Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Muppets Did Better Than Initial Ratings Reported

The final official Nielsen ratings for last week have been released and it turns out that "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" did even better than the preliminary overnight rating report projected...

Not only does the final tally give "Oz" over 7.8 million viewers (rather than the earlier reported 7.6), but it turns out the telefilm placed second in its timeslot! "Dateline NBC" placed first, but the Muppets were able to beat CBS's Dr. Phil special during its first hour (7.1) and the Daytime Emmy Awards in its second hour (7.6).

Despite placing second, "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" still won Friday night for drawing in the most children and teens (viewers under age 21). Both Disney and ABC are impressed by the numbers and the Muppets' performance. Although no official plans have been announced yet, it is rumored that the Muppet Holding Company is already starting to develop their next television/film project for the Muppets. Thanks to D.W. McKim for the news alert.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

In reality, the Muppets special did POORLY. According to The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, and Mediaweek, the movie was a real disappointment in the ratings. ABC Television expected it to at least do better than its usual lineup of "Hope and Faith" and "Less Than Perfect" - which it failed to do (and both those shows are low-rated, which is why ABC expected the "Oz" film to do better. It's really better to check up on your facts than take the word of a sychophant ;).

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, here's the actual quotes from the media outlets I mentioned - and more:

From Hollywood Reporter:
"ABC also sparked Wednesday with the penultimate installment of "Lost" (18.6 million, 6.7/19), leading into Wednesday night's two-hour closer, which is set go mano a mano with Fox's "American Idol" finale. On the other hand, the network's Friday telecast of the new TV movie "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" (7.8 million, 2.3/8) had little traction Friday, even against weaker competition from CBS' specials."

From USA Today:
"•Soap bubbles burst. The 32nd annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS set another record-low 7.6 million viewers Friday, well below last May's 8.4 million. ABC's The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (7.8 million) merely matched ABC's low-rated sitcom averages in the two-hour Friday time slot."

From E!Online:
"In a Friday-night matchup, Miss Piggy and Ashanti's The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (42nd place, 7.8 million) proved no match for Stone Phillips and his jaw's Dateline NBC (28th place, 9.5 million)."

From Mediaweek.com:
"NBC won Friday, beating the competition in every half-hour with its combination of a two-hour edition of Dateline (HH: 6.9/13; Viewers: 9.48 million; A18-49: 2.7/10 from 8-10 p.m.) and the canceled Law & Order: Trial By Jury at 10 p.m. (HH: 6.4/12; Viewers: 8.69 million; A18-49: 2.6/ 8). A special edition of ABC's The Wonderful World of Disney: The Muppets Wizard of Oz wasn't so wonderful with a 4.4/ 8 in households (#3), 7.55 million viewers (#2 overall) and a 2.2/ 8 among adults 18-49 (#2 overall) from 8-10 p.m. Lead-out 20/20 finished third at 10 p.m., with a 5.2/10 in households, 7.51 million viewers and a 2.1/ 7 among adults 18-49."

From The Washington Post:
"LOSERS


"The Muppets' Wizard of Oz." Even an appearance by Quentin Tarantino playing himself, as a campy ultraviolent flick director pitching an ultraviolent flick scene to Kermit the Frog, couldn't save this "Wonderful World of Disney" remake of the classic '30s flick that, can we all just agree, should never ever be remade again? Fewer than 8 million viewers bothered to check it out, though it also starred Miss Piggy and Queen Latifah."

Just the facts, folks, just the facts... ;)

Anonymous said...

First off the articles that you are quoting are misrepresenting facts and playing games with the information.

Many of the articles are working from the early overnight estimations, which ranked Oz much lower than it actually did. The Muppets Wizard of Oz ranked number 2 for its time slot.

Also to compare the Friday night numbers to any other night (such as the 18-million who saw Wednesday's Lost) is unfair. The highest rated program during Oz (Dateline) only pulled in 9-million and Oz was just shy of 8-million. All the shows were down that night due to it not only being a Friday but also the Friday of Star Wars.

Oz also was a victor for kids. It ranked extremely high for kids and teens (people under 21). Which impressed Disney, showing them that the Muppets still reach today’s kids – not just people in there 20s and 30s. This does not mean that the Muppets are just for kids, but Disney is extremely happy that kids still love them.

ABC and Disney do not see the movie as a loser. They are happy about its performance and are happy about the Muppets. Oz pulled in more people than their regular Friday night fanfare and it got a lot more families and kids. They are ecstatic about that. They know the Muppets are not the number one game in town, but they are happy to see that the public still loves them. They know there is more work needed to get them back on top, but they are not ready to put the franchise to rest yet. The Muppets did not kill on Friday, but they were not killed. They were number 2 (and only by 2-million viewers)! Muppet fans do not need to worry about Oz killing the Muppets – they did great (or at least great enough).

Just the facts, folks, just the facts... ;)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, O Other Anonymous, but in fact ABC was counting on the special coming in first - and a STRONG first, especially considering the competition. As for the rest of your spew, ALL of the articles I posted quote the "Oz" ratings analyses IN THEIR ENTIRETY. I did not myself misrepresent the facts. If you wish to e-mail The Hollywood Reporter, The Washington Post, E!Online, USA Today etc. and tell them how they're a bunch of mean stinky ol' lying Muppet-haters, be my guest. I'm sure they'll appreciate a little free entertainment.

FYI, ABC is not in the habit of spending big bucks on primetime CHILDREN'S SHOWS, so your contention that Disney is "delighted" with the ratings for toddler viewership merely exposes your bias and sheds little light on the facts.

As for Muppet fans out there - if you were counting on the "Oz" special to impress their new owners and motivate them to spend more big bucks on their comeback...then be worried...be very worried...

Redtband said...

(The first non anonymous reply in tyhis thread!!!)

Does anyone have any info on other ABC specials (movies produced to air on ABC, like muppets Oz), but broadcasted earlier?
How did those movies do?
I'm just curious how the performance of Oz is compared with other specials. (I know you can't realy compare different days, but maybe a relative viewers index is comparable?)

What I think is curious, that all of you seem to know what the reaction of ABC and disney was to the ratings. How do you know?

Anonymous said...

This is the original Anonymous here to answer Redtband's question. If you go to Jim Hill Media.com and read his articles about the special, you'll see that he provides an average overall rating over several weeks of the shows ABC has aired in the Friday timeslot the Muppets special aired on. You'll see that, indeed, as USA Today mentioned, the special "merely matched" the low-rated shows that normally air in that slot.

As for my knowing how ABC reacted to the ratings...well, given that the newspapers I quoted are looking at the ratings from an expert's point of view, I don't think it's all that tough to figure out how ABC reacted to the special's performance. If knowledgeable newspaper columnists who interpret ratings info every day weren't impressed with the viewership levels of "Muppets Wizard of Oz", you can bet the execs at ABC weren't either.

As for the other Anonymous - foul imposter! - I'm guessing he's some rabid Muppet fanboy (though it's hard to believe such people exist) who "can't handle the truth" and therefore is extrapolating, manipulating and just plain Bee Essing. Myself, I have no axe to grind about Muppets; I'm just a ratings geek. Take your pick as to whom to believe. ;)

Karen said...

I work as a receptionist at ABC’s main headquarters, and can say that many of you are true in saying that "The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz" was not the “slam dunk” the executives hoped for. But unlike what you and many of the reporters imply it was not a horrible slaughter either. We were hoping for an "A+" performance, but ended up with a "B-". You win some and loose some. Don't worry Muppet fans the Muppets are not dead or dying, and ABC does not blame the franchise for the less than desired performance. We are working with the Muppet people on possibly setting up some new projects for the future on ABC. "The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz" was a move forward for the Muppets and ABC (it was not a huge leap forward, but it certainly was not a move backwards).

Anonymous said...

So, Karen, if ABC doesn't blame the franchise for the non-"slam dunk"...who DOES it blame? "Revenge of the Sith"? Soap fans? The ghost of Judy Garland?

I mean, who CAN be blamed for the...semi-non-debacle? ;)

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