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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.

24 comments:

ant159 said...

congrats kurt.. i am ecstatic your audience is building. i will continued to support and spread the word ( i got my brothers and co workers to watch and they love it)...and take it from a working class black man, your original intent to explore freedom, family and the corruption of the american dream is indeed hitting its mark... keep writing, keep blogging and most importantly keep giving us that SOA fix...

Anton said...

I know from word of mouth alone at least 15 people have been turned onto the show, and the ability to down load it on Xbox live also helped. it gave me the ability to show people who came over and worked nights the first few episodes and then get them hooked so they downloaded it or made time to watch it themselves. It is an amazing show as I have said many times before.

~ Anton

Chris said...

This show rocks...you got hooked. I hope it makes it multiple seasons.
Katy Segal owns her character...love her in this role.

JP said...

It's good to hear that SOA is doing well in the ratings. It's better to know that the quality of the show just gets better every episode. To be honest, it wasn't until ep 3 that I got hooked. (btw, does the fact that we watch on our DVR mean we're not the target audience?)

Cosmo's human said...

I have told all my friends about the show, and I find out they are already hooked. Even mentioning the show to a total stranger at a local bar, well he watches the show as well. I also was bought a drink! Just for shits and giggles, I DVR the shows. This show has encouraged me to save up to buy a HD next spring. I am taking donations...lol! I havn't been on a bike in a long time, I used to have a 750 Honda Nighthawk. A few things I'd like to know: When the SOA and Mayans shoot, why is no one hit? When I ride, I always had eye protection or the wind would do a number on my eyes. Are helmits required in CA?

Hopefully someone can answer my few questions.

Saint Magnetic said...

There's never been a show quite like this one. It's not as cut and dry morally like the Sopranos. In the case of SOA, when murder is committed, it's a bit easier to stomach in the realm of a small town like Charming. You get the feeling that the boys would never kill an innocent person (of course, YOU might surprise me now. That's cool). But you really do root for these dudes. They've got a moral compass. It's just further south trhan most. Their killing face is their poker face. Thanks man. It's my fave show. Keep up the excellent work.

-Max

Saint Magnetic said...

Hands down. It's the best show on cable or premium television. It's A+ writing, acting and style. Kudos and I've told ALL of my friends and family.

Turbi said...

Sweet...congrats! God knows I've been pimping the show...hell, we just bought a tivo just so we could watch it without having to download it. I'm carefully watching this weekly, I think I'm as worried about the show as you are. I hate tv usually but this has me hooked.

Outsider said...

The show is gonna continue to grow
an Audience...especially as America
descends into Total Chaos...
American Outlaw Road Warriors

A great song to use on the show would be
"Sweet Hitchhiker" by Creedence...Biker
related and those guys Know Lodi
real Good...

Kevin said...

Glad to hear it's building!
It's become our thursday night ritual (I work Wednesday nights) and one of our key shows that we watch.

Keep it up!

janabanana said...

I love SOA. It is so addicting. Charlie Hunnam is the shit and Katy Segal is amazing in this role!!!
Congrats for having such a kick ass show and I will continue to watch on Wednesday nights.

Pia said...

Trying to help the show grow, as it totally grows on me:) Wrote a positive comment on imdb.com last night, will be up there soon.

You've got some very interesting story-lines going, and I hope to be watching this show for a long time!!!

ThecounT said...

Brilliant!

Matt Lafferty said...

I certainly have been chatting up the show--I'm particularly impressed with the subtle Hamlet influence, and how well it has been mixed with the biker culture.

Well done, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad SOA's numbers are strong. I'm still disoriented about Charming CA it looks like SoCal and I have to constantly remind myself it's NorCal, I live in Silicon Valley so I'm used it seeing oak trees, grassy hills, and redwoods. I tell people at my work about the show and now at least 2 of them are hooked on SOA. Can't wait until the next episode wednesday.

Marcus Pelegrimas said...

To be honest, this show took me by surprise. I watch The Shield and saw some promos, but was blown away when I tuned in. I've been hooked since about ten minutes into the first episode. The cast is perfect and the writing is fucking great. This is one of the few shows that's got it all. Keep it up!

And take it easy on the prospect. We've all had our share of inappropriate milf chubbies.

Anonymous said...

I know a handful of people watching the show. I know a huge number want no part of watching it. I know patch holders who's neighbors and co-workers who previously knew nothing of the lifestyle that are getting funny looks and asinine questions.

For me, it's like a train wreck. Shouldn't watch, but you find your self curious, how are they going to top the dynamite up the ass shot, why, by cutting off someone's balls, how are they going to top that, well, either with Mr. Jackoff or by burning someones tat off their back. (seen one cut off an arm once, burning it off the back.....nice touch)

Going to make a prediction for down the road, see if I'm right. The Doctor is going to end up shooting the ATF guy and save the club the trouble of doing it. Course, they might help dispose of the body.

Might be nice if it seemed like there was more than 8 guys in the club, and if they rode different motorcycles, I don't mean they are all harley's, that's a given, but the same model?

How come on a run there has never been an everyone pulled over and face down on the ground while the warrant checks are run kind of scene? Happens quite a bit with clubs, would think that would be in there.

Is it gonna make a season two? Depends if the real biker community gets sick of the backlash and stop watching.

Cosmo, I have no idea why they are not wearing eye protection but it is a topic of discussion on biker forums. Yes Cali has a helmet law, SOA and Mayan's are not hit when shot at because they are needed for future episodes.

If you haven't been on a bike in a long time, take a safety course before buying that big Harley, Lots of difference than that little 750 Nighthawk and a lot of "haven't ridden in a long time" kinda guys go out an buy a big Harley and end up road kill.

Cosmo's human said...

Trust me, when it comes time for me to get that HD, I will take the riders course they offer, probably twice, and then only ride with seasoned riders, with them and not alone at first. I have no plans to become road kill. BTW, my 750 was not stock, but was a start to bigger things.

Grizzly Kaz said...

If "Giving Back" is any indication of where the show is going, you've got me as long as Opie hangs with SoA, Kurt. ;)

I watched both airings of that episode last night and I hope future eps will foster that kind of need.

All the tie-ins to C.M.D. were hilarious.

I don't know any actual folks in MCs, but I've read a bit and realize that this is very Hollywood. I'm fine with that.

One thing: I'd like to see more of the violence aired. Any chance of that? It would be a good balance to the quirky characterizations and lend SoA a lot more menace.

I keep telling folks at work so hopefully it'll catch on.

mxyzplk said...

Good luck man, I watch it every week and sometimes twice. Great work.

Cameron said...

I know I've pimped the show on a few forums I visit and with coworkers.

Kevin McNichol said...

Kurt, your show is amazing. Just f-ing brilliant. When I saw the ads for it, I was like, "oh some white trash trailer park show about some motorcycle gang." But then I saw the premiere on HULU and I was like, "This is Shakespearean, I mean straight out of Hamlet with some Lady MacBeth thrown in." Episode 4 was the best of a good bunch, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. I've put a number of people onto the show through WOM and Facebook. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

LOVE YOUR SHOW !! IT IS HERE TO STAY!! IAM A 39 YEAR OLD HOUSE WIFE AND I LOVE YOUR SHOW !!
IT HAS ME !! CANT WAITE TO SEE WHAT IS COMMING !! I LOVE THE STORYS WITH IN THE STORY! THE BURNING OF THE TAT WAS HARSH..OMG
BUT I SAW HOW THAT GOT SOME PEOPLE ON THE SHOW THINKING ..THANKS FOR A GREAT SHOW !!

Sarah K. said...

Just started reading your blog today.... I'm choosing to comment on this post as I'm a relatively new convert to Sons of Anarchy. I have found so much in this show that us lacking anywhere else; and despite its deep americana feel, that shouldn't talk to me (I'm a northern irish expat) it does feel very, very close to home. You've assembled a brilliant ensemble cast to serve fantastically intelligent storylines. This show is one of a kind. Such talent and integrity is rare, so I really hope you get the chance to maintain your unique status in this industry.

I also appreciate every single political note in this blog, and not just because I happen to whole-heartedly support them; you've indeed earned the right to express yourself, and no one should ever be silenced for speaking their minds, sharing their ideologies and trying to get a deeper understanding of the way this world is being run. Nevermind political divides - it's a simple question of respect. Keep it up.

- K