Well, this week has seen perhaps three of the biggest cult hits of the last decade end their seasons. 24, Heroes, and Lost are perhaps the biggest shows amongst the younger viewers that advertisers crave so much, and each show also shares something else: a rabid fanbase. These fanbases are devoted, and I have been a part of each of them since each series began. Which is why I want to, over the next few days, consider the way these three shows ended their seasons. I want to do so on a number of levels (Because my decision on quality will be one-sided). While the others will take time, the first thing that we need to consider is gloriously quantitative.
Total Viewers: 12.4 Million
Total Viewers: 15 Million
Total Viewers: 13.66 Million
Lost needs to be commended for a HUGE Post-Idol boost, as people seemed willing to watch just the final hour of the season after the reality show concluded. That huge boost in viewership boosts Lost’s total viewers ahead of Heroes, and its overall 18-49 within the same range. Facing off against stiffer competition, Lost is inevitable the ratings champion amongst the three shows with a strong performance in all key categories in the tougher spot…and it bodes well for next season with 15.4 Million catching the last half hour of the episode.
Total Viewers: 13.21 Million (#1)
18-49: 6.1 (#1)
Heroes saw a drop recently, but it bounced back from those few disappointing weeks to post some very solid numbers for its finale (Specifically in the key demo). It’s clear that the show’s real success lies in the key demographics of ages 18 to 49, which is what NBC will likely try to leverage next year. The finale showed a nice spike, but I wonder how many people were as disenchanted with the finale as I was. It was certainly not an awe-inspiring, hype creating affair. I think that will perhaps skew the ratings when it returns in the Fall.
Total Viewers: 9.34 Million (#3)
18-49: 3.5 (#2)
Total Viewers: 11.04 Million (#4)
18-49: 4.0 (#3)
Total Viewers: 10.19 Million
’24’ did not do terribly on Monday, but its ratings have to be considered a bit of a disappointment. Coming off of an Emmy-winning season, the show proceeded to squander it through creative difficulties, and facing the much-hyped Heroes likely didn’t help things. While it is still certainly a draw, and has received a two-season pickup, I think that the changes being implemented for next year might be good. 24 lost its status as appointment television for me, and I think for many others: it became the CSI of serial drama, the choice for an older generation and one you watch just because it’s there. The finale’s ratings showed this.