We’ve covered several TNT crime drama series in this space, but we’ve never written about one quite like “Legends,” which premieres for a second season on November 2nd, 2015.
The show is held together by international film star, Sean Bean, (“Game of Thrones” and “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy”), who plays the role of undercover FBI agent, Martin Odum, and whose specialty is assuming fake identities in order to infiltrate domestic and foreign terrorist organizations.
But FBI agent Martin Odum has a problem… a fairly large one. He so (convincingly) immerses himself in the identities of the characters he plays (an international arms dealer, construction worker and stuttering cowboy) that he often loses touch with the “real” Martin Odum. The existential angst he suffers can be summarized by the age-old question: “Who am I?” Not what you would call the ideal work-life balance, which includes the breakup of his marriage with Sonya Odum (played by Amber Valetta), not to mention the difficulty of getting along with his fellow agents.
I’m not sure whether or not “Legends” has long-term staying power, but one thing is clear: For the time being, the entire show and all the main characters revolve around the centrifugal force generated by Sean Bean’s portrayal of the highly talented (but seriously troubled) undercover agent, Martin Odum.
In terms of audience viewership levels, “Legends” pulled down a .9 Live U.S. household rating in Year One (good for a 1.1 Share in its Wednesday, 9pm time slot.) These metrics would be considered “strong” in the context of most cable shows, but not in comparison with other TNT crime dramas, such as “Major Crimes”, “Murder in the First” and “Rizzoli & Isles.” Still, “Legends” is compelling enough to generate a significant amount of DVR activity, which when combined with live viewership, leads to a remarkable 2.8 U.S. household rating:
“Legends” Cluster Profile: Home Ownership & No Kids
In order to quantify “Legend’s” core audience we turned to Acxiom PersonicX, which is a household-level consumer segmentation analysis that divides practically every home in America into one of seventy unique clusters across an array of demographic, behavior-graphic and lifestyle characteristics. By matching the unique characteristics of PersonicX clusters to their set-top-box panel homes, Rentrak has created PersonicX HH ratings for all the programs they measure.
Out of 70 PersonicX Clusters, we found 17 with a minimum 110 ratings index (or higher) for “Legends.” And out of these 17 top-rated clusters, every single one of them is characterized by home ownership and the lack of children in the home. Given that many of these cluster households are occupied by older adults, we would classify most of them as empty-nesters, but that catch-all phrase would not necessarily apply to the younger clusters, such as “Home Cooking” and “Mobile Mixers.”
Where there is less consistency is in the level of cluster household income, where the median Income Rank is “Mid Americana” homes (34th out of 70 total clusters.) But as can be seen below, there are some very upscale clusters (such as #3 “Corporate Clout”) and downscale clusters (such as #59 “Humble Homes”.)
Cluster “urbancity” is also far from being consistent, where the median level is (once again) the “Mid Americana” cluster with an urbanicty ranking of 46. But around that median figure can be found “Platinum Oldies”, which are substantially more urban (#11), and “Country Ways” which represents the most rural PersonicX Cluster (#70):
Local Cable Advertising Demand
“Legends” has been on air for only one season, so we have no baseline comparisons to quantify year-over-year sales data. The metrics for Season One, however, are higher than two other TNT first-year series we wrote about earlier this year (“Murder in the First” and “The Strain.”)
In Season One, 70 inaugural local advertisers invested in “Legends” across one-half of Viamedia’s national footprint (36 markets) and double that number for local cable advertising zones. In all, our clients ordered 375 30-second equivalized units, which comes to over 5 commercials per advertiser. On average, then, Viamedia clients committed commercials to a little over one-half of the ten episodes that ran in 2014. (Source: B.I.G.SM database — Copyright © 2015 by Viamedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved)
In terms of advertising category share, the profile for “Legends” is similar to fellow TNT crime/drama series “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Major Crimes,” with Automotive and Tune-in advertising representing the two largest categories:
Doubling Down on “Legends”
In undercover FBI work, the term “legend” refers to a fabricated identity, which is of course Agent Martin Odum’s line of work, hence the title of the show. The tension between Odum’s “real” identity and the ones he assumes (for months at a time, if need be) is brought to a fever pitch when it turns out that Odum may not be an FBI agent after all, but rather just another “legend” in the show. All of which leads to a brilliant performance by Sean Bean who has attracted the attention of viewers and advertisers alike as he tries to uncover who in fact he really is. We just might find out when Season Two premieres on November 2nd.
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– Written by Jonathan Sims, VP Media Research, Viamedia