Hello Toonami Faithful! I’ve decided to once again analyze the viewing numbers the past month (all of October), to see how the action block is progressing so far. If you would like this to occur more often (bi-weekly or weekly), feel free to leave your comments in the comment section. That way I can see if this is something that readers want to see more often.
When the calendar showed the month of October, Toonami was faced with an interesting challenge due to how many sporting events would be playing on television. With college football in full force, both hockey and basketball season started, many eyes (viewers) could of been taken away from the action block. Not to mention that the World Series would be played in this month. So there was a lot of factors coming into the month that could have caused issues for Toonami. However, that really wasn’t the case throughout the entire month when looking at the viewing numbers. Before the Akame ga Kill Marathon, the 18-49 rating was actually increasing through the last two Saturday’s of the month, which is what the executives definitely wanted to see.
I’ll start off by talking about the biggest elephant in the room. The numbers dropped during the Akame ga Kill marathon (not a surprise). Fans have made their voices heard that this isn’t what they want during holidays. But the numbers told a different story from that narrative. While the numbers were lower than what a normal lineup would show, the total viewers still reached over a million at midnight. To be fair, I believe the Dragon Ball Z Kai marathon and the Michiko and Hatchan marathon did better than Akame ga Kill. But when comparing the three latest marathon’s, they are all pretty similar. For Akame ga Kill, viewers dropped after the first episode by increments of around 100,000 till about 2 a.m. There the numbers, for an hour, stayed at around 600,000 total viewers. Finally the marathon ended at a little under 600,000 viewers and ended the night at 556,000. To me these numbers seem almost normal considering what ratings have been before. To be able to recieve those kind of numbers on Halloween is a definite plus, considering that a full lineup has had worse numbers than that before. I don’t know about every viewer, but I know I had fun reliving some of the awesome moments from Akame ga Kill. So for me this marathon was win for Toonami.
What was troubling when looking at the numbers for the marathon was the 18-49 rating. During the marathon, the rating was at it’s peak at 447,000 (at midnight). When Dragon Ball Z Kai was airing at the time, that number was nearly doubled (or doubled). Plus the past two marathons had better 18-49 ratings. After the midnight episode, the rating pretty much stayed in the 300,000 range. So hopefully this doesn’t kill the momentum that the action block gained throughout the month. It will be interesting to see what the numbers will look at during the first weekend in November.
Taking out the holiday marathon, the action block thrived in a month that I honestly thought would be dominated by professional and collegiate sports. That wasn’t the case, even with a couple of World Series games going late (thankfully not on a Saturday). Yes, other late sports programing such as Sports Center and college football games had better numbers than Toonami shows throughout the month. The numbers just weren’t as overwhelming as I was expecting them to be. To me that illustrates how an interest with sports are waning during late night television (which is a huge plus for T.O.M and SARA).
Another positive for the month of October was that a brand new show premiered on Toonami! Parasyte has infected the action block starting in the month of October at 1 a.m. I’ve already written about why this show is a great asset gained by Toonami, so I won’t go into huge detail about the show as a whole. I’m just always excited (and I’m sure fans are) when a new show is getting teased, and finally enters the Toonami lineup. Parasyte did have a slow start, but now it seems to have gained more followers to watch the program. I’m sure the Twitter account of “Migi” helps as well with helping the show gain viewers. It’s just like when “Death Gun” had his own account to help promote Sword Art Online II for Aniplex USA. It’s an interesting promotion tool, that I enjoyed seeing since it’s inception.
Like I said before, these sporting events do have more total viewers and a higher 18-49 rating than any of the shows that air on Toonami. However, this difference wasn’t as astronomical as many might think it was (for those who worry out there). Shows like DBZ Kai and Family Guy were typically in the top ten when looking at that all important 18-49 rating (for the second half of the month). The best example of that came on Oct. 24, where Family Guy had this highest (tied) 18-49 rating! Only the 7 p.m. college football game had the same 18-49 rating (which made me do a double-take). Other college games had more total viewers (as well as The Big Bang Theory), but it was Adult Swim at the top for that particular Saturday. So when Family Guy (which ends at midnight) has a great viewing audience, Toonami usually benefits. For whatever reason, Family Guy did really well on Oct. 24 and Oct. 17, and probably helped in producing the best Saturday for Toonami.
Those two dates that Toonami was at it’s optimal level, was when we looked at the numbers (here, and here). Oct. 17 (for me) took the title of best Saturday of the month thanks to DBZ Kai’s huge 18-49 rating for a couple of Saturday’s. While DBZ Kai was the sixth best program (according to the 18-49 rating) on Oct 24., the entire block performed better on the seventeenth. The total viewers for shows like Akame ga Kill and Parasyte were much better on the seventeenth than the twenty-fourth. In fact that was the first week where Parasyte finally reached over a million total viewers (which was troubling me when it first debuted). To round it out, Michiko and Hatchan and Naruto Shuppiden each had over 900,000 viewers (all the way to 2 a.m.) on the seventeenth!
Back to DBZ Kai’s 18-49 rating, it neared a million which is a great number to reach when looking at other programs. That gave the show a 0.7, which was good for the eighth best program on that Saturday! Even with all the events that were going on, Toonami was able to stay right there with them in viewing numbers. Normally you’d see that rating number around 800,000-700,000 to start the action block. But that wasn’t the case, and the total viewing numbers also had a nice boost (especially after the Oct. 10 Saturday). When looking back-to-back with the tenth and the seventeenth, it almost like night and day at the difference. Toonami really enjoyed a nice boost before the marathon aired. That’s why I think the marathon bugged fans as much as it did. The last two Saturday’s before the marathon, Toonami enjoyed great viewing numbers. But in the big picture, that’s no reason to be worried Toonami fans. This trend makes me believe that the trend will be improving in the following month, and could become a bigger threat on social media.
In case you missed the announcement, Toonami released a new mobile app. The app looks to be integrated with any user’s Twitter account, and has hashtags ready and waiting to be used. However even without the new app, shows have trended just fine on Twitter this month. It was the beginning of the month that really set the tone for the shows later on. Of course that might had to deal with the premier of Parasyte, but the Twitter numbers that Saturday were great to see. On other notes about social media, it was really funny how on Oct. 18 (the Sunday after Toonami), had Esdeath trending (for whatever reason). It’s always good when a character, as well as a show, trends on social media. It helps promote the show, and draws interest for those who might not be tuning in to the action block. On a side note for the seventeenth, was when Toonami trending on Tumblr. That’s a nice change of pace considering that was the only Saturday where that happened. The more Toonami trends, the better the action block’s future looks with the fans.
So which show performed the best during the month of October? For this I look at the total viewers of each show, and see how much the numbers fluctuated for the month. Besides the obvious of DBZ Kai dominating Saturday’s, Michiko and Hatchan seemed to have consistent numbers in total viewers to the tune of 800,000-900,000 (making it my winner for the month). Not to mention that the shows 18-49 ratings stayed consistently at a 0.4. The show has surprised me with being a lesser-known title, and still commanding a lot of total viewers since it’s aired. It’s done a great job and proved that it truly belongs on Toonami. In fact I’d go as far to say it will become a nostalgic show where in the next ten years that fans will wish for the show to make a comeback.
For the next month, what can the action block look forward to in November? Intruder II will premier at the beginning of Toonami this Saturday, which should boost the numbers for DBZ Kai. I’m not expecting as big of numbers as it did back when the latest movie was released in the U.S. However, I do think the beginning of DBZ Kai will have a large audience before the first break. Luckily for Toonami the Intruder series will run through the entire month, which can keep hardcore fans and other casual viewers on the action block due to how different this is from any other programing block. This series is about the hosts (instead of anime) and should garner a bit of interest (since it isn’t part of a show that is airing). Oh and stop me if you heard this before, but there will probably be another marathon for the weekend after Thanksgiving. So can the numbers “survive” another marathon at that time? Depending on the show, I’m sure the viewing numbers for Toonami will be fine. Sure momentum might drop, but depending on how the viewing numbers look this upcoming Saturday, it probably wouldn’t mean anything.
All in all, Toonami was able to have a very strong October. I think the action block lucked out with how lack luster the MLB playoffs were on Saturday’s (although I felt the playoffs as a whole wasn’t as fun as it could be). College football didn’t take over the viewing numbers when Toonami aired like I thought they would (except for Oct. 3 which had an 11 p.m. football game with high numbers). There’s a lot to look forward to next month with the Intruder Series about to begin, and test out the new Toonami app (for tweeting) this upcoming Saturday. Toonami “will never be the same” from what the executives have been teasing for the Intruder series, and the intrigue has to be at an all-time high. It will be interesting to find out what show will be featured for the upcoming marathon for the weekend after Thanksgiving (Parasyte?). Or if Toonami will change up the ideas for marathons for the future (via Jason DeMarco’s ask.fm page). Still I feel very confident with how the Toonami performed this past month. Plus I hope everyone enjoyed the great content in a lineup that I feel is the strongest they’ve had since it’s return!
C.J Maffris is an editorial contributor for Toonamifaithful.com. Yes, he believes this is the strongest lineup Toonami has has since it’s return, and feels the numbers support it. Feel free to give C.J a follow on Twitter to debate that claim @SeaJayMaffris