Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chased away

As schedules and promos from GSN confirm, the network is calling off The Chase. The show's last first-run is next Tuesday, September 3, and the last rerun is September 10. Rumors around the game show Interwebs are that The Chase won't return for at least another couple months.

So the show, which debuted on August 6, barely lasted a month in its first go-round on GSN. It didn't even get through the eight eps taped for the first season. The network announced a renewal for The Chase before its debut, but this (lack of) scheduling does not demonstrate enormous faith in its future. What happened?

Well, first of all, the show didn't perform terribly. The five first-runs so far have averaged 455K viewers. Not bad by GSN's historical standards, but not really all that great by GSN's recent standards. GSN averaged 380K viewers for all of prime time in August, and even some Chain Reaction reruns in the afternoon got more than 455K viewers. It's the revolution of rising expectations. Also, The Chase has not done particularly well in repeats, a critical issue for rerun-happy GSN.

I'm sure the network didn't expect American Bible Challenge numbers. But they probably looked for more from Brooke and the Beast than they got. I gave The Chase a glowing review, and I still think it's a fine quizzer. But let's face it, the show is more of an Anglophile website darling - BuzzerBlog and Game Show Newsnet in particular - than a mass-appeal project in the U.S. Let's hope that better days (or at least more days) for the show lie ahead.

UPDATE: Before every Chase fan - I'm one of you! - starts jumping down my throat for being a gloomy Gus, I'll happily note that the show recovered nicely this week to 506K viewers for its first-run on August 27. Trouble is, GSN had made the scheduling decision (on their pdf) before this number was available. And I'm afraid they may have been influenced by the show's previous ratings track. As I wrote on Game Show Network News...

In the week of August 11-18, only one week after The Chase debuted, the show's first-run already sank to 46th on the weekly list. (The repeats were way down the list, of course.) When your hot new show - which you renewed before its debut - falls that far that fast, it's natural for a bit of disappointment to set in.

The recovery this week was nice, and I hope it persuades GSN not to give up on the show. But anybody at GSN who had their doubts about The Chase got some ammunition for their arguments pretty quick.

UPDATED UPDATE: Scott Rahner at Game Show Network News says that GSN will bring back The Chase in late November, including the unaired two eps from the first season. We'll see. Hope it's true. The show hasn't bombed, after all, even if the numbers don't seem to justify a pre-debut renewal.

UPDATED UPDATED UPDATE: Well, good news for us Chase fans. GSN just sent out revised schedules through October, and The Chase stays on the schedule with a couple reruns on Tuesday night. Yay! I hope the ratings hold up halfway decently. As always, though, you can't trust the advance schedules all that much. By the way, 5th Grader is gone from the schedule completely after September 15.


  1. Posted a blog entry a few hours ago. The last two Season 1 episodes will be a part of the second season, which means 10 episodes.

    The second season is currently set to premiere in late-November.

  2. Also, even though you called GSN "rerun happy", which absolutely works with all of the shows except their own originals, they could at least cut the Saturday night and Tues. afternoon.

    Judging by the numbers, most of the time, near-decade old reruns of Karn/O'Hurley Family Feud could do better at those two spots.

  3. Well, it's good that the show is staying on the network. The ratings have been okay if not enormous.

  4. Oh, one more funny note. The die-hard fans at Game Show Newsnet insist that GSN's Chase has had a "good year." Well, it had one fairly decent month, I guess (wink). The site still hasn't bothered to notify its readers that the show is off the schedule after September 10.

  5. So here comes a rant related to the new schedules:

    At least The Chase does not rerun 6-8 times a week. Chase gets two spots on Tuesday along with new eps of Minute, which will probably struggle even more than now.

    This is my first real complaint about the mass amounts of Family Feud and it starts here: They really won't renew the rights to 5th Grader, which is a show that was doing more than fine on the network. Foxworthy's Fox quizzer only lifted the primetime average, by a ton some weeks getting 600,000 or 700,000 viewers rarely on a Sunday, and 5th Grader was also doing fine in daytime.

    >So now there's ANOTHER hour of O'Hurley Feud (1pm Eastern) after a sorta newly added Karn hour??? Insane.

    >>And more Ohno Minute to Win It Sunday night? I see the show bounced the way the Fieri version was within six months.

    My two guesses with 5th Grader leaving the network is that the show was bringing in way too small of an 18-49 demo for their liking, or GSN is really trying to save money to acquire something big.

    A GSN Guarantee: Those October 7-13 & October 14-20 schedules will change at least once before those dates come around, and maybe some major changes too. If I recall, the Oct. 15-21, 2012 & Oct. 22-28, 2012 schedules were printed well before new acquisitions were announced.

    My [a lot more than] two cents.