Monday, August 31, 2015

Renewal odds 8/31/15: 'Skin Wars', 'The Chase', 'Skin Wars' specials, 'Chain Reaction', 'Idiotest', 'Steampunk'd'

Last week's renewal odds

Skin Wars

Season 3 is a lock. I don't know what to suggest for season 3 airings for Skin Wars when it comes to the longevity. Ten straight weeks or a hiatus in the middle? Both in season one and season two, the low point of the Skin Wars season has always been in the mid to end. GSN has to watch that.

Chance of renewal: 100%

The Chase

The only real downer of The Chase this past week was its oddness from lead-in Family Feud. The Chase jumped in total viewers (+10%) but fell in 18-49's (-34%) from Family Feud. Even though The Chase was the oldest-skewing GSN original this week, its 18-49's should still satisfy GSN (and the total viewers should satisfy GSN even more).

Chance of renewal: 99% (flat)

Skin Wars specials (or Skin Wars: Fresh Paint)

Skin Wars: Fresh Paint actually performed stronger than I expected on Wednesday (with 456K total viewers and 157K 18-49 viewers). GSN loves Skin Wars, enough to give it a third season and the Skin Wars special performed very well. GSN is not usually big on specials, but I think another Skin Wars special, if not Skin Wars: Fresh Paint will be back.

Chance of more specials for Skin Wars: 80% (up 20% from last week)

Chain Reaction

Over fourteen episodes now, Chain Reaction has averaged 462,000 total viewers and 107,000 18-49 viewers. Those are solid, not excellent, but solid numbers for renewal. Even this past week, Chain Reaction was the highest 18-49 rated GSN show in primetime (beating out The Chase and Family Feud). It doesn't budge with the percentage, due to the fact that Chain Reaction has its ups and downs and has a majority of its episodes yet to air. We'll see where the next weeks take Chain Reaction.

Chance of renewal: 70% (flat)


Something tells me there is not going to be a happy ending for Idiotest. The numbers, both total and 18-49, did hold on from lead-in Steampunk'd mostly. Idiotest is down year to year and the numbers lately are simply weak. All new episodes of Idiotest in July and August have averaged 331,000 total viewers and 122,000 18-49 viewers. The 18-49 figure is more than fine but the total viewers definitely weigh down the primetime average. If Idiotest does get renewed, it's because of the 18-49's.

I just don't like how GSN sticks Idiotest after Steampunk'd. I think Idiotest new runs would do much better after Chain Reaction Thursday nights.

Chance of renewal: 60% (down 5%)


Steampunk'd gets a renewal boost for two reasons: The 18-49's held on strongly from Skin Wars: Fresh Paint, making Steampunk'd the youngest-skewing GSN original two weeks in a row. Additionally, in a press release about the Skin Wars renewal, Amy Introcaso-Davis (Vice President of programming at GSN) said Steampunk'd had a "strong debut." By 'strong', she must have meant in the 18-49's. The total viewer numbers have been below the GSN average for Steampunk'd but the show has been getting lots of 18-49's. You can't win in both, except for Skin Wars.

I still do not a positive trend for Steampunk'd over the next six weeks, but it looks like the numbers have pulled a liking to GSN so far.  

Chance of renewal: 45% (up 10% from last week)


  1. I agree. If Idiotest gets renewed, it's because of the 18-49s. The problem with the show is the night it's on. Wednesdays at 10 worked well at first, but now it seems to be causing more harm then help. And the big concern is when a Steampunkd rerun moves in at 8 pm beginning this Wednesday. I still think GSN should put Idiotest back at 8 pm because it might do better. It doesn't make sense to air a rerun that was just on 4 hours before.

    1. It's also the fact that the Skin Wars/Steampunk'd audience is not the traditional game show audience.

    2. Scott, do you agree with Dog Eat Dog at 4 pm or do you think a different show should be there.

    3. I definitely disagree with Dog Eat Dog. I like the show but do not think it would be good for the long term. There are limited episodes too. I probably would have put in recent originals in the 4pm hour:

      *The Chase (Season 1-3 episodes) or
      *Catch 21 or
      *Idiotest season 1

      Or best: Lane Chain Reaction at 4pm (in addition to 3pm and 3:30pm) and then Catherwood reruns at 4:30pm.

    4. They'll pretty much run the entire series to the ground in a month. I don't think it will last long at 4 pm. Also, I think The Pyramid should go. The 2012 season has to be worn out by now. I would replace it with a Catch 21 rerun. I think GSN would wait until the second season ends to put Idiotest on the weekday schedule. By then, it will have 105 episodes and won't be as worn out as the 2012 Pyramid is right now.

      While were on the subject of Idiotest, let's say it does get renewed. How many episodes would the show have? Usually when TV shows start to fade in the ratings, it would get a shorter episode order. If Idiotest does get renewed, it might get 65 episodes like this current season or maybe even less since the ratings the last few weeks have been disappointing, excluding the 18-49s.

      Also Scott, can Idiotest still get renewed if one of their originals bomb out? Lastly, GSN should renew The Chase after Thursday. I bet they are waiting after the show goes on a hiatus to renew. They renewed Skin Wars a week after the season wrapped up, so it wouldn't be surprising if Chase was renewed a week after.

    5. "Also, I think The Pyramid should go. The 2012 season has to be worn out by now."

      You and others have been saying that for a while now. With all the time The Pyramid has been there with the limited 38 episodes it has, it must be doing at least well to stay in a historically well rated afternoon block.

      If GSN wanted to shift The Pyramid around, maybe at 4pm (for a solo half hour slot) instead of Dog Eat Dog. At 4:30pm? Lingo (either version).

      "If Idiotest does get renewed, it might get 65 episodes like this current season or maybe even less since the ratings the last few weeks have been disappointing, excluding the 18-49s."

      If Idiotest does get renewed, I would imagine 65 half-hour episodes. I can't imagine more or less.

      "Also Scott, can Idiotest still get renewed if one of their originals bomb out?"

      Absolutely. Same with Chain Reaction. If Steampunk'd blew out the numbers with a premiere of one million viewers, record-breaking 18-49's and the next episode with close ratings, then Idiotest would be a goner. But that success did not happen with Steampunk'd.

      In other words: the worse Steampunk'd performs, the better the chance of renewal for Idiotest.

      Say if Steampunk'd bombs the next six weeks (which is fairly likely) and Hellevator is no success, you bet The Chase, Chain Reaction and Idiotest are coming back and soon.

    6. This brings me to another point. Say last summer if the now young-skewing and successful Skin Wars and Idiotest bombed, you bet American Bible Challenge would have been back while stuff like The Line may have been attempted for more episodes. I'm not saying GSN would have gotten so depressed to bring Mind of a Man back if that did happen last summer, which it didn't, but it's the same thing with Steampunk'd and Hellevator now.

      If Steampunk'd and Hellevator turn out to be mass successes, then the "been there done that/borderline renewal" Idiotest and Chain Reaction are gone.

    7. I have nothing against the 2012 Pyramid. In fact, I thought it was entertaining. That version needs a break and then come back to the schedule. When Chain Reaction has no new lead in, it might run into a problem. CBS' simulcast of NFL Network's Thursday Night Football is returning on September 17th. I know sports have no effect on GSN's ratings, just pointing that out. Can Chain Reaction hang well against tough competition like a sport?

    8. Thursday Night Football starts September 10th. Steelers and Patriots.

      Chain Reaction will be fine. The only events that ruin GSN ratings big time are the Super Bowl and to a lesser extent, debates. But I don't think one TNF will hurt too much.

    9. Non related, but with the syndie game shows returning this fall with new seasons, do you think Family Feud can top Jeopardy and Wheel in the ratings?

    10. Yes for Family Feud being number one, especially since the ABC version was very popular and not beaten to death.

    11. Looks like it is getting popular, my local affiliate just added 2 spots on Saturday nights beginning September 12th.