Monday, March 9, 2015

Renewal odds 3/9/15: 'The Chase', 'Baggage On The Road'

The Chase

We have had a very, very solid six episode sampling of The Chase thus far, with the seventh (and mid-season finale) coming tomorrow night. These six episodes have averaged 646,000 total viewers, well above the 535,000 viewers the first six episodes The Chase averaged in its third season. If GSN does not give The Chase a twenty-episode fifth season (same order as Season 4) tomorrow at the upfronts, I really don't know what they are waiting for.

If not tomorrow, I am sure the renewal will come eventually. To face reality, we are not even half way through the current season.

Chance of renewal: 99% (flat)
Chance of renewal tomorrow at GSN upfronts: 75%
Chance of renewal after tomorrow if not renewed at tomorrow's upfronts: 99%

Baggage On The Road

In eighteen episodes, Baggage On The Road has averaged 374,000 total viewers. Is that alone good enough for renewal? Yes, considering both Idiotest and It Takes a Church were renewed with nearly the same numbers (Idiotest, at the time its renewal during the middle of its first season, had 360,000 total viewers; It Takes a Church averaged 368,000 total viewers in its first season).

The difference with Baggage On The Road is that the episodes are cheaper to make. Cheap set, suitcases and no giveaways except a date (if the suitors even take each other). In fact, I think the cheapness of Baggage is under-rated (whereas, game show fans complained about the cheapness of Chain Reaction, 1 vs. 100 (Inaba) and The Pyramid but never Baggage).

Overall, last week's numbers (March 4th) were fairly strong in total viewers but very strong in the 18-49's. The past three of four weeks, Baggage On The Road rose in 18-49 viewers and total viewers from half-hour to half-hour, so that alone stands a better chance for renewal.

If GSN does not give Baggage On The Road another season tomorrow (or green-lighting more Baggage episodes in some shape or form), then it doesn't look good. If you want more episodes, you can only hope more upcoming originals (It Takes a Church, Idiotest, Skin Wars) bomb. Therefore, with more failed programming, GSN will need to fill more space in the primetime lineup and Family Feud is not always the solution.

Chance of renewal: 50% (up 10% from last week)
Chance of renewal tomorrow at GSN upfronts: 45%
Chance of renewal after tomorrow if not renewed at tomorrow's upfronts: 15%


  1. When are you going to take me up on my offer of a wager?

  2. I think the issue about the cheapness has to do with comparison. For instance, Baggage was a brand new GSN original. Nothing like it really existed before it, therefore there wasn't really anything to compare it against.

    But when you look at revivals of previously-aired shows, specifically 1 VS 100 and Pyramid in this case, it's hard not to compare it with previous seasons. Baggage works well as a cheap dating show. In fact, getting Jerry to host is probably the highest expense in terms of the production cost. However, taking 1 VS 100, a show with a top prize of $1 Million, and then shrinking it down to $50k, while still keeping the same level of difficulty in the questions, makes it look way cheap in comparison. Same thing with Pyramid, which previously offered a $25k second Winner's Circle without the need to hit a perfect 21.

    Could GSN afford having a top prize of $1 Million? Heck no (at least not yet, but the way they're going, maybe give it 10 years and it'll be possible -- they're already up to $250k right now). But 1 VS 100 could've easily worked with a top prize of $100k. Even during that last week where they doubled it to $100k, no one even came close to hitting it. Personally, I think they were being way too conservative in their amounts, probably guessing that whether the player won, or the mob won, they'd still be out the same amount of money regardless (unlike your typical quiz show where if the player loses, the network only pays out a minimal amount, like $1,000, if even anything at all).

    For Pyramid, I'm sure they could've afforded the $25k without the perfect 21 catch. It was already hard enough in the Winner's Circle that most people didn't win anyway.

    And then you have Lingo, which was the complete reverse. It started out as a cheap show, and worked well as a cheap show. Then, all of a sudden, they revive it and throw an absolutely absurd $100k top prize into the mix for no reason whatsoever. It would've worked fine with a top prize of $10k or $25k, or even an increasing jackpot of $5k, like they had before. Oh, and without Bill Engvall as host. But that's going off-topic.

    Anyways, my point is, when a show airs, it sets a certain standard, or precedence, if you will. If 1 VS 100 started with a top prize of $50k, or Pyramid started with a top prize of $10k, then no one would've complained with GSN's amounts, but the fact that they started with amounts much higher, made GSN's version look substandard in comparison.