Monday, August 17, 2015

Renewal odds 8/17/15: 'Skin Wars', 'The Chase', 'Chain Reaction', 'Idiotest', 'Steampunk'd' (and pre-'Steampunk'd' review)

Last week's renewal odds

Skin Wars

No doubt Skin Wars will get a third season, especially with the performances in 18-49 viewers the past two weeks. In nine episodes this season, Skin Wars has averaged a very strong 572,000 total viewers and a mighty (for GSN) 208,000 18-49 viewers. Even if the finale tanks this Wednesday (which is unlikely), Skin Wars is a lock for a third season.

One concern I have for Skin Wars is the longevity of its seasons. While shows like The Chase and Idiotest get more episodes per season because they do well, a show like Skin Wars just cannot be in that position. In both seasons, Skin Wars stayed strong from the premiere to a few weeks in, then would hit lows in the middle of the season and perk back up towards the finale. I think it would be a safer bet for GSN to give Skin Wars eight episodes for its next season. They'll probably give it ten and if they do, maybe have a double run at the premiere and finale plus a hiatus in the middle if the pattern continues.

Chance of renewal: 99% (flat)

The Chase

Very good numbers for The Chase lately. In the five episodes of this summer thus far (since July 16th), The Chase has averaged 648,000 total viewers and 141,000 18-49 viewers. Both very, very strong for GSN standards. The Chase should have no issues getting a 20 episode fifth season, unless scheduling or production issues exist.

Chance of renewal: 99% (flat)

Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction has now surpassed Idiotest in renewal odds. In ten episodes now, the new Chain Reaction has averaged 463,000 total viewers and 104,000 18-49 viewers. A fairly strong start in both demos there. The only concern is the continuous drop from The Chase for Chain Reaction. Then again, Idiotest had that problem last summer (in total viewers only but rose in 18-49's), and Idiotest got renewed.

I wouldn't seal Chain Reaction for renewal yet but it's off to a stronger start than recent prior one-and-done GSN revivals.

Chance of renewal: 65% (up 5% from last week)


Now, I wouldn't seal Idiotest for cancellation but the numbers have just slipped recently. In forty episodes this season, Idiotest has averaged 377,000 total viewers (up 1% from season one) and 120,000 18-49 viewers. Overall, renewable numbers, but Idiotest has just taken a tumble the past couple months. I think the problem is the Skin Wars viewers aren't game show viewers and just don't want to see Idiotest. Meanwhile, the Idiotest viewers are not Skin Wars viewers and would rather watch Family Feud or The Chase before Idiotest, not Skin Wars. Therefore, some Idiotest viewers I bet forget it's on Wednesdays at 10pm because they dislike Skin Wars and don't wish to see reality on GSN.

GSN must still be liking Idiotest numbers enough after their art-based design competitions (Skin Wars/Steampunk'd): Idiotest gets a hiatus this week but returns after Steampunk'd on August 26th.

Chance of renewal: 60% (down 10% from last week)


This just doesn't look to be up GSN's alley. From the promos, there is way too much contestant fighting and arguing, which has been an issue with Skin Wars this season. Additionally, Steampunk'd is much dimmer and darker compared to the much brighter Skin Wars, Idiotest, The Chase, Chain Reaction and Family Feud. In 2015 with game shows, brighter and happier is better.

At least Skin Wars had/has Rebecca Romijn and RuPaul, who are very well known in society today. They can even be classified as A-Listers and B-Listers. Other judges Robin and Craig, not so much (but still serve well to Skin Wars). None of the three judges (Thomas Willeford, Kato, Matt King) are known very well and are Z-Listers, at very best. In fact, it's hard to do Google searches for all three of them. The host, Jeannie Mai, who is probably most famous, is just one of five women on The Real, which is one out of several daytime talk shows.

I don't think Steampunk'd is going to work out for GSN after this week. The premiere will probably be relatively strong since it follows Skin Wars, but after a few weeks when Skin Wars/Skin Wars: Fresh Paint is gone, Steampunk'd will not survive. Sort of like what happened to It Takes a Church without American Bible Challenge. Steampunk'd, after all, really is Bible/Church all over again. Unlike when GSN finally got around to airing It Takes a Church, GSN got the timing right this time around when premiering Steampunk'd while Skin Wars is still hot.

Keep in mind, I said Skin Wars would be the biggest GSN failure ever at one time and that never happened. However, that prediction was before RuPaul and Rebecca Romijn signed deals with GSN. I still didn't think Skin Wars would be a success then, but I also knew those names would attract attention.

Chance of renewal (for Season 2): 35%

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  1. And the reason why Idiotest tumbled big this past Wednesday was Man Vs Fly. After the 10 pm episode, the short bombed. And that caused Idiotest to hit a series low. Looks like those won't be seen for long. I honestly think Steampunkd will flop after one season. Then again, we all said the same about Skin Wars and look what happened to that show. All these shows look renewable, but out of all of them, Idiotest needs to improve big. Just found out something interesting, since Steampunkd will move to 9 pm starting August 26th, the last three or so episodes will be up against Empire, Fox's #1 show. I wonder if the show could hang on against that show.

    1. "Just found out something interesting, since Steampunkd will move to 9 pm starting August 26th, the last three or so episodes will be up against Empire, Fox's #1 show."

      Empire did attract a huge audience last winter and will probably do the same this Fall. Not everybody watches Empire or even close. So Steampunk'd should remain somewhat stable (unless ratings are bad from the start). But if I were GSN, I wouldn't air new originals against something big in broadcast television.

    2. I didn't say everyone watches Empire, I just said it is the most watched show for the network. But who knows, Steampunkd could do all right unless the ratings are terrible before then, so we will have to wait and see.

      On the subject, I wonder if GSN would order more episodes of Skin Wars: Fresh Paint if the special does well. I think this is the first spinoff that GSN has ever had.

    3. 18 episodes of Skin Wars: Fresh Paint would do better than the 18 episodes of Skin Wars as we know them for rerun value. Skin Wars is dragged out over a whole season where viewers know the outcome, like Dancing with the Stars (see what I did there), while the new special has one episode with the same contestants and then the next episode would have different contestants.

      We'll see how the numbers for the Skin Wars special hold up. Probably somewhat well.

  2. "I think this is the first spinoff that GSN has ever had."

    Baggage: First Dates in 2011 then Baggage On The Road for Baggage spinoffs.

    1. I forget about Baggage. Yet, that spinoff didn't work out. On September 2nd, which is a Wednesday, I wonder what GSN would decide to put at 8 pm. Probably a rerun of Steampunkd I guess. But, here's what I would do, put new Idiotest at 8, since it seems 10 pm isn't working out for them. Then Steampunkd at 9 pm. Or stick a rerun of The Chase in there. I would say Harvey Feud too, but I guess there's some rule that Feud can't air at 8 pm.