By: Sari Bernfield
There is plenty to love about fall: barn dances, leaves changing colors, blankets, and sweats. But what makes fall the best time of the year by far is that TV is back in action. Everyone’s favorite shows are starting again and will be better than ever. It will be a season full of tears and laughter. Feel free to put on that Snuggie and plop on the couch for a night filled with TV.
When numbers were down during the first week of fall TV, the major broadcast networks were fearful. They were concerned that the ratings would fall to the ground like the fall leaves. Would our beloved shows get cancelled due to low viewership? The answer is no- that could never happen. TV will never let you down, and it didn’t: it made a comeback in week two.
While there are some lackluster shows, there will always be fan favorites to keep TV alive. For example, the series finale of Breaking Bad had everyone on the edge of their couches making sure they did not miss a single second, while shows like Revenge and Criminal Minds were airing that same Sunday night were overshadowed by the Breaking Bad craze.
What we have to understand from an advertiser and network’s perspective is that the live ratings are drastically lower than in the years past. Jeanine Poggi, a writer for Adage, stated, “the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was watched by more than 17 million people, compared with 12.1 million who watched it on its first night.” We cannot ignore Hulu and DVR. These stimulating TV shows are still being watched, but they are viewed at different times. People are not watching live TV because it is a more personal and accommodating experience to be able to watch their favorite shows on their own schedules.
Shows like The Big Bang Theory and Scandal are still thriving. Their fall comebacks received a skyrocketing 10 to 20 million viewers. The market it is still there. Our favorite season of the year is not going anywhere. New TV series are starting, and television will only get better. The shows that are ending will only create more viewership as fans are trying to get their last dose of TV’s favorites like Breaking Bad. So have hope; TV addicts are not going anywhere.
It is not what consumers enjoy that is changing. It is how they are enjoying it. Viewers are using DVR, Netflix, Hulu and other streaming websites to keep up with their favorite shows. This is why advertising is becoming a digital field. Viewers are on the web, so that is where brand messages need to be. Put those hysterical AT&T commercials on Hulu for when a person is watching Modern Family. Advertisers and TV networks cannot compare their old ratings to what they are today. It is a different world: a digital world. Times are changing quickly, but that does not mean that our favorite TV shows are changing too.