Clone Wars and Sanctuary struggle

by Paul William Tenny

While I still tinker with my FOX vs. FCC story -- one that could reshape the way the FCC censors television in either direction -- I've got some smaller stories to report for you. Two much hyped shows, George Lucas' Clone Wars animated cartoon, and Sanctuary (Scifi), both started off to great numbers and both have taken a beating in the ratings once people actually got to see these shows for a length of time.

According to TV By The Numbers (my favorite ratings site) Clone Wars debuted to 2.36 million viewers which may not sound like much, for for a toon on cable, that's pretty good business right there. By it's fourth episode in October, it was down to 1.55 million and dropping every single week.

Sanctuary debuted to 1.84 million but has crashed to 1.16 as of its fourth ep. At this point it's doing even worse than the recently canceled and still most excellent Stargate Atlantis. SGA, by the way, is out performing Mad Men on AMC even though the latter recently won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama. It has been bouncing between 1.19 million at its high (Oct 26) and a paltry half a million (Sep 21) for those two months and clearly the public doesn't think as highly of the show as the academy does. I hate to say it since ratings don't always equal quality (Firefly is still the best show either on or off television since it had last aired) but when that few people are watching a show, how can the academy hand it the "best show of that genre" when hardly anybody even watches it?
in Ratings, Television


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Hi, Paul.

I wouldn't know if you'd call Sanctuary actually struggling.

Sanctuary's episodes (from SciFi Wire):

Fata Morgana-----------1.6
Folding Man------------1.6

And, at the same time, the show prior Sanctuary, Stargate Atlantis, brought in these ratings for the same time period:

The Lost Tribe---------1.5

Which clearly shows that viewers were tuning IN to watching Sanctuary after Stargate Atlantis ended.

You know it would help if you got your facts straight!! Sanctuary is the number 2 SF&F show for the SciFi Channel at the moment so I'd hardly call it struggling and it has beaten Stargate Atlantis every week so far (for published figures from SciFi Wire).

I really hate it when a reviewer's personal bias tries to skew the facts!!
Yeah Paul, they're both right, Sanctuary is the number 2 SF&F show for the SciFi Channel, and Atlantis is like #5 or 6, so get your facts staright, perhaps we need a REAL reporter like Morjana doing your job for you
I think the confusion here stems from the difference between "fast national" ratings and final ratings. Did you get your information from the MAGNA report at TV by the Numbers by any chance?

The ratings listed in the MAGNA report are much lower for all of the shows listed than the final ratings released by Nielsen. For example, the MAGNA report lists the Nov. 2nd season finale of Army Wives as getting a 2.63. Nielsen Media says it got a 3.1. In my mind, the only justification for this large discrepancy is that MAGNA used the "fast national" ratings in their report and not the final ratings.

By the way, Stargate: Atlantis was not even mentioned in the MAGNA report which means it isn't even averaging a 1.0. Whether you are using the MAGNA report or SciFi Wire as your source, the fact is that Ghost Hunters is the #1 show on SciFi and Sanctuary is #2. That means that Sanctuary is SciFi's #1 scripted program currently on the air.

I also doubt that SciFi Wire would knowingly inflate the ratings of shows. They wouldn't be stupid enough to print false information knowing those fact can easily be double-checked.
Then how do you explain the difference between the ratings released by Nielsen for Army Wives and the MAGNA report? Is Nielsen lying about the ratings too?

I would sooner trust Nielsen, the company that actually does the research, than MAGNA. MAGNA did not even cite the source of its ratings figures. I'm not saying MAGNA is lying either, but they are clearly not basing their numbers o Nielsen's final ratings reports.

And I did not claim Sanctuary was SciFi's top drama ever. I only stated that it is its top scripted show on the air right now. It does not and will not air with BSG and Eureka, so the ratings for those shows really are not relevant to the argument I was making.

They are not really relevant to the argument you were making either. You said, "At this point it's doing even worse than the recently canceled and still most excellent Stargate Atlantis." That is factually wrong.

SGA is not doing better than Sanctuary according to both the MAGNA report (which only reported on original cable shows averaging at least a 1.0) and SciFi Wire (which only reports the ratings that are in the Nielsen Galaxy Report).

I think SGA is an excellent show too, but there is no need to put down other shows in order to make a point.
If you want to be talking about ratings then please do your homework and learn the difference between National figures and Coverage figures. Both sets of figures used by TV By The Numbers and SciFi Wire are correct and originated from Nielsen.

You obviously do not know what you are talking about because Sanctuary has beaten SGA every time for the first 4 weeks, so what does that say about SGA?

Lose the bias and do your homework and you may attain some creditability as a reviewer.
Hi, Paul.

Unfortunately, SciFi Wire does not archive their ratings reports.

However, I copy them and post them every week to GateWorld Forum, they're available at this thread:

And the relevant ratings are on page 5.

Their ratings are derived from the Neilsen Galaxy Report, which is not overnight ratings, and does not include ratings from DVR viewing.

MediaSavant and BrianGate on that thread also offer commentary on the ratings, providing information on the DVR ratings, the Neilsen Galaxy Report, and additional information.

Also, I'd just like to remind everyone that Paul was providing his opinion on the trend he was seeing when he posted.

No name calling please!

Thank you, Paul, for your continuing support of Stargate Atlantis and Sanctuary.

Best wishes, Morjana
Thank YOU, Paul, for following up.


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