Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GSN in 2014: Grading the highlights

Prior Post: 2014 Top GSN Surprises

It is time to take a look back, article by article, at all the Game Show Network ups and downs of 2014.

A: Huge success on many levels; B: Slightly positive with mainly positive effects; C: No major impact and had its ups and down; D: Negative overall effect; F: Complete failure
+: Slightly more of a success than the grade describes
-: Slightly less of a success than the grade describes

Quarter 1
The Chase up to another series high following Christmas/New Years' hiatus A
Mind of a Man debuts respectably to 407,000 total viewers over 2 hours B
Late January schedule changes: Deal or No Deal returns, Shop 'Til You Drop expands, Chain Reaction leaves D+
The Chase up seven percent to another series high A
GSN cuts back on The Chase in favor of Game Show Moments Gone Bananas and 1 vs. 100 (Saget) C+
The Chase hits final series high A+
Morning oldies beat out Mind of a Man B+
RuPaul and Rebecca Romijn sign onto Skin Wars A
With poor ratings, new runs of Mind of a Man move to later timeslot to 10pm C+ 
Apolo Ohno's Minute to Win It returns B
GSN airs Jim Lange tribute C
2014-15 GSN upfronts (includes announcement of Idiotest) A
The Chase gets a third season A+
Game Show Network Q1 overall grade:  B+ 
The Chase had a great showing in January while Mind of a Man kicked off well on premiere night but bombed out thereafter. Mind of a Man definitely weighed down the 1st quarter grade but other than that, it was a solid three months for GSN which included the 14-15 upfronts.

Quarter 2
Morning schedule changes shifting classics (includes Blockbusters and Press Your Luck off weekday schedule) C-
American Bible Challenge gets 2-hour season premiere B-
American Bible Challenge Season 3 plummets in premiere night ratings D+
It Takes a Church debuts post-Bible to 417,000 total viewers C+
Blockbusters and Shop 'Til You Drop return to the weekday morning schedule B
Apolo Ohno's Minute to Win It leaves the primetime schedule, left to weekend reruns C+
GSN sets August premiere dates for Skin Wars and Idiotest A
Mind of a Man gets the 2am ET hour, Steve Harvey Family Feud moves to daytime D
Final Mind of a Man numbers: DeRay did worse than Drew and Wendy in 2011 F
Game Show Network Q2 overall grade: C+
The low ratings for Mind of a Man, American Bible Challenge and It Takes a Church weighed down the grade for GSN in the 2nd quarter of 2014. We got to see Blockbusters and Shop 'Til You Drop move to the daytime schedule but those did not last long, just like the 3pm Steve Harvey Family Feud hour.

Quarter 3
The Chase Season 3 premiere down significantly from Season 2 finale B
The Line green-lit for five episodes, Jeff Davis and Candace Bailey will host C
It Takes a Church removed from schedule after season finale B+
GSN acquires Let's Ask America C-
Deal or No Deal moves to mornings; replaces Super Password B+
GSN renews It Takes a Church and The Chase A+  
Card Sharks and Press Your Luck replace Blockbusters and Whammy! B+
GSN orders 20 episodes of Baggage On The Road A-
GSN acquires All Star Secrets and Babble for special Sunday night airing D-
"New to GSN" episodes of Card Sharks, Press Your Luck, Sale of the Century and The $25,000 Pyramid acquired along with the 2012-13 season of Steve Harvey Family Feud A+  
Skin Wars ordered for ten episode second season A
Game Show Network Q3 overall grade: A-
If this were based just on the month of August, the grade would be an A or A+. GSN had one of their most solid three months yet with the success of The Chase, the success of two new originals, Idiotest and Skin Wars and the renewal of three originals. Additionally, we got to see some new acquisitions come the end of September.

Quarter 4
All Star Secrets and Babble average 99,000 total viewers in primetime F
Mid-October schedule changes: Let's Ask America vanishes to latenights, six shows leave schedule, Steve Harvey's Family Feud expands 12+ hours on weekends A-
GSN brings back The Chase from 2-month hiatus A
GSN attempts to bring back High Stakes Poker with survey C+
Shop 'Til You Drop leaves GSN schedule B
GSN commits to airing Monopoly Millionaires' Club C
GSN renews Idiotest for second season A-
GSN acquires Crosswits and is aired in the Sunday night rarities block C+
GSN sets The Line as two-hour special instead of a mini-series C+
Thanksgiving marathons include The Chase, Family Feud and Tattletales B-
GSN sets projects in development for 2015 lineup (includes Danica McKellar hosting App Wars) C+
GSN sets Baggage: On The Road premiere date B+
GSN sees above average primetime and total day numbers A
GSN adds three Black & White game shows to December lineup B-
The Chase sees season high with 743,000 total viewers A+
GSN adds Press Your Luck and TV's Funniest Game Show Moments to holiday marathons B-
Game Show Flashback premieres C
GSN sets Season 4 premiere date for The Chase A
Idiotest moved to a different night B
The Line debuts to 415,000 total viewers B-
Game Show Network Q4 overall grade: B+
This final quarter of 2014 saw some major schedule changes which paid off for GSN, producing some of their highest overall ratings in quite some time. The Chase saw a season high as Idiotest was granted a second season.

Game Show Network overall grade in 2014: B+


  1. Anybody can hand out subjective grades. But the numbers from Nielsen are what count. GSN averaged 348K/271K viewers prime time/total day for the entire year, according to the final 2014 cable ranker on TV Newser. Virtually the same as last year on Nielsen's sample, though GSN did move up from 40th to 36th in the total day ranking.

    The network can make a nice living from those numbers.

  2. 2014: 348K/271K
    2013: 356K/274K
    2012: 326K/242K

    2014 fell slightly from 2013, but just a little. Casey, did you ever find the numbers for the week of December 15-21 and December 22-28?

  3. Some really picayune corrections, according to TV Newser:

    2013: 355K/273K (42nd/40th)

    And no, TV Newser didn't publish weekly numbers for the last two weeks.