TV by the Numbers
|Created by||Robert Seidman
TV by the Numbers is a website devoted to collecting and analyzing television ratings data in the United States. It is run by Bill Gorman and Robert Seidman, both of whom founded the website in 2007. It is a part of Tribune Media Services's Zap2it television news/listings site.
An Internet and statistical analyst, Seidman had previously worked for IBM and Charles Schwab, and published an online newsletter about the Internet and AOL before founding TV by the Numbers; Gorman had been an AOL executive until 1998, and had read Seidman's column. Friends since the early 1990s when they met near Washington, D.C., both were fond of television, as Gorman loved numbers and Seidman enjoyed statistics relating to it; the subject of television ratings data entered into one of their conversations. Gorman was dismayed at being unable to find other blogs devoted solely to television data, and after a Google search confirmed this, he and Seidman thought of the idea for a website devoted solely to the subject. In Gorman's words, while there were sites devoted to disseminating certain subjects, "there was no site that did the same thing for the television industry. That is, compile the numbers in a way, and analyze them in a way, that consumers would understand". Gorman elaborated in a 2010 interview:
We try to focus on publicly available facts. We're not breaking any news. We're not interviewing people to try and get the last bit of juicy gossip. We focus on publicly available, either ratings or financial information, and what that likely means for your favorite show. Whether they're coming back or going away.
On June 30, 2009, in response to pressure from Nielsen Media Research, TV by the Numbers made large changes to their archives. The main ratings archives no longer go past 2 weeks prior to the date a reader accesses them.
On November 10, 2010, TV by the Numbers announced that they were partnering with TV news website Zap2it. As a result, their URL changed to http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. In addition, Zap2it features such as TV listings began to appear on the site.
According to one source, much of the information Gorman and Seidman had access to was not readily available to the media, and thus their efforts to analyze the data led to many "savvy readers" becoming interested in the workings of the ratings process.
TV by the Numbers has received some negative talk from members of the television industry. Harry's Law star Kathy Bates publicly bashed the website's ideas about ratings and their symbol "The Cancellation Bear", in an interview for Entertainment Weekly. She stated:
Some of these people are just so stupid. I don’t even get it…. All [they] talk about is the blessed [18-49] demo this, demo that, and how the Cancellation Bear is gonna eat us and all that stuff. So we’ll see. We’ll just see.
WTF is TV by the numbers? Who cares what they think? #harryslaw is most viewed scripted drama on NBC and will return.
Both were proven to be wrong, as NBC cancelled Harry's Law in May 2012.
Seidman created the website's "Bubble Watch" feature, which aims to predict based upon ratings data which television shows will be canceled and renewed.
See Also 
- "About". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Roe, Dale (2011-02-18). "Website has the odds on shows' survival". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "TV by the Numbers". Social Science Research Council. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Saulsbury, Sean (2010-10-01). "Bill Gorman: TVbyTheNumbers.com". Indybizshow.com. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Seidman, Robert (June 30, 2009). "Site changes (inspired by Nielsen)". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Seidman, Robert (November 10, 2010). "TVbytheNumbers Partners with Zap2it". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Gorman, Bill (2011-03-17). "Unlike The New York Times, TV by the Numbers Will Not Be Putting Up A Pay Wall". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Hinman, Michael (2010-10-02). "SciFriday: Don't Panic Over Ratings". Airlock Alpha. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Respers France, Lisa (2010-11-08). "Will Conan O'Brien live up to the 'Conan' hype?". CNN. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- Bauder, David (2011-10-04). "'Playboy Club' is TV season's first cancellation". Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- Ulaby, Neda (2010-11-04). "Daylight Saving Time Seems To Affect TV Ratings". Morning Edition. National Public Radio. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- Johnson, Steve (2011-03-01). "'Code' on the ropes". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- Gorman, Bill (March 12, 2012). "'Harry's Law' Star & Producer Don't Like The Way The TV Business Works, Nor Do They Like Being Reminded Of It". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Gorman, Bill (May 11, 2012). "The Cancellation Bear Wishes Kathy Bates Well, As 'Harry's Law' Is Cancelled". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Gorman, Bill (February 7, 2013). "'Suburgatory' Gives Our Cancellation Bear A Primetime Shout Out". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 10, 2013.