They don't get the chatter -- or ratings -- accorded "American Idol" or "Sunday Night Football," but a select number of "quiet" programs housed on TV's prime-time grid are slated to do something even more beneficial to the networks that house them: grow their household commercial ratings season over season.
According to Ad Age 's annual survey of ad buyers' projected commercial ratings , the programs listed below are among those expected to draw more people who watch the ads that accompany them compared with projections from last season. Known in the industry as "C3," commercial ratings , or a measure of the number of people who don't skip past or ignore the commercials that accompany viewings of a program live or up to three days after it airs, are the way TV networks get paid and a key element in how advertisers decide to allocate their ad dollars.
To be sure, our survey looked at household commercial ratings , a good proxy for the broad viewership of a program. But advertisers hone in on the audience between 18 and 49 that watches a program and its commercials. So there may well be some discrepancies. But we think it's a relatively safe bet that a program able to increase its household commercial ratings often does the same in various demographic categories as well. We welcome feedback from network scheduling and research departments.
We focused largely on TV's unsung heroes: TV shows that have been on the air for at least a season, but may have lost some of the hype and promotional momentum accorded them when they launched. Sure, we could have featured NBC's "The Voice," which ad buyers expect to increase its household C3 to a 6.0 from a projected 5.23 last season, but does that really surprise anyone? Instead, we chose to hone in on some programs that may tread slightly below the radar and aren't the subject of TMZ reports and E! profiles every other day. Take a look: