'Almost Human' Ratings Don't Tell the Whole Story

News Corporation's Almost Human ratings, competes with programming from Disney, NBC, CBS

News Corp's Almost Human ratings continue to fall, Image source: Fox

This week's ratings are in, and on the surface things don't look great for News Corp's (NASDAQ: NWS  )  Almost Human.

While the new futuristic cop drama was the highest rated show on Fox Monday evening, it still only mustered 5.79 million viewers and a 1.7 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. That's down two tenths from last week's 1.9, and the series' lowest rating to date.

Meanwhile, and as per usual, NBC's The Voice garnered a solid 3.5 rating with 12.4 million live viewers, and CBS' (NYSE: CBS  )  How I Met Your Mother grabbed a 2.9 as 7.91 million tuned in.

Heck, Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) ABC even managed to best Almost Human during the same hour, thanks to its annual encore of 1965's A Charlie Brown Christmas, which earned a 1.9 rating with an audience of 7.1 million -- an impressive 12% increase over last year's viewership.

Now there's nothing wrong with Disney's rebroadcasting a perennial holiday classic, but it seems telling that over 2.1 million more people would rather dedicate their time to watching a 48-year-old cartoon than catching the latest episode of a brand-new crime drama with state-of-the-art special effects.

Why News Corp should be pleased

But does that mean Fox and News Corp are ready to place Almost Human on the chopping block? Not necessarily.

Remember, the live plus same-day performance of Almost Human's pilot episode was already impressive, pulling in nearly 9.2 million viewers for a 3.1 rating. That episode got a significant bump in viewership thanks to the fact that it immediately followed Fox's Sunday Night Football presentation.

Fox then unveiled the second episode the very next day during the series' regular Monday night time slot -- an hour it inherited from Fox's Bones, mind you -- drawing 6.6 million total viewers and a 2.3 rating. In short, this gives us a much more appropriate yardstick with which to measure the performance of Almost Human's subsequent episodes, which haven't fallen nearly as hard as a comparison with its Sunday night debut would otherwise indicate.

What's more, though Almost Human's second episode pulled in 0.8 million less viewers than Bones last did in the same time slot, it still managed to beat Bones' most recent Monday night showing by 0.3 ratings points. This indicates Almost Human's viewership is comprised of a more valuable group with which Fox should be able to lure advertisers.

Finally, it's also no mystery households are increasingly viewing shows on their own timetables, thanks both to ever-increasing DVR penetration as well as today's unprecedented flexibility afforded by watching online. As a result, to gain better perspective for newer shows like Almost Human, it's also helpful to keep in mind not only the live plus same-day viewership, but also the live plus 7-day ratings.

Luckily for News Corp, Almost Human appears to be stacking up fairly well so far given its first official live plus 7-day figures released Tuesday. Thanks to DVR playback in its first seven days, Almost Human's debut episode was watched by another 3.4 million people, helping it gain 1.4 points in the 18-49 demo and good for a 45% boost to a final 4.5 rating.

To be sure, that ratings gain on a percentage basis wasn't particularly outstanding given the debut episode's already large number of viewers. On an absolute basis, however, Almost Human's first live plus 7-day ratings boost ranked higher than any other show that night. 

In any case, I'll be sure to continue touching base to see how Almost Human's post-launch numbers pan out going forward. At this point, however, I think it's premature to say News Corp's newest series is already failing.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2013, at 7:42 PM, DonkeyJunk wrote:

    Are views on Hulu and streaming services counted? Or does the view have to be live? There are quite a few shows we watch as recordings. That said, it may well all even out in the end.

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2013, at 5:18 AM, JamLizzy wrote:

    According to this post, it seems as if FOX had messed it up for the viewers:-

  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2013, at 4:39 PM, mfissopicky wrote:

    You are not taking into account that there was a lot of hype for Almost Human and it just hasn't been as great as it seemed it would be. The only ones still watching are a very loyal Abrams/Wyman fan base held over from Fringe.

    Fringe was great. Lost was great. Alcatraz, and now Almost Human? Not that great.

  • Report this Comment On December 19, 2013, at 5:07 PM, frosty77 wrote:

    It's a solid show that got off to a shaky start...I actually found the pilot pretty boring. The last couple of episodes have been pretty compelling television.

    The opening credits are godawful...they make it look like a cheap SyFy Channel show. They need to work on that.

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2014, at 9:49 PM, 99ways2die wrote:

    It is amazing how stupid these morons are at Fox. The last 3 years I watch these shows, their ratings are top of the chart for their station and these morons pull them down after season 1 with out realizing, the only reason they aren't top of the chart on all of TV is because these tards have pulled so many good shows off the air everyones sick of watching the channel. Serious, how can you blame the only TV shows you have giving you any spot light at all for the fact your decision making just plane sucks? Big Bang Theory's ratings have been going down for years and they don't even WANT to consider removing that piece of crap but almost Human it the highest rated show they have and they already want rid of it. I think Sy-Fy needs to make them and offer, course Fox will probably just say no so they can keep gouging everyone on DVD's like they do all the other good shows they murdered anyway.

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