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Monday, November 12, 2012
Most fans don't need to know about ratings as that is a business detail that has nothing to do with the story. Ignorance is bliss, and as long as ratings stay high, all is well.
We, however, keep a close eye on ratings. They indicate where shows are headed. Ratings for "Once Upon a Time" have been stellar overall, and that trend continues. Among scripted dramas, it is consistently at the top of the pack "Once Upon a Time" is a true champion.
The episode 2x07 "Child of the Moon," which aired on November 11, 2012, however, did not do so well. It was up against tough competition from football, which is a perennial ratings grabber. One of the hidden secrets of "Once Upon a Time," of course, and something which nobody outside the business really talks much about, is that it is ideal counter-programming to football. Who tends to watch sporting events? Men. Who tends to watch fairy-tale based drama? Women and children.
Football, then, shouldn't make much of a difference. However, for this episode, apparently it did. Or, it may just have been an aberration in the measuring of viewers by Nielsen. Perhaps viewers just decided to take a night off. Maybe they just weren't intrigued by the storyline. Even just the fact that it was a three-day weekend due to the Veterans Day Federal holiday may have played a role. Lots of possibilities. These blips happen, and all shows experience them. Nothing to worry about unless a downward trend develops.
Anyway, viewership dropped in all categories to a season low. Total viewers were 8.69 million viewers. The rating in the key 18-49 demographic was 2.7. The show came in a distant third in its timeslot, but did beat CBS' "The Amazing Race." All numbers are subject to change.
Ratings were 23% lower than the previous week, the "Tallahassee" episode, and hit a series low. All other shows' ratings were down as well, though, so it may have been simply a slow viewing night for everyone.
As noted, this is not of interest to casual fans. Those close to the show, however, are scrambling to see what can be learned from this.