Part of the problem in this discussion comes down to TeeVee
Terminology and how the industry works, or doesn't, logically or
otherwise. It's the difference between ratings, rankings, demographics
and other niceties.
Just to get into this for a second...you have two shows on competing
networks: Lois and Clark and Murder, She Wrote. M,SW gets *substantially*
higher ratings than L C. Now, which is more profitable for the network?
Answer: Lois and Clark. Because the show attracts the demographics
(males/females 18-40) that advertisers want. So the commercials on that
show sell for more than M,SW commercials, which generally reach a much
older and, from an advertiser's POV, less meaningful demographic.
So a show can be lower rated, but more successful. It's definitely
Alice in Wonderland reasoning, but there you are. That's why CBS is
frantically trying to up their demographics, and why they hate shows like
Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. It's one of their few ratings hits, but it
doesn't draw the right demographics. They need the show for the PR
value, to maintain a presence in the top shows, but they hate it behind
B5 is slowly starting to crack two audiences: the ST audience, and
the mainstream audience. I frequently hear from people whose letters and
email (some of it visible here) begins, "I don't usually watch SF, but I
have started watching B5." ,\gsC
Our ratings need not ever be as big as the ST shows to be as
profitable, particularly since we only cost about half what they cost.
If they go up a point or two, say to a sustained 4.5 or 5 or better,
which I think is possible this season, we're golden; if we sustain or
build just a little, we're still okay.