Friday, July 26, 2013

Cheap predictions

A bunch of game show debuts have come and gone over the past few months. So what are their odds for survival?

If I had to guess, which I don't, I'd say the most likely to reach a second season are Hollywood Game Night and GSN's Minute To Win It. Neither has garnered overwhelming total viewer numbers. But they both skew relatively young, at least compared to most of our little genre. Okay, Minute skews young by GSN standards, which means it gets more than three persons in the 18-49 demo.

Of course, one game show about to debut is already guaranteed a second season: GSN's version of The Chase. It helps when your network likes your project so much that they give you a renewal before the show even gets on the air (or the cable wire). Meanwhile, the venerable Wipeout franchise is looking somewhat fragile on ABC. I have to wonder how many more seasons we'll see of the spills and chills.

And if all these predictions turn out wrong, I won't be surprised. Who knows what goes through the minds of network execs when it comes time to wield (or spare) the ax?


  1. 'Minute to Win It' will not get a second season despite just 'fair' numbers. 40 episodes, that's all.

  2. But Minute's numbers in 18-49 are a lot better than fair by GSN standards. Even the latest Tuesday, which saw "only" 108K viewers in 18-49 for the two hours, was a terrific result for the ancient-skewing network. As the latest post on your blog points out, GSN skews ridiculously old. If Minute can lower the median viewer age just a tad, it's got a real shot at a second season.

    1. I mean, the young numbers are great. Even a 108K 18-49 demo looks great for a 382K total average compared to a ~100K to ~175K 18-49 demo for Bible Challenge with 700K to 800K total viewership.

      To my knowledge without looking, Ohno MTWI has failed to crack the top 20 in weekly viewership except for the most recent week, July 15-21. The second week of July, Ohno MTWI failed to crack the top 30.

      With statistics like that, the new MTWI won't be around for more seasons when reruns of Feud, Chain Reaction and 5th Grader can do better than new episodes of a new original.

      My two cents

  3. Well, nothing much cracks the top 20 any more except Harvey Feud. In the July 15-21 week, only Minute To Win It and Chain Reaction landed in the top twenty along with Steve. So really, that's a pretty good performance for any show on GSN except Mr. Harvey's production. And the 18-49 numbers are great by GSN's geriatric standards.

  4. It depends on The Chase and how well that does. If The Chase blows the ratings out, in a good way, Minute to Win It will look bad and not get renewed.

    If The Chase were to garner just respectable numbers like MTWI is, then yes to a Minute season 2. Just my theory.

    It depends what GSN wants to spend their money on, after all.

  5. Minute To Win It isn't going to get any new episodes at GSN. With 40 episodes in the can, there's no reason to do more unless, especially with declining ratings. In two seasons of The Chase, GSN still won't have that many episodes. GSN ordered 40 Minute To Win It and 26 of The Chase because the rest of their development slate turned out to be a waste of money. They had no choice.

  6. Yeah, that's the one factor which runs against GSN ordering a second season of Minute...the first season order was so big. But the network is desperate to cut its median viewing age. That's why we always hear about reality shows.

    GSN needs a lot of (somewhat) younger-skewing programming to lower that median age, so they might want more eps of Minute. The network has admitted that Minute (Fieri's version, but it also applies to Ohno's) is its best draw among younger demos.

  7. According to the press release, the second season order for The Chase was eight episodes.

  8. That's right. Both seasons of The Chase are 8 episodes, 16 total. If they had such confidence in the show, they'd order more. For all the spin that ordering a second season was because they loved the show so much, if they really did, they'd have ordered 40, don't you think?

  9. In fact, ordering 16 eps (pre-debut) for a hour-long show is pretty rare for GSN. Even American Bible Challenge only got a nine-ep order before its debut.

    Sure, Minute got a big order. But GSN was basically just re-doing the Fieri version, which was a proven winner on the network with young demos, and at least a modest success on NBC. There is absolutely no track record for The Chase on GSN...or anywhere in the U.S. market, for that matter.

    Frankly, a 16-ep pre-debut order for such an untested show seems to indicate a lot of love for it. We'll see if the love is justified.