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April 08 2009

Dollhouse DVR numbers for 'Man On The Street'. And they're good numbers again with the demo going up to 2.03 and the total DVR viewership being 1.48m

Breakdown so far:

Ep 1 - Ghost: 4.76m, 1.6m, 5.8m, 2.0, 2.6
Ep 2 - Target: 4.25m, 1.46m, 5.25m, 1.67, 2.21
Ep 3 - Stage Fright: 4.18m, 1.7m, 5.28m, 1.61, 2.19
Ep 4 - Gray Hour: 3.57m, 1.61m , 4.63m , 1.5, 2.11
Ep 5 - True Believer: 4.26m, 1.52m, 5.2m, 1.6, 2.14
Ep 6 - Man on the Street : 4.1m, 1.48m, 5.1m, 1.5, 2.03
Ep 7 - Echoes : 3.87m, xxxx, xxxx, 1.4, xx
Ep 8 - Needs: 3.49m, xxxx, xxxx, 1.5, xx

Edited to change the demo numbers for Echoes and Needs.

[ edited by Leaf on 2009-04-08 18:16 ]

It's amazing how TV by the Numbers is so negative about certain TV shows' chances for a second season, not just Dollhouse. If you read the site, they're already predicting Castle and Eleventh Hour may not last either.

I think that DVR viewers should be recognized as real viewers, but the networks don't see it that way. While they are aware of Hulu and DVR's, they still don't recognize they should count as real viewers.
Is it still good if it seems to show that the much-vaunted MOTS episode did NOT actually draw in a big crowd of curious DVR-watching newbies/returnees to the show? (The total DVR and Total DVRplusLIVE numbers are still falling in both overall and "the demo"). I guess this could be explained by saying that those getting interested/returning because of MOTS hype would do so by watching on things like Hulu or iTunes, and that the people using a DVR are almost entirely the people who were already on board, whether weakly or strongly. In that case, I guess it would mean that the show is still losing a tiny bit of its audience, but generally holding on, and that the real test of whether MOTS drew new eyeballs via Hulu/iTunes wouldn't show in DVR numbers until the following week (when, having fallen head over heels in love with MOTS, they made a point of programming their DVR's to record echoes and/or needs while lying on the floor of the bank during the robbery!)
DVR viewers skip commercials. Commercials is how they pay the bills. Therefore, DVR viewers don't count the way live viewers do.
The networks would love to count DVR viewers the same way they do live viewers, sadly the advertisers aren't prepared to pay as much for DVR viewers because of concerns that they don't watch the adverts as much. Yes, I know there is evidence about how much of the ads DVR viewers get but until the advertisers buy into that DVR viewers will be less important than live viewers.
Yes, Bix, that.
Product Placement to the rescue!
Did no one see Popeye's Chicken across the street when November went to the school in last week's episode? There's your product placement.
I thought there were more and more advertisers coming round to the understanding that DVR viewers who FF through the adverts actually have to pay more attention to them, to make sure they press play when they are over? And that live viewers pop out to get a beer or whatever when live adverts are on, knowing they will have (usually) three or four minutes? Isn't this exactly what the Fox shorter ad break experiment was trying to address?

And high DVR figures suggest that the show has viewers, but not on Friday nights. That would suggest that putting the show on a different night for S2 would result in more live viewers.
Word Succatash, I've bought eight Western Digital hard drives already. If they're good enough for Topher...
DVR viewers skip commercials, but we can't completely avoid them. We inevitably get stuck with ends of commercials, or forgetting to skip them, so advertisers still get a shot at pissing us off.
"I think that DVR viewers should be recognized as real viewers, but the networks don't see it that way. While they are aware of Hulu and DVR's, they still don't recognize they should count as real viewers."

Of course not. Just because they don't generate profit. (Maybe on Hulu they have just a tiny bit.)
Product placement sure wouldn't fly on Serenity very well, if at all. Shows like that would be screwed. Though I guess we did get a glimpse of Windows on the computer.

But I guess all you need to do is give one of the characters a fetish for collecting old advertising relics and then every once in a while have him/her say, "Get away from that fragile Nike poster!"

"What's a Nike?" his friend asks.

"Only the greatest shoe company of all time! Ni hao!"

Something like that I guess could work. :)
'course you'd have to hope the potential advertisers have never heard of the Blade Runner Curse -- kinda asking for trouble to get your product placed in a future reality film.

[ edited by doubtful guest on 2009-04-08 02:37 ]
"Product placement sure wouldn't fly on Serenity very well, if at all. Shows like that would be screwed. Though I guess we did get a glimpse of Windows on the computer."

Toy dinosaurs.
Umm. Why would anyone cancel a show that's pulling in 10+ million viewers? Eleventh hour can't be that expensive to shoot surely.

Was hoping for a bigger number in the DVR, but I guess the all important numbers will be the next two sets of DVR where we had those big drops in live viewership. Otherwise, DVR viewer numbers is holding steady.
Product placement could work on Dollhouse. The Dolls could wear name brand clothes. Topher and/or Paul and/or Boyd can be shown drinking Coke. The dolls can be shown drinking Diet coke. There can be little engagements like say Echo or Victor has an recurring engagement with a rich kid who's parents are never around who hires the doll to show her love and what a "normal" family would be like while they have a meal at McDonald's or have a game of hoops and show them putting their Nike shoes on and playing with their Spalding or Wilson balls. It wouldn't be that difficult even with some of the obscure advertisers. The Dollhouse is about fantasy and anything could go.
And what about the music industry? TV Producers actually pay for music rights when they want to play a pop song during a show? Pffff, that's free advertising, the musicians should be paying them, right?


Edited for typo.

[ edited by Succatash on 2009-04-08 03:40 ]
These look fairly typical for Dollhouse, slightly down from past episodes, actually. DVR numbers are not much help to the renewal cause anyway, and especially numbers like this.
Still, it seems odd that DVR numbers don't count as much as they should and that viewership on the website or sites like Hulu aren't even really mentioned. Unless I'm missing something, neither is iTunes. Wouldn't adding in those numbers make a large difference. The younger half of the demo are typically college students, some of whom don't have cable, DVR, or both and can only watch things online (yours truly). Is that factored in at all? Do I get to be a small fraction of a number on some page too????
Rune, sites like tvbythenumbers only report Nielsen ratings. Hulu, fox.com and iTunes are not measured by Nielsen and is not public information. Fox does know what kind of money they are making from new media and takes that into consideration. We just aren't privy to that debate. Everything is considered, but us armchair quarterbacks only see a portion of the info.
I don't get the DVR viewers don't count deal, because how many live viewers actually pay attention to the commercials? That's usually when I channel flip or go to the bathroom.

I'm more likely to see commercials when I record a program or watch it on hulu.
... because how many live viewers actually pay attention to the commercials?

Attention is obviously fairly hard to measure outside a lab but there's fairly compelling evidence for most shows that more people watch more adverts live than on recordings (which is exactly as you'd expect). 'Dollhouse' does seem to do better than average in that regard though, presumably because of "remote-free TV" (i.e. people skip less when there're fewer adverts to sit through).

That aside, I think advertising is predicated on the idea that even if you report non-attention, some of the message still gets through. How many of us willingly admit to being influenced by adverts ? I'd wager most people would consider themselves too savvy to be affected. Nevertheless, advertising is worth billions a year and i'd speculate that's not because it doesn't work ;).

BTW, I think the final share for 18-49s watching 'Needs' was actually 1.5 (up from the initial estimate of 1.4). As mentioned in the "Update" here.
If FOX really is considering moving Dollhouse to another night, surely these good DVR numbers take on a new significance. They show that the base who can be counted on to would watch the show live on another night is a fair bit stronger than the number currently watching now (on the assumption that many of those who DVR the show would watch it live if it were on a week night)
It's hard to tell though if, when given more choices (i.e. on a more crowded night), people currently DVRing 'Dollhouse' will watch it live or even still DVR it or might instead watch one show and DVR another (different) show because there're other shows they'd rather not miss more.

If it moves to Thursday (for instance) and people are bigger fans of Grey's and Supernatural than they are of Dollhouse then they'll presumably watch one, DVR the other and drop Dollhouse altogether. I.e. the "bigger live audience" reasoning assumes that people are DVRing 'Dollhouse' purely because they're out on Friday nights when it might be that e.g. a lot of people are DVRing to "give Joss a chance" for a show they don't enjoy enough to watch live.

Still, it's got to be a consideration in favour of at least trying a different night in order to find out.
As long as it's not Saturday. Poor Kings.
I don't know what to believe any more re:cancellation/renewal. Everyone is saying completely different things, which suggests to me that no-one really knows anything.
That's exactly it. There's more or less informed speculation but no-one knows (i'd bet not even, at this point, Fox).

In fairness, no-one's really claiming they know either but I bet that won't stop sites from saying "See, told you so" if they're right, exactly as if they had the inside gen all along ;).
BTW, I think the final share for 18-49s watching 'Needs' was actually 1.5 (up from the initial estimate of 1.4). As mentioned in the "Update" here.

And "Echoes" got a 1.4 in the finals.
My thoughts (for the little they're worth) is that Fox had a plan. Below x million and it's cancelled. Above y million and it's renewed.

And I believe that it's currently nestling in the space between those numbers, and as such, they don't know quite what to do with it.
The headline on Whedonesque says the numbers went up, but they didn't:

Ep 5 - True Believer: 4.26m, 1.52m, 5.2m, 1.6, 2.14
Ep 6 - Man on the Street : 4.1m, 1.48m, 5.1m, 1.5, 2.03
As long as it's not Saturday. Poor Kings.

Yeah, bleh.
The headline on Whedonesque says the numbers went up, but they didn't:

I assumed that meant "up from the Live+SD numbers" rather than "up from last week" gossi since the figures clearly show it's down by all measures on 'True Believer' (not by much maybe but still down). Agreed though, the wording's a bit ambiguous.

It might be worth further harshing squees by pointing out that the DVR numbers aren't actually particularly good except in the arguably less meaningful percentage sense. I.e. by the absolute number of DVR viewers, 'Dollhouse' is a fair way outside the top 20 shows.
At least it didn't mean a week at 1.3 and another at 1.4. 1.4 and 1.5 is much better, not good enough, but better.
People just are not watching TV the way they used to. (This is not an argument for counting DVR numbers the same as live numbers; I realize that they are very different.)

On another (non-TV-related) forum I frequent, there is a Dollhouse thread. Its participation has been rather anemic of late. I posted in it today saying, essentially, "am I the only one still watching this?" Someone responded today saying "I just watched the second episode and really liked it." When this is how people are thinking about consuming television shows, a new business model for monetizing and sustaining them is definitely needed.

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-04-08 15:57 ]
And when the numbers watching on-line get larger there will be more attention focused there. However, from all we've heard the numbers watching on-line remains small compared to the TV watching audience. So FOX make the majority of their money from the TV airing and thus pay it the most attention. Which isn't to say the networks and studios are not looking to the future and looking to make more from online viewers but that isn't likely to happen soon enough to make an impact on Dollhouse.
Flug, the only people who know exactly what the criteria for a second season is those at FBC. It probably involves some science and a whole lot of subjectivity. Of course no one knows what they will do. Folks can only guess based on similar numbers and similar situations in the past. This isn't science and it isn't cut and dry no matter what the barrage of numbers would lead you to believe.
I wonder if the decision making process is anything like this South Park Clip, lol.
Re: South Park clip...heh. I think it really nails the true decision making process. And not just for network scheduling. If you only knew about the nightmare decision making (business wise) at some hospitals...that might actually be a tad too sophisticated. At least it attempted prognostication.
I am absolutely certain that it might not get renewed. But it also might. That is my wisdom. Drink it in.
I'm 100% positive that you may or may not be wrong, Squishy.
Yes, well, I admit that I may have overstated my case. I would just add that there are lots of variables which may need to be considered. But don't hold me to that.

[ edited by Squishy on 2009-04-08 19:21 ]
I am absolutely convinced that what will be will be, the future's not ours to see.

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