March 10, 2012

The Sked: PROMO WATCH — through March 8

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>The most recent Promo Watch numbers are based on prime time broadcast network programming between March 4 and March 8, with about 10 hours of programming sampled for each network over that period.  (Click “read more” to see the latest chart.)

ABCMissing has become the top promotional priority for ABC over the past week, now running at about 38 seconds per hour.  GCB receded to a still substantial 33 seconds per hour, with promos trumpeting its premiere viewership Sunday.  Some promos mentioned “11 million viewers fell in love”, while others said “18 million viewers watched”.  The first number refers to the average audience in any given minute, and the second measures who many people saw at least a few minutes of the show (the “total audience”).  Rather than throwing two numbers around, why not pick one and stick with it?  Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt 23 and Scandal are up from previous weeks, now at 18 and 15 seconds, respectively. 

NBCFashion Star increased to 37 seconds per hour over the past week, clearly the #1 promo priority for the struggling network.  Awake has been dialed back to 24 seconds per hour, promoting the second episode and referencing the show’s premiere performance.  Rather than saying a number, NBC said “millions were thrilled”.  
CBSPerson of Interest increased again this past week to 28 seconds per hour.  The episode (featuring a cute baby and a “two men and a baby” theme in the promos) was one of the few original episodes on CBS among a sea of repeats, and the on-air promotion paid off as Person of Interest edged past its previous season high.  Big Bang Theory, also an original episode, moved into the top priority list, up to 11 seconds per hour after bumping around the 5-6 second range in recent weeks.  .      

FOXBob’s Burgers, returning Sunday, moved up to 22 seconds per hour — as heavy a commitment as FOX has given recently.  .     

                          PROMO WATCH

                    Top Priorities by Network
              On-Air Promo Seconds per Hour Sampled
                    Past Week (Mar 4-8, 2011)
      ABC                          CBS
     Missing            38        Person of Interest 28
     GCB                33        Survivor           14
     Don’t Trust the B  18        Good Wife          13
     Dancing w Stars    17        Big Bang Theory    11
     Scandal            15        Undercover Boss    11
     Once Upon a Time   11

     NBC                          FOX
     Fashion Star       37        Bob’s Burgers      22
     Awake              24        Breaking In        11
     Smash              19        American Idol       9
     The Voice          14        New Girl            9
     Harry’s Law        11        Alcatraz            9


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."