Thursday, October 13, 2016


A little lazy today, so I'll just repost some of my comments at Game Show Network News about GSN's latest ratings mishaps. I know I'm getting to be a bore about this, but it's a good subject to be a bore about. The topic is "Friday Night Frights" - Hellevator and Scare Tactics - and their less than boffo Nielsen numbers...

GSN execs are tired of hearing that their median viewer age is 139 (slight exaggeration). That's why stuff like Hellevator keeps showing up on the network despite modest or downright bad total viewer numbers. Such shows still skew relatively young by GSN standards. A 0.05 18-49 rating looks and is pretty bad. But for GSN it's not absolutely terrible.

Still, I have to wonder if the demo chase is paying off much for the network. Anybody who watches GSN at all sees a parade of ads for diabetes drugs and AARP Medicare supplements. So it's not like GSN has become a babe magnet for advertisers seeking younger demos.

Why not just get as many viewers as you can? The demo chase doesn't seem to be working out very well, unless you have naked girls in the show. And even Skin Wars doesn't get huge total viewer numbers.

Top 30 [on the TV Newser cable network ratings chart] is a distant memory. In the latest week (October 3-9) GSN tumbled to 44th, 40th and 46th in prime time, total day and extended prime time. The network is already hacking away some repeats of Hellevator and Scare Tactics that are obviously killing the total day average.

My guess is that both shows will be only an unpleasant memory for GSN after this month.

ADDITION: Just got GSN's new schedule for the October 24-30 week. One show that should become a pleasant memory for GSN is Wheel of Fortune. The 2013-14 season, the most recent ever for the network, will run at 11:00 AM weekdays. Sure, it's in the death slot opposite you know what on CBS. But GSN can use all the total day help it can get.

Other weird things happen on Friday morning (October 28). Richard Dawson's Family Feud returns, and so does Whammy and Match Game '90. Looks like a Halloween stunt.


  1. The Feud episode on 10/28 appears to be the 10/31/1994 hour-long episode of Dawson's return 1994-95 syndicated season, as the schedule lists a one-hour episode.

  2. WOF hasn't aired on GSN since the day after Thanksgiving in 2010 as a special set of episodes from 2006 I believe. Its last regular berth on the GSN schedule was from early 2008-early 2010 when they ran the 1994-95 season for about three cycles.

  3. They were airing the 1996-97 season of WOF in late 2000, which was almost as recent then as the batch of shows they're getting