Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Fun with numbers

This retired actuary can never resist numbers, so I put up a ratings post each week. But it's time for a more general summing up, so to speak.

Among the broadcasters NBC is currently getting the best news from the genre. The Wall and Ellen's Game of Games are doing just fine, thank you, with plenty of viewers (by today's shriveled broadcast standards) and 18-49 ratings comfortably above the dreaded "fractional" zone. ABC's much talked-about game show reboots are looking a little frayed around the Nielsen edges, though the numbers are still semi-respectable. Of course, the genre's famously low production costs are always helpful.

In cable land TBS liked what it saw from Joker's Wild, while Discovery seems much less pleased with Cash Cab. Maybe GSN should have tried the reboot with Ben and his four-wheeled friend. Speaking of GSN, times have never been better - in some ways, at least - for our little game show network. Or maybe it's not so little any more. GSN is regularly landing in the top 25 cable nets on total day household rating (24th in the latest week, according to TV Newser). Could it be all those retiring baby boomers settling in for TV comfort food?

GSN's viewer numbers are down a tad, but cord-cutting is taking a toll on all cable nets. The point is that the network is doing very well against its cable competition, though the demos remain old (ancient curse of the genre). The key problem for GSN remains its reliance on Harvey Feud in prime time. God knows they've tried to find something else for the window. Originals, recent acquisitions, oldies, documentaries...nothing has worked consistently well. So next week GSN prime time will be all Mr. Steve except for a couple hours of Match Game.

And Match Game reminds me of Buzzr. It would be interesting to get some actual numbers for the oldies diginet. You can guess a few things, like a median viewer age of 104. Okay, slight exaggeration. But from the ads on the network, 66-year-old moi may be less aged than Buzzr's median. I'm not far from it, anyway. Buzzr will try to skew a smidge younger with more recent shows starting this Friday. The diginet is still alive and kicking, which is nice to see.


  1. I will say, it's very interesting the only two shows in primetime on GSN right are the "antichrist"... I mean Steve Harvey Feud and 70's Match Game. Maybe Match Game has been doing well on Saturdays.

  2. They even acquired Hollywood Game Night a year ago to see what that would do. And it must have stunk because it's nowhere to be found. If GSN wanted to acquire new shows, might as well go with familiarity. Get recent revivals like Celebrity Family Feud and Match Game. Heck, I'd even suggest The Wall and even the $100,000 Pyramid with Strahan.