Demand for New Fall Shows

23 October, 2015

Who’s Winning, Who’s Losing, and Who Should be Doing Better?

The fall season calls brings new shows to the TV scene. Some will be hits and some will be misses when it comes to bringing in viewers.

With some disappointing new additions to previous fall seasons, the 2015 fall season has got off to a promising start with some of the most highly anticipated content such as Scream Queens and Heroes Reborn.

With the first influx of fall premieres over the last few weeks, we decided to devote our attention to understanding their demand in the US and around the world in countries such as Germany, France, and the UK. In the US, we also looked at how the demand for these premieres compared to their performance (Nielsen Ratings).

As TV executives analyze viewership and ratings data on the new crop of shows to make decisions on renewals, cancellations, programming and licensing strategies, we look to provide an understanding of the overall demand for new fall content around the world to help inform these decisions.

So who’s winning, who’s losing and who should be doing better this fall?

Over the two-week period from September 21st to October 2nd, 15 new TV shows premiered on the four broadcasting channels. Here we compare the Demand Rating™ on the day after each show’s premiere in the US and across three markets in Europe:


Expectedly, the new fall premieres have less demand around the world than in the United States.

The United Kingdom has the closest demand profile to the United States, as they are both English-speaking markets.

There seems to be less initial demand in the non-English markets of Germany and France, though France has higher average demand than Germany for the new fall shows. The top 3 spots for the most in-demand content in US, UK and France seems to be taken by Scream Queens, followed by Heroes Reborn, and Quantico while Minority Report seems to be the third most in–demand show in Germany after Scream Queens and Quantico -making these the winners so far among the new fall content premieres in these markets.

While Blood & Oil ranks last in terms of demand in the US and UK, it is comparatively more popular in Germany and France being the fifth and fourth most in-demand new fall show respectively. These results suggest that while some shows may not perform well in the US, they may be in-demand in other markets such as Germany and France.

Now that we have looked at demand around the world, we bring our focus to comparing the performance of these premieres to their demand in the US.

How does the performance compare to the demand for these shows?

To answer this question, we plotted each show’s premiere 18-49 Nielsen rating against its Demand Expressions™ from the day after its premiere.

For most shows, their demand and Nielsen ratings are well correlated (over 70%), meaning that demand for these shows is being effectively converted to viewership. Blindspot and The Muppets have high demand and correspondingly high ratings, while the low demand for Minority Report and The Player is reflected in their low ratings.

However, for the three most in-demand titles— Quantico, Heroes Reborn and Scream Queens —their demand outpaces their viewership leaving room for the development of better strategies to encourage conversion of demand to viewership.

To understand this, we unpack below a few reasons for it:

  • The 18-49 Nielsen ratings for these shows rose 60% or more in the Live + 3 ratings and 70% or more in the Live + 7 ratings, indicating that many viewers of these shows were not captured by the live ratings.
  • Quantico may be suffering from an unfavorable timeslot, as Sundays at 10 p.m. is historically both the lowest-viewed day and timeslot.
  • Scream Queens and Heroes Reborn were both highly-anticipated and promoted shows, which may have led to lots of activity on social media, yet the reality may not have lived up to the hype (i.e. the shows were not what the audiences were expecting), leading to lower-than-expected viewership.

Regardless of the reason for the demand-viewership mismatch, the demand for these shows is still high, suggesting that they could be performing better. It remains to be seen over the next few weeks how the fall season shapes up as other new shows debut over the season.

This fall season has undeniably got off to a promising start in the US, with some high performing and highly in-demand shows, the clear winners being Scream Queens, Heroes Reborn, Quantico, The Muppets and Blindspot.

-Parrot Analytics team

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