.2 n/a 2.1 n/a
Week 2 3.9 -25% 1.4 -33%
Week 3 3.5 -10% 1.2 -14%

As you can see Splitting Up Together has had a slightly higher % loss of ratings compared to Roseanne but that does make sense considering that Roseanne airs at 8pm and Splitting up Together at 9:30pm. That halo will only extend so far and the shows at the edges of its reach are certainly the more likely ones to lose that halo effect the fastest. Overall though I would say the show is fairing well currently and a 1.2 rating for a half hour comedy is certainly nothing to be concerned about from my perspective.

Splitting Up Together #10

Now that the show has aired I thought it would be a good time to see how the shows marketing has changed from pre-premiere promotions to post-premiere promotions. Essentially it seems like the show has maintained its same exact promotional style on its facebook and twitter pages. Of interest in this comparison I noticed that whereas one typically would expect a show’s twitter to be more engaging than their facebook page these days, that is not the case with this show. Instead it seems as though the show’s Facebook is more engaged than their twitter in so much that the Facebook page gets more likes, and comments on its content. This goes to support that the show is reaching out to that 30s-40s age group that may not be as engaged with twitter as the younger audience.

Anyway that note aside, the marketing strategy of the show is definitely still maintaining its promo strategy of using short little clips of the show captioned with some attention grabbing one liner to catch viewers eyes. Once in a while it also will throw in a fact such as when one of the leads appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, it posted that she was appearing but never posted a link to view her appearance.

AP Bio #10

Even with 9 weeks of ratings under its belt AP Bio has yet to lean one way or another towards renewal and still is sitting squarely on the edge. While some may view this as bad news that the show has yet to be renewed, I don’t think it is necessarily bad when you look at what else hasn’t been rented in the NBC lineup. NBC has yet to renew Law & Order SVU, or any of its Chicago shows. It has renewed though Superstore already though. So while one could argue that AP Bio is in the awaiting renewal company of shows with a strong likelihood of renewal which is a good sign, it can also be a bad sign that Superstore, another NBC half hour comedy, has already been renewed.

It is also is interesting here to look at the recent ratings for the show which are beginning to level off around a .7 or .6. Considering the show had very unstable ratings its first few weeks with all of the changes to its air times that could explain why NBC has been holding off on a renewal decision. They likely would have wanted to see what ratings for the show were like once it settled into a routine schedule and could attract a regular audience.

Splitting Up Together #8

The show has finally premiered this past week to very strong pilot ratings! The show aired with a 2.8 rating and 6.96 million viewers in its 9:30pm time slot on Tuesday. However it is very unlikely that the show can credit the strong premiere to itself. It is far more likely that the show received a halo effect from a little revival known as “Roseanne”.

“Roseanne” premiered on ABC from 8-9pm on Tuesday night with the strongest ratings all season except for the post Super Bowl “This is Us” episode. The show premiered with a 5.1 rating and 18.16 million viewers. So strong that ABC has already renewed the show for a second season and re aired the premiere later in the week.

Other shows that have had previous weeks of ratings to compare to on ABC certainly saw a boost on Tuesday which is why it is very likely that “Splitting Up Together” received a strong premiere from Roseanne’s  strong viewership just continuing to tune into ABC following the show. What will be important to watch in the coming weeks will be whether or not this halo effect continues, if it diminishes, and what happens to the ratings of “Splitting Up Together”

AP Bio #9

While there hasn’t been much in the news on AP Bio lately, I thought it might be worth taking a look at their marketing on Facebook to see how they promote the show. From a quick scroll through some of the recent posts it seems that the show is trying a humorous approach that their target audience would be likely to connect to. Reading through many of the posts it felt like I was reading through a page of memes or gifs except that the content was all based on scenes or images from the show.

This strategy though could be smart in that is something the audience of the show may be likely to relate to. Mixed in with that style of marketing is also links to articles from magazines that discuss the cast or characters of the show. Overall the show is creating a fun and attention grabbing way of promoting itself on social media however when looking at show ratings it still doesn’t seem like it is enough.

Splitting Up Together #7

Splitting up Together has at long last been previewed to critics and so far it has not received the warmest of receptions. Two different critics have said the show has fallen flat of its standards.

““Splitting Up Together” has a few interesting things to say. It would have been a better show if it didn’t try to be a family sitcom, too.” This quote was from a review on Variety.

“This is just one example of Splitting Up Together’s tendency to go for easy laughs instead of humor that’s rooted in recognizable truth. It also doesn’t make any sense. Considering how large this family’s damn house is, it’s hard for me to believe that Mason has to share a room with his younger brother and therefore can’t have his own space in which to privately relieve his aching balls.” This from a review on The Vulture.

It seems like the show is trying to hard to be many different things and its leading to minimal character development and continuous plot. This can lead to problems for any show and while the show did premiere to strong and sound ratings thanks to a Halo from Roseanne to be discussed in my next blog, that halo seems like it may not be enough to save the show if the audiences don’t connect.


A.P. Bio #8

As renewal season grows nearer and nearer I thought it would be interesting to compare the ratings of Ap Bio, a new comedy, with the ratings of a more seasoned NBC 30min comedy to see how the two compare. The show that I decided to compare AP Bio with was Superstore as it airs just before AP Bio on Thursdays.

AP Bio appears to have been struggling in the ratings world even for an NBC comedy. Since the show has settled into a “regular” schedule it has been averaging around a .8 rating each week. Meanwhile, Superstore in its third season is averaging a rating of 1.07 so far in its season, with generally ~1,000,000 viewers more each week than AP Bio.

While this difference of almost 0.3 in ratings does seem significant the question is how big this difference really is for NBC and if potentially 0.3 could be the difference between a show getting renewed and a show getting cancelled. This will be important to keep an eye on as we are in the home stretch of announcing renewals with April upon us.