BuddyTV Fan Popularity Rankings - December
December is one of the more interesting TV months of the year. It's not the summer, when most shows are off the air, but it might as well be. With far more reruns than original episodes, December is a month that allows TV watchers to catch up with episodes of their favorite shows that they've happened to miss. Viewers also want to prepare for the big shows that will be either premiering or returning in January. Our BuddyTV Fan Popularity Rankings (FPR) reflect this. Last month, we took the FPRs and juxtaposed them with Nielsen ratings to get a truer look at the actual popularity of a TV show. This month, we're going to look back at the weekly FPRs in December and see if we can decipher their meaning.
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This first week in December FPR reflects the regular TV schedule going in. The holiday hiatus had yet to set in and the rankings haven't changed much since November. America's Next Top Model takes the top spot on the ramped up coverage going into the season finale, and the popular competition between CariDee and Melrose. The Amazing Race finds itself in the top ten also as a result of its finale.
The most notable newcomer on this week's list is The OC, which jumps from off the board all the way to number three. It's impossible to tell why exactly this is, because the announcement that The OC would be finished after this season had yet to be made. People are talking about how good the season has been for The OC and this word-of-mouth certainly has increased the show's online popularity. This is perhaps a reason for The OC to consider moving to The CW after this season. The show still has legs, obviously, and FOX is the only one to blame for its low ratings; it goes up against Grey's Anatomy and CSI every week.
The OC continues to do well, and The Duel moves up the board. The Duel benefits from being one of the only programs on TV to air original episodes all through December. The biggest news this week is the appearance of 24 on the top ten. This is notable because it's an early signal that FOX is coming. Watch out. After ABC and CBS dominated the FPR throughout the Fall, FOX will soon make its presence be known, especially after the debuts of that two-headed ratings monster known as 24 and American Idol.
American Idol has entered the building! I don't see it leaving anytime soon. In fact, I fully expect that, by the end of January, American Idol will be holding the number one spot. The outlook for the rest of winter and the spring is murky. Will ABC's juggernauts (Lost and Grey's Anatomy) fight off the competition? Will FOX's big dogs (24, American Idol, Prison Break) take down the ABC shows? How high will they reach? Will the premiere of next season's new America's Next Top Model push that already popular show over the threshold? Will The OC continue its upward trend as its final episode nears? Will Heroes build on its burgeoning fan base and make a challenge for the top spot? Even though December is a relatively dead month for TV, the FPR can still tell us a lot. The trends, the movement, everything has a logical reason behind it. That said, I have no idea what will happen in the next couple of months. It'll be interesting to monitor the FPR as every big show gets back into full swing within the next month or so. What do you think will happen? -Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

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