I'm back with another monthly look at the cable TV landscape! As always, I'll note that I mostly traffic in adults 18-49 ratings below. (That's always what I mean by "demo.") However, these should be taken with some grain of salt. I use A18-49 ratings because of availability and because they're a reasonable way of making comparisons across networks, but be advised that it is not necessarily the be-all-end-all number it is on broadcast. Not all of these networks target that demographic specifically.
To make the transition from summer to fall, I'm doing another two-parter, this time dividing the posts by "summer" and "fall." In this first part, I'm recapping the end of summer seasons that had already started airing in the last edition two months ago, some of which just ended in the last couple weeks. In the second part, NOW ONLINE, I start from scratch with a look at all the fall seasons that have premiered since we last spoke.
Hell on Wheels (AMC): But much like the Mad Men upswing didn't help The Killing earlier in the summer, the Breaking Bad breakout didn't really do anything for the sophomore run of Hell on Wheels. The show averaged about a 0.6 when it aired before Breaking Bad in August, then after BB ended it settled at more like a 0.5 on its own. It added up to a 0.55 average, which was down 39% from the season one average. And it was even significantly below the level at which it settled late in season one. However, it did do a little bit better than cancelled The Killing (0.48), and thus far there's no word on a season three.
Army Wives (Lifetime): The Army Wives finale was right around the season average, which ended up at a 0.99 demo. That was down by 16% vs. last year's much shorter season, but Lifetime has pulled the trigger on a seventh season renewal for 13 episodes.
Awkward. (MTV): Awkward. picked up some major steam at the end of the season, breaking a 1.0 demo for the first time all year on August 23 and then hitting another season high with a 1.15 for the September 13 finale. The season average was a rock-solid 0.85 demo. While that was down 17% on last year's post-Teen Mom ratings, it was still a very easy renewal for MTV.
WWE Smackdown!: I'll hit the wrestling franchises in tomorrow's early fall edition too, but Smackdown! settled at right around a 0.80 demo in the last few Fridays of the summer. That was a bit better than its August ratings and close to its level from about a year ago.
Lost Girl: As I have said in previous editions, the Lost Girl move to Friday had no real impact on the ratings because it had a better lead-in with Smackdown! It had a nice spike to a 0.50 demo for the finale on September 14, its highest number yet on Friday. The 22-episode season as a whole (13 on Monday, 9 on Friday) averaged a 0.42 demo, just below the 0.45 season one average.
Perception: TNT's other new crime drama of the summer seemed to have settled in the 0.7 to 0.8 vicinity but took a shot to 0.64 in its September 17 finale. Perhaps a chunk of its audience sampled the premiere of Revolution? Anyway, the season averaged a 0.76 demo. Tthe ratings were not that amazing, but it's coming back in 2013.
White Collar (USA): The ten-episode summer run of White Collar actually perked up a bit toward the end and averaged a 0.99 demo. That was down 19% from last summer, but the show will return for a short run in early 2013 and then has been renewed for a full 16-episode fifth season in 2013-14.
Covert Affairs (USA): The summer struggles pretty much went from start to finish for Covert Affairs, which ended up dropping well behind Tuesday stablemate White Collar. It averaged a 0.87 demo, down by 30%. This show has clearly not become the big hit that appeared possible in season one, but it had a long way to fall; the numbers were still good enough for it to get a fourth season renewal similar to that of White Collar. More on the Covert fall results in the next edition.
PART TWO COVERING THE EARLY FALL SEASON IS NOW ONLINE!
For more, check out the previous cable guides here at SpoilerTV:
August part 1 | August part 2
September/October | November | December | January | February | March | April | May | June part 1 | June part 2 | July part 1 | July part 2
For more in-depth TV ratings coverage every day, check out my blog at SpottedRatings.com or follow me on Twitter: @spotupj.