Criminal Minds ratings for Season 7 were excellent despite the great competitors scheduled against it, and the fact that usually older shows do worse as they tend to lost viewers as the seasons go by.
Season 7 averages, and how they compare to those of Season 6, are as follow:
- Live + Same Day DVR viewing (excluding repeats):
- A18-49: S7 → 3.38; S6 → 3.45 (a 0.07 difference is statistically completely irrelevant)
- Total viewers: S7 → 12.6 million; S6 → 13.5 million (around 900,000 viewers less on Wednesdays)
- Live + 7 Days worth of DVR viewing (excluding repeats):
- A18-49: S7 → 4.7; S6 → 4.5 (a difference of around 4.25% is statistically relevant)
- Total viewers: S7 → 15.8 million; S6 → 16.3 million (around 500,000 viewers less )
It's rounded from 4 decimal points to only 2 before being made public.
: The number isn't accurate, but rounded by Nielsen before being made public.
To read accurately those numbers, and understand why we are saying they are excellent, several things must be explained:
- Of the 2 measurements detailed, in the US the important one is the A18-49 rating. For a show to be successful from its network point of view, it must generate benefits thus earning enough money from the commercials aired during the breaks. US Advertisers opted decades ago to give relevance to viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, paying premium rates to reach those viewers, so the higher demo a show gets, the safer and most valuable it becomes.
- The fact that Criminal Minds has lost total viewers, but has gotten the same or higher demo numbers, means that the average age of its viewers has become younger. Losing viewers is expected; losing viewers over 49 but gaining younger ones is a phenomenon rarely seen, as usually viewers age at the same rate than the shows themselves, specially if we're talking of shows with so many season on air as Criminal Minds.
- Translating the demo number for L + 7 days DVR we get that last season 2.62 million people did DVR Criminal Minds; this season 3.14 million people did DVR it. This is in line with the increase in the DVR usage in general; more people are recording shows to watch them at their convenience. This is true for all broadcast shows as seen here: 2010-2011 DVR L + 7 days viewing, compared to here: 2011-2012 DVR L + 7 days viewing.
- On CBS, Criminal Minds ranks as #2 drama in the demo and #5 drama in total viewers.
- Last, but not least, Criminal Minds is the only show on CBS facing the #1 show on TV, American Idol, Wednesday edition, and #1 comedy on TV, Modern Family. Despite that Criminal Minds finished as #2 drama on CBS in the rating measurement that really matters (CM 3.38 against NCIS 3.77)!
So, when it comes to ratings, Criminal Minds is doing very well despite the competition dished out by ABC and FOX's big guns. And CBS recognized this through his Executive Vice President, Program Planning & Scheduling of CBS Television Twitter account, answering to the questions of several concerned fans, saying: "i'll pay #CriminalMinds the ultimate compliment, it always delivers and you never, ever need to worry about it."
Congratulations to the cast, producers, writers and crew for another successful year!