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April 17 2009

DVR numbers for Dollhouse episode 7 released. TV By The Numbers analyses the numbers in a new way.

Live+SD, DVR, Total, Live+SD 18-49, Total 18-49

Ep 1 - Ghost: 4.78m, 1.6m, 5.8m, 2.0, 2.6
Ep 2 - Target: 4.2m, 1.46m, 5.25m, 1.67, 2.21
Ep 3 - Stage Fright: 4.18m, 1.67m, 5.28m, 1.61, 2.19
Ep 4 - Gray Hour: 3.58m, 1.61m , 4.63m , 1.5, 2.11
Ep 5 - True Believer: 4.25m, 1.52m, 5.28m, 1.6, 2.14
Ep 6 - Man on the Street : 4.14m, 1.48m, 5.06m, 1.5, 2.03
Ep 7 - Echoes : 3.87m, 1.42m, 4.82m, 1.4, 1.96
Ep 8 - Needs: 3.49m, xxxx, xxxx, 1.5, xx
Ep 9 - Spy in the House of Love: 3.56m, xxxx, xxxx, 1.4,

The numbers are not as high as I would have liked, but they at least are holding steady.

[ edited by Ivalaine on 2009-04-17 13:19 ]
The link doesn't work for me, nor can I access the TV by the Numbers website, and in fact I have never been able to. Therefore, I don't think it's Ivalaine's link, but a browser or a location thing. (It doesn't work for me in either Firefox 3 or IE7) Perhaps the link only works in the US? Or not in the UK? (Since I think Ivalaine is in Aus).

Anyway, I am interested to know more about the 'whole new perspective' Ivalaine mentions. If someone could elaborate I would be much obliged. :)
It works for me and I'm in Finland (and using Firefox).

Basically what they're saying is the same what some people in the rating threads have been saying, that the high DVR viewing percentages that DH has been getting don't really mean anything as the final numbers are still very low.
Basically they usually look at the ratings by way of the numbers above, and then also by % gain of the 18-49 demo once DVR is added in, and also DVR viewers as % of total.

This week they looked at the numbers by way of rank before and after DVR viewers were accounted for DH moved from 69 to 65 once DVR was added in.

However when they looked at 18-49 rank DH went from 66 to 56.

In comparison Lost went from 27 to 21 on viewers and 10th to 6th on 18-49
They remain pretty sceptical about how much DVR ratings will help either Dollhouse or Terminator along the road to renewal. So it's not really a new perspective from their perspective (that's what they've always said) but it might be compared to other views.

And i'm (and always have been) able to access TVbythenumbers (from the UK, in Firefox 3.0.8 on XP SP3).
Perhaps I'll change the title to say analysed the numbers differently
Life was simpler in the fandom when we didn't have DVRs.
It was simpler when we didn't know any of this stuff. Once you start paying attention though it's hard to stop looking.

Perhaps I'll change the title to say analysed the numbers differently

Cool (I wasn't splitting hairs BTW, that was actually a very late response to Bluey i.e. it landed after yours Ivalaine ;).

It's a shame it's not a new perspective in fact but so it goes.
Well, even before the DVR, I still taped everything on my VCR so I could watch each ep over and over like a dozen times. But I guess that never mattered to anyone but me.
Well I see it as a new perspective. I don't know why they're determined to make the DVR numbers so worthless. Their new analysis shows a jump up in the ranks of 10 positions. no other show comes close, but somehow that is another reason why DVR numbers won't save the show, aren't important?
Well I think it's more because the jump is ten places to ... number 56 in the rankings. I.e. it's the same as it's always been - the DVR numbers improve Dollhouse's ratings by a greater proportion than for most shows but the ratings are still lower than for most shows, even after DVR inclusion. Saying it improves more than 'Lost' is all very well but it sort of ignores the fact that 'Lost' still ends up with more than twice the viewers (and more than twice the DVR viewers too, in absolute terms).

And then there's the extent to which it has any effect on advertising revenues.

(but it's certainly a possible argument for at least trying it on a new day, just to see if more people would watch live on another night)
Yeah, the problem that they're identifying is that even though it jumped 10 spots, it still only ended up at 56, which was STILL beat by the likes of Supernanny, and Supernanny did almost all with (more valuable) live viewers.

*sigh*
And costs less to begin with. I don't know much about economics but I do know "buying low and selling high" ain't exactly a bad thing ;).
It was simpler when we didn't know any of this stuff. Once you start paying attention though it's hard to stop looking.


You mean way back when the day after watching a new episode of our favourite series we went online to chat about what happened, rather than spending the next few days frantic to find out how all the various ratings stack up and how good the chances of a season two are, three episodes into season one?

Think those days may be long gone. ;)
Did those days ever really exist? I mean, Nielson numbers existed before internet chatrooms. (Maybe the anxiety didn't used to be there...)
Yeah, That was pre Firefly. We've learnt our lesson now that it's not enough if we enjoy the show or not. If we want it to stick around, those numbers are vital.
But how can Dollhouse POSSIBLY compete with such quality shows as 'Dancing with the Stars' and that slice of pure genius 'Two and a Half Men'?
Thanks everyone for your clarifications (and insightful comments, as usual!). I don't understand why I can't access the link since I am running Firefox 3 on XP SP3, just like Saje. oh well, the mysteries of the internet!

I've read all the oft-iterated arguments as to why DVR viewings might not matter, this seems like another (valid) one. I also understand that DVRing equates to less advertising dollars for this season.

However, one thing that still gives me hope is that Joss specifically mentioned Fox telling him they were happy with the DVR numbers at the Paley fest.

Which to me means (as others have suggested) that Fox is holding out hope that high DVRing this season this might translate to more advertising dollars via live viewers next season... As I and others have said elsewhere, we won't know whether it will translate or whether the viewers will continue to DVR on another night unless Fox tries it on another night. So finger's crossed.

I am going to be very interested in what happens to the Dollhouse numbers and demo after Prison Break airs next week. I think Fox will be interested too! ;-)

(I'm also interested in what happens to the PB numbers this week, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to find out from the Tv by the numbers site!)
The DVR hasn't affected my perspective but the constant worry has. I didn't have it with Firefly because I (now shamefully, regretfully) dropped it early on and then enjoyed it's glory on DVD. But this time....oh this time. Hence, the "Dollhouse Uncertainty Principle" I discused on Buffyfest once. It's just too hard for me to know what's a real feeling, what's good or bad, etc. I'm too focused on worrying about stupid ratings and behind the scenes....looking beyond the fourth wall of the production every damn week.

So yes, simpler times and all that. I too miss taking to the net just after an episode and just talking about the fiction, independent of all else.
The DVR hasn't affected my perspective but the constant worry has. I didn't have it with Firefly because I (now shamefully, regretfully) dropped it early on and then enjoyed it's glory on DVD. But this time....oh this time. Hence, the "Dollhouse Uncertainty Principle" I discused on Buffyfest once. It's just too hard for me to know what's a real feeling, what's good or bad, etc. I'm too focused on worrying about stupid ratings and behind the scenes....looking beyond the fourth wall of the production every damn week.

So yes, simpler times and all that. I too miss taking to the net just after an episode and just talking about the fiction, independent of all else.
buffyfest, you're not the only one. Dollverse has been such a mixed thing for me. On one hand, it's great because I've got to do a lot of crazy things with it I haven't told people. On the other hand, I sit and watch episodes and think "Oh, that's when blah blah happened behind the scenes. Oh, that's what that note was about. How's Eliza's acting in this scene?".
The site's speculations are just that - speculations. Until there are several years of history by which to actually know how the networks view DVR numbers, they are only putting forth their personal opinion rather than an informed opinion. When Dollhouse is given another 13 episode season, then they will have some knowledge on which to base their opinion for season 3.
Gossi, you are the most conected tuna-fish-builder I've ever heard of!
I think the tuna thing is a cover.

Besides all the fret & worry about the show during the week, there is one day (maybe two) where I can just enjoy the fiction of it all- Fridays (and parts of Saturday). When the show is all, all of this crap melts away, and leaves me to ponder & discuss the show itself (hence the discussion threads).

I only wish we could discuss the show all week and not have to fill up Whedonesque space with all of this fret.
Okay, editing to make this a little friendlier and a lot shorter (my original comment was a kind of venomous), but TV By The Numbers always seems to have an extremely negative tone when it comes to reporting the numbers for both Dollhouse and Terminator. I realize that there's a very slim chance of renewal for both and that they are "simply reporting the numbers," but every time I read something on their site, they do definitely seem to have a very critical stance in the opposite direction. Is it really that difficult to see any slight possibility that one or (miracle provided) both get renewed?

[ edited by jiggyfly on 2009-04-18 07:52 ]
I don't know, I honestly think that they are reporting what they see, and that from the perspective of people who care about ratings and do actually look at them for some time, it just looks like Dollhouse is in a bad place and that TSCC was in a terrible place. There's no over-the-top-mentality there that I can see, it's just that they don't see these numbers justifying a second season is all. Since Dollhouse delivers such numbers on a weekly basis, they go around saying "Nothing changed, we still don't see it coming back."

I don't know, I imagine someone coming to me for advice on some cool linguistic theory that turns out to be proposing that words are alien consciousnesses implanted into our minds via our food. Even after weeks of back-and-forth I still wouldn't change my tone to "Yeah, you know, I don't see it, but it surely could be possible." I would just keep on saying that I don't see it.

I know, lame comparison and stuff, but that's how I see their critical stance. Now, there are a lot of factors that could work in Dollhouses favor (like Joss saying that Fox actually likes the show, the DVD pre-orders, the cheapness of it, speculations about a new night, network-politics, the status of Fox' upcoming pilots, the unknown number Fox is actually looking for on a Friday, etc.) but they are not visible in the ratings. These factors get blended out sometimes, yes, because it's a ratings-site. Looking at the ratings, Dollhouse looks really not good.

For all the other, the happy thoughts someone has invented whedonesque. :)
Okay, well, at least if Dollhouse is canceled, Joss has his next idea for a show: words are alien consciousnesses implanted in our minds via our food!

I think the only reasons that TV By The Numbers is so vocally negative are (1) what wiesengrud said (the numbers look pretty bad) and (2) there are so many obsessive fans online who want to talk about the numbers that it creates an audience for their articles.
I've had another thought about this new method of analysing the data. DH is doomed to look bad. They've gone and ranked all shows on every day of the week. Obviously shows on other days will rank higher, which skews the data and makes DH look worse off than it already is.

I'm not disagreeing that the DH numbers are not great, but you can't just say "Hey it ranked 56th once you add in DVR, so that means its doomed" when you're as good as trying to rank the sales of celery to fast foods. Of course it'll be lower down the list.

Ranking shows by day, maybe. Ranking it against previous shows in said time slot. Definitely.
Well, apparently Prison Break was a total flub. I wasn't sure why people were expecting it to pull in significantly better numbers than TSCC. Perhaps Fox will rethink airing episode 13.

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