TV by the Numbers is a website devoted to collecting and analyzing television ratings data in the United States. It is a part of Nexstar Media Group's Zap2it television news/listings site.
Nexstar Media Group is a publicly traded American telecommunications company headquartered in Irving, Texas. The company is the largest television station owner in the United States, owning or operating 197 television stations across the U.S., most of which are affiliates with the four "major" U.S. television networks located in small to medium-sized markets. It also operates all of the stations owned by an affiliated company, Mission Broadcasting, under local marketing agreements.
Zap2it is an American website and affiliate network that provides local television listings for areas of the United States and Canada. The site is produced by Tribune Media Services (TMS), part of the publishing division of Chicago-based Tribune Media. Zap2it affiliates include Wave Broadband, Cox, Dish Network, Disney, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.
An Internet and statistical analyst, Robert Seidman had previously worked for IBM and Charles Schwab, and published an online newsletter about the Internet and AOL before founding TV by the Numbers; Bill Gorman had been an AOL executive until 1998, and had read Seidman's column.Friends since the early 1990s when they met near Washington, D.C., both were fond of television, as Gorman loved numbers and Seidman enjoyed statistics relating to it; the subject of television ratings data entered into one of their conversations. Gorman was dismayed at being unable to find other blogs devoted solely to television data, and after a Google search confirmed this, he and Seidman thought of the idea for a website devoted solely to the subject. In Gorman's words, while there were sites devoted to disseminating certain subjects, "there was no site that did the same thing for the television industry. That is, compile the numbers in a way, and analyze them in a way, that consumers would understand". Gorman elaborated in a 2010 interview:
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed "International Business Machines" in 1924. IBM is incorporated in New York.
The Charles Schwab Corporation is a bank and stock brokerage firm based in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1971 by Charles R. Schwab. It is ranked 13th on the list of largest banks in the United States and it is also one of the largest brokerage firms in the United States. The company offers an electronic trading platform to trade financial assets including common stocks, preferred stocks, futures contracts, exchange-traded funds, options, mutual funds, and fixed income investments. It also provides margin lending, and cash management services, as well as services through registered investment advisers.
AOL is an American web portal and online service provider based in New York City. It is a brand marketed by Verizon Media.
We try to focus on publicly available facts. We're not breaking any news. We're not interviewing people to try to get the last bit of juicy gossip. We focus on publicly available, either ratings or financial information, and what that likely means for your favorite show. Whether they're coming back or going away.
On June 30, 2009, in response to pressure from Nielsen Media Research, TV by the Numbers made large changes to their archives. The main ratings archives no longer go past 2 weeks prior to the date a reader accesses them.
Nielsen Media Research (NMR) is an American firm that measures media audiences, including television, radio, theatre films and newspapers. NMR, headquartered in New York City, is best known for the Nielsen ratings, an audience measurement system of television viewership that for years has been the deciding factor in canceling or renewing television shows by television networks. As of May 2012, it is part of Nielsen Holdings.
On November 10, 2010, TV by the Numbers announced that they were partnering with TV news website Zap2it. As a result, the website's URL changed to a subdomain of the zap2it.com domain. In addition, Zap2it features such as TV listings began to appear on the site.
In the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, a subdomain is a domain that is a part of another (main) domain.
In response to The New York Times ' decision in 2011 to start charging for access to online content, Gorman wrote an article stressing his website will remain free.
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the U.S.
In January 2012, Gorman and Seidman expressed interest in hiring writers to do the day-to-day writing on their site.On February 12, 2012, they announced that Sara Bibel and Amanda Kondolojy would be joining the website.
On April 3, 2014, Zap2It owner Tribune Digital Ventures purchased the site in full.
According to one source, much of the information Gorman and Seidman had access to was not readily available to the media, and thus their efforts to analyze the data led to many "savvy readers" becoming interested in the workings of the ratings process.
TV by the Numbers has been cited by such media outlets as CNN,the Associated Press, National Public Radio, and former sister publication the Chicago Tribune .
TV by the Numbers received criticism from several facets of the television industry for their ratings analyses. Harry's Law star Kathy Bates publicly bashed the website's ideas about ratings and their symbol "The Cancellation Bear", in an interview for Entertainment Weekly . She stated, "Some of these people are just so stupid. I don’t even get it.... All [they] talk about is the blessed [18–49] demo this, demo that, and how the Cancellation Bear is gonna eat us and all that stuff. So we’ll see. We'll just see."Harry's Law executive producer Bill D'Elia agreed with Bates, stating in subsequent Twitter messages, "WTF is TV by the numbers? Who cares what they think? #harryslaw is most viewed scripted drama on NBC and will return. ...First, tv by the numbers doesn't know anything. They are misinformed at best, ignorant at worst. Second, Kathy is right."
After Harry's Law was cancelled in May 2012 and the site issued a passive-aggressive response to the news,D'Elia again turned to Twitter to express his feelings on the website, stating, "TVBTN Negativism fuels belief to not watch shows.He influences viewers to not watch something,self fulfilling his prophecy.Just awful"
The Cancellation Bear was mentioned in the Suburgatory season 2 episode "Body Talk".Suburgatory showrunner Emily Kapnek subsequently did an interview with TV by the Numbers, explaining: "we just thought it would be really funny to have [the show's] school TV station governed by the same panic and hysteria that everyone feels watching their shows live and die and get discussed online so we thought it was just a really fun shout out because we’re all on your site all the time."
In May 2015, TV By the Numbers predicted that Galavant would be canceled after its first season.After a surprise renewal, the second season began with an episode titled "A New Season aka Suck It Cancellation Bear" in mockery of the website.
TV by the Numbers has many features. Most focus on television ratings and the analysis of those ratings.
The site is well known for its coverage of Nielsen ratings.[ citation needed ] The following is a list of all of the types of ratings covered by the site:
TV by the Numbers publishes news stories about schedule changes & ratings in television. These mostly consist of press releases.
The Renew/Cancel Index is a mathematical formula developed and used by Gorman to predict whether scripted series on the Big 5 broadcast networks would be renewed or cancelled that season.
During the 2007–2008 broadcast season, Gorman experimented with different ways to predict the fates of television series. They were all unsuccessful, until close to the end of the season when he developed the Renew/Cancel Index.
The Renew/Cancel Index differs from Gorman's previous attempts in that it compares a series's average ratings to the average ratings for their own network, as opposed to a basic numerical hierarchy or comparing ratings to an overall average from all the networks. Gorman formulates the numbers by dividing a series's season-to-date ratings average by the season-to-date average of all the scripted series on that network (in the latter half of the season, Gorman uses only numbers since that January for season-to-date numbers, as that seems to help renewal predictions). The resulting number (rounded to the nearest hundredth) shows how a series's average relates to the network's average (which always comes out to 1.00).
Using these numbers, Gorman then creates a grading scale. There are five levels on the scale: Certain to be Renewed, Likely to be Renewed, Toss-Up, Likely to be Cancelled, and Certain to be Cancelled. Series above 1.00 are almost always certain to be renewed, while series directly below that are likely to be renewed. The distinction between likely to be renewed and toss-up is at 0.90. Although this number was 0.92 in the original incarnation,it has since changed. The toss-up range continues down to 0.75, when the likely to be cancelled level starts. There is no clear-cut line between the likely to be cancelled and certain to be cancelled levels, but Gorman has said that discerning between likely/certain cancellations is usually just trivial, and thus unimportant. Friday series, being on a lesser-viewed night, are graded differently. The toss-up range is between 0.55 and 0.70, with the numbers above it being likely/certain renewals and the numbers below it being likely/certain cancellations.
Gorman does not always follow the index numbers religiously. For example, series that are within a season of reaching the 88-episode mark (the usual requirement for stripped syndication) usually get a large boost. In Fall 2011, Gorman stated that no series that fell into this category would be ranked less than a toss-up.In Fall 2013, he even made the point of putting most series in this category as Certain to be Renewed despite the fact that many of them had not aired yet. On the other hand, he does not take internal issues (contract disputes, scheduling arguments, etc.) into account.
The Renew/Cancel index is updated with a new article every Tuesday, from the beginning of the broadcast season in late September to the dates of the network upfront presentations in mid-May.
Seidman created the Bubble Watch which, similarly to the Renew/Cancel Index, aims to predict based upon ratings data which television series will be canceled and which will be renewed.It uses a scale for sorting series that is similar to the Renew/Cancel Index, with On the Bubble being identical to Gorman's Toss-Up. Series above the bubble are in the Renewal Predicted category, while series below the bubble are in the Cancellation Predicted category.
Unlike the Renew/Cancel Index, the Bubble Watch does not use a mathematical formula. Additionally, it takes the possibilites of future ratings into account, something that Gorman strictly does not do with his index. In the end, though, the predictions of the Bubble Watch and the Renew/Cancel Index are usually very similar.
In October 2012, Seidman decided to stop publishing the Bubble Watch and replaced it with a simple list of the renewed and the cancelled series. He did not disclose his reasons, but said that it might or might not be temporary.Many readers were disappointed and expressed their disappointment to Seidman. Seidman recognized that and reinstated the Bubble Watch on November 4, 2012. He stated that readership levels were basically the same for the Bubble Watch and its temporary replacement, but he wanted to "give the vocal minority who really cares about the table format the table format they asked for."
The Bubble Watch is updated with a new article every Sunday, during the same period as the Renew/Cancel Index. Seidman wrote every update from the Bubble Watch's inception until May 2013. He has taken a break for an unspecified period of time, and longtime reader and occasional contributor Tom Shaw took his place in September 2013.
The Bubble Watch did not return for the 2014-15 season, however Tom Shaw has contributed to Renew/Cancel Index posts and there was a one-week edition of the Bubble Watch in December.
Readers of the Renew/Cancel Index and the Bubble Watch inquired many times to Seidman and Gorman about why they did not predict the renewal chances of cable series. In response, Gorman and Seidman explained that the cable networks were not limited to the strict structure of the broadcast networks. This results in them being much more erratic in renewals and cancellations, and thus too hard to predict accurately.Seidman decided to make a compromise of sorts and made a simple list of the renewed and the cancelled cable series. Called the Scripted Cable Renew/Cancel Status, its first post was published on November 7, 2012.
The Scripted Cable Renew/Cancel Status explicitly did not predict the fates of television series. It only stated their status. If a series had been cancelled or had been renewed for an upcoming season, it would have been stated in the list. If a series's future beyond the season that was currently airing (or, if the series was on hiatus, the season that had just been previously airing) had not been officially declared by the network, there would have been a blank spot in that series's row on the list.The Scripted Cable Renew/Cancel Status did not include unscripted series, children's and teens' series, late night series on the Adult Swim network, and series airing on minor broadcast networks (such as PBS). These exclusions were necessary to keep the list short.
The Scripted Cable Renew/Cancel Status was published every Saturday, a total of 12 times. On March 30, 2013, Seidman announced he would stop publishing the posts, citing low readership as the reason for the discontinuation.
The Simpsons' twenty-second season began airing on Fox on September 26, 2010 and ended on May 22, 2011. The Simpsons was renewed for at least two additional seasons during the twentieth season leading up to this season. The cast is currently signed through the 30th season. On November 11, 2010, the series was renewed for a 23rd season by Fox with 22 episodes.
The following is the 2009–10 network television schedule for the five major English-language commercial broadcast networks in the United States. The schedule covers primetime hours from September 2009 through May 2010. The schedule is followed by a list per network of returning series, new series, and series canceled after the 2008–09 season.
Who Do You Think You Are? is an American genealogy documentary series that is an adaptation of the British series of the same name that airs on the BBC. In each episode, a different celebrity goes on a journey to trace parts of her or his family tree. The series is a partnership between Shed Media, NBC Entertainment and Ancestry.com with executive producers including Alex Graham, Pam Healey, Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, Stephanie Schwam and Al Edgington.
The fifteenth season of the American animated sitcom South Park began airing on Comedy Central on April 27, 2011 and ended on November 16, 2011. In response to reactions to the mid-season finale episode "You're Getting Old", which seemed to insinuate that creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were wrapping up the series, Comedy Central proclaimed through the media that South Park was renewed for two more seasons, and the duo were signed through 2013. Shortly before the airing of the season finale episode "The Poor Kid", South Park was extended again until 2016, taking the show to 20 seasons. Parker was the director and writer for all episodes, and Robert Lopez was the writer in this eleventh episode for the fifteenth season.
The following is the 2010–11 network television schedule for the five major English language commercial broadcast networks in the United States. The schedule covers prime time hours from September 2010 through May 2011. The schedule is followed by a list per network of returning series, new series, and series canceled after the 2009–10 season. As in previous years, the schedule omits the Public Broadcasting Service. NBC was the first to announce their schedule on May 16 followed by Fox on May 17, ABC on May 18, CBS on May 19 and The CW on May 20.
Perfect Couples is an American comedy television series that was originally broadcast by NBC. The half-hour romantic comedy was co-created by Jon Pollack and Scott Silveri and produced by Universal Media Studios. A sneak preview of the series aired on December 20, 2010, and officially premiered on January 20, 2011, as a mid-season replacement for the 2010–11 television season. The show was filmed in Los Angeles.
Body of Proof is an American medical drama television series that ran on ABC from March 29, 2011, to May 28, 2013, and starred Dana Delany as medical examiner Dr. Megan Hunt. The series was created by Chris Murphey and produced by ABC Studios. On May 10, 2013, ABC canceled the series after three seasons.
Retired at 35 is an American sitcom on TV Land starring George Segal, Jessica Walter, Johnathan McClain, Josh McDermitt, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Ryan Michelle Bathe. It is the network's second original scripted series after Hot in Cleveland. The series premiered on January 19, 2011. On March 21, 2011, the series was renewed for a second season. The second season premiered on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 10:00 pm ET/PT, and concluded on Wednesday, August 29, 2012.
The Simpsons' twenty-third season began airing on Fox on September 25, 2011, and ended May 20, 2012. The showrunner for the season was Al Jean, with three episodes ran with Matt Selman, one of those he also wrote himself. The show's 500th episode, "At Long Last Leave", aired February 19, 2012.
The 2011–12 network television schedule for the five major English-language commercial broadcast networks in the United States covers prime time hours from September 2011 through August 2012. The schedule is followed by a list per network of returning series, new series, and series canceled after the 2010–11 season.
The first season of the American legal comedy-drama Suits originally aired on USA Network in the United States between June 23, 2011 and September 8, 2011. The season was produced by Hypnotic Films & Television and Universal Cable Productions, and the executive producers were Doug Liman, David Bartis and series creator Aaron Korsh. The series revolves around corporate lawyer Harvey Specter and his associate attorney Mike Ross who, between the two of them, have only one law degree. The season had six series regulars playing employees at the fictional Pearson Hardman law firm in Manhattan: Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Rick Hoffman, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, and Gina Torres.
The 2012–13 network television schedule for the five major English-language commercial broadcast networks in the United States covers primetime hours from September 2012 through August 2013. The schedule is followed by a list per network of returning series, new series, and series canceled after the 2011–12 season.