Today is quite a busy and bizarre day in the world of TV ratings, mostly because one of the biggest systems of measurement has admitted to one of the largest blunders to date. However, the results of this may be a little different than you think or you were hoping for.
Let us start here with some facts. Nielsen issued a statement today that since March, there have been errors in their reporting. This means that some shows may be off by a little bit, and some numbers for shows may be off a little bit more. Could this mean that some of your favorites were unfairly canceled, or are being blamed for ratings that they did not actually get? Let’s get into some of the details.
1. It didn’t start becoming noticeable until this fall – While this technical error existed months ago, its impact on many shows in the spring was likely little. Therefore, it cannot be blamed for the cancellation of “Community” or any other show.
2. It did not impact cable ratings – This means that the numbers for such shows like “Longmire” and “Dallas,” which are canceled for the time being, were reported accurately. We admit that when we first heard about the mistake, we hoped that it would be an asset to save some of our favorite shows.
3. It’s made a big impact this fall – Could this have something to do with the odd adjustments for ABC (pictured) almost every day this season? We wonder.
4. “Utopia” is going to remain a mystery – Nielsen is going to go back and try to correct some of their mistakes … but to an extent. The numbers will be accurate here on out, but they are only going to look back to September 22. Therefore, we have no idea how this show was actually doing in the early going.
5. Don’t expect huge changes – If nothing else, it seems like we are talking about shows being off by a few ratings points in certain demos. Don’t expect to learn that “Red Band Society” was actually doing twice as well as any of us thought.