Saturday, September 27, 2008
SOA GROWING AN AUDIENCE
I'm reluctant to post this stuff, because I don't wanna jinx anything or have it all go away, but I figure I should share some really good news (at least for this week). There are many complicated formulas I can (and cannot) expand upon, but the bottom line is that Sons of Anarchy is growing an audience. I vented about (and was slammed for it) the hit we took on our premier because of the RNC. SOA was tracking higher than most other FX shows and everyone was hoping for a boffo premier number. That didn't happen. It was a modest success. The problem with the modest number is that the viewing audience always drops off after a premier. Traditionally, even for successful shows, the ratings drop 20+% the second week and as much as 40+% the third week. The real viewing audience number levels out around week five or six. The number I'm referring to is the Nielsen rating adults 18-49. That's the only number that means anything in network and cable television. It's the only demographic advertisers pay for. We include the repeats of SOA on Tuesday and Sunday in our overall 18-49 cumulative. In week two we were encouraged when we held the same number as the premier. Including the repeat broadcasts, we held 97% of our audience. In week three we were down 20% on the Wednesday night airing. But we increased the Tuesday and Sunday night airings by 30% from week two, so we actually went up a percentage. We held 98% of the premier audience. In week four we knew we were up against big network premiers, CSI New York, Lipstick Jungle, etc. We were prepared to take a 30-50% drop off. That didn't happen. We actually INCREASED our Wednesday night airing by 5%. And if the Tuesday and Sunday night numbers are anything like last week, we could actually be higher in the 18-49 on week four than we were on the premier. That's pretty fucking cool. Yes, better ratings help insure the future of SOA, but the thing I love about this growth is that it says a lot about our audience. Our TiVo numbers seem to be skewing below average, which means that most people watching this show don't own DVRs. They are tuning in, feeling represented, relating to the world and stories and telling their friends. We ran out of advertising dough after week two, this increase is about word of mouth. Grass roots shit. For Sons of Anarchy to find its audience this way just seems right. And yes, I'm just a liberal shithead living in the Hollywood Hills and I don't pretend to relate to the man digging ditches in Duluth (although, I'm a white-trash Jersey boy at heart). But my intent with Sons was/is to explore the themes of freedom, family and the corruption of the American dream. I think that's pretty relate-able shit for everyone, regardless of race, religion, sex or party affiliation. Anyway, we'll see what week five brings, but for today, I'm pleased and grateful. Thank you for watching. And keep telling your friends.
Posted by Kurt Sutter at 9/27/2008 05:55:00 PM