It’s All About Buzz

If you read the newspapers, the blogs and the trades, there's no question that MAD MEN is a huge critical and popular hit.

But if you look at the numbers, it's a different story.

On Sunday, MAD MEN, drew 2.2 million viewers and scored a 0.8 rating. THE GLADES, which isn't getting nearly the same amount of buzz or adoration, drew 3.1 million and the same rating. THE GLADES also out-performed HBO's HUNG (2.5 million, 1.4) and ENTOURAGE (2.6 million, 1.5) in eyeballs, if not rating.

So THE GLADES has more viewers than ENTOURAGE, HUNG, and MAD MEN… and yet isn't drawing anywhere near the same amount of media attention or adoration. Which, I suppose, may prove it's not how many viewers are actually watching your show that makes you a hit… it's how many people in the media say that you are one.


11 thoughts on “It’s All About Buzz”

  1. Don’t the HBO shows get multiple ratings for their multiple time slots? I know I rarely catch them on their first showing of the night. Some times I don’t see them until later in the week.

  2. Lee, after reading your rants against fan fiction, and anyone’s attempts to become successful in the writing industry through other than traditional, stodgy means, and now this, I must say: you are a petty, petty man.

  3. Terrill,
    I believe the HBO ratings are cumulative for all the airings.
    I don’t understand your point. What is the correlation between my “rants against fan fiction” and cautions about self-publishing and this post about how the ratings for THE GLADES suggests it’s actually a bigger hit than MAD MEN? How does this make me a “petty, petty man”?

  4. “… MAD MEN is a huge critical and popular hit.
    But if you look at the numbers, it’s a different story.”

    An interesting point. What you are missing, though, is that this is exactly how it should be.
    A ‘hit’ with the audience isn’t just how many people have their TVs tuned to it – it is also how much the show engages with the audience’s minds.
    So it is quite expected that something can be a much bigger ‘hit’ than a simple interpretation of the numbers.
    Look at ‘Greatest American Hero’ – despite being only a few seasons long almost 30 years ago it is still remembered – it has engaged with our minds so much more than other (better rated) series in the 1980s.
    The answer to the apparent paradox is NOT ‘The show isn’t really a hit’.
    The answer is ‘ratings aren’t enough to tell us if it really is a hit’.

  5. Does a hit merit attention? No.
    Otherwise, I’ll be expecting BACHELOR PAD on the cover of next week’s Time Magazine.

  6. Dan,
    Fan fiction is not such a good thing as if infringes on the rights of the authur. Going outside mainstream publishing such as vanity press or even POD through one of the internet sites is probably going to cost the writer more money than it’s worth (unless the writer already has a platform.) So Lee is right on both issues and the ranting is part of the entertainment value of the blog, so it’s funny, and to be enjoyed.
    Lee his having a just terrific year and is blazing trails in all directions at full speed, and is an inspiration to everybody in the business. So I think you should balance your comment with stuff you do like.
    Anyway, I hope that your publishing route leads you to success. There are many roads up the mountain and they all lead to the top.
    Dan, also, from Guelph, Ontario, Canada

  7. My husband and I have been watching the Glades and really enjoying it. I’m not sure why it isn’t getting more buzz. The combination of writing, acting, and even the location, creates an hour that is better than most of the programs on offer.
    Here’s hoping for a second season.

  8. I think what it says is that most people who sit in front of a TV hour after hour are so dumbed down that they more more frequently favor pop-tarts over a substantial meal.


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