I had to do a little learning this week, because the news on last week's debut of "A Gifted Man" was a bit...mixed.
It sounds like great news, of course. Total viewers for the show were estimated at 9.44 million. Considering that there were about 22.24 million households watching the major networks at the time, this means "A Gifted Man" had about 42% of those viewers.
This is where the learning part comes in.
I don't know what you know about ratings and shares, but I finally get it. I think.
"Rating" refers to the percentage of people that are watching your show, out of all the total number of houses with TVs that COULD be watching your show.
"Share" refers to the percentage of people watching TV that are actually watching your show.
So, here were "A Gifted Man"'s numbers for the premiere:
Total viewers: 9.44 million
Which basically means that 6.25% of people with TVs and 11% of people with the TV on, watched the premiere of "A Gifted Man."
Not bad. Considering the hundreds of cable and satellite offerings, and the fact that a lot of people aren't home and/or aren't watching TV at 8pm on a Friday night, and the fact that it's a time frequently referred to as the Death Slot, where unsupported network series go to die, Patrick's show did very well.
Oh, if only it were that easy.
The thing is, the biggest demographic that networks care about is that 18-49 age group, and...well...that's where the story is different.
Networks care about the 18-49 set because they're the ones that buy stuff. They're the ones advertisers want to sell stuff to. And, let's face it, TV is about a lot more than just quality programming.
And here's the breakdown for the 18-49:
Total viewers: 3.9 million
Not as great.
But all is not lost. Because the fact is that "A Gifted Man" still won the time slot. And in the under 18 and over 50 crowd, it is performing very well.
Tonight is going to be very important. Those numbers need to stay steady. It would be better if they go up, of course. But they really can't afford a drop right now.
So tell everyone you know to turn on their TVs tonight and watch "A Gifted Man." Let's make this week even bigger than last.