Monday, October 26, 2015

Renewal odds 10/26/15: 'Skin Wars', 'Idiotest', 'Hellevator', 'The Chase', 'Chain Reaction', 'Steampunk'd'

Skin Wars: Already lock for a third season. Chance of renewal: 100% (flat)

Idiotest: Two concerns I have for Idiotest. One, it has been six weeks since the casting call was published and still no official renewal through GSN, even though Idiotest is still actively advertised as casting on-air. Second, the most recent series lows and massive drop-off from Hellevator must be concerning. I doubt GSN is going to back out of their casting call for Idiotest with not much else working for them right now, but the Idiotest numbers since the summer, even the 18-49's, just seem too weak for renewal. Chance of renewal: 85% (down 10% from last week)

Hellevator: Digesting the premiere night numbers for Hellevator are generally, but not completely positive. The only winner from last Wednesday was Hellevator, while Idiotest bombed (even with a much stronger lead-in than usual) while Family Feud rebounded but still was not itself. Notice Hellevator rose handsomely in both 18-49 and total viewers from lead-in Family Feud. Whereas, prior 8pm shows like Steampunk'd, The Chase and Idiotest never rose from Family Feud in both 18-49 and total viewer numbers.

The well-advertised same night rerun for Hellevator must concern GSN at 144K total viewers and 51K 18-49 viewers, dropping dramatically from lead-in Family Feud and also very likely the least watched show of the day in total viewers since the morning. The same-night reruns (to benefit the West Coast) have historically done worse than the primetime runs but usually not as bad as Hellevator's encore.

Also to note, the Hellevator premiere picked up more 18-49 viewers than the Season 2 Skin Wars premiere (on 6/10/15) and skewed younger than this year's Skin Wars premiere.

It's early, and I doubt Hellevator will hang on to numbers close to premiere night, but for now, Hellevator has provided comforting news for GSN. Chance of renewal: 60% (up 10% from last week)

The Chase: Nothing has happened here. It is still available on the GSNTV casting page too, so that's a positive. Hellevator did well, but did not blow the Nielsen doors away. You have to consider it has been well over a year since the last renewal for The Chase (August 2014) and no word still, despite only five episodes left. "No word" is not positive. Chance of renewal: 55% (down 5% from last week)

Chain Reaction: Again, just like Skin Wars, Idiotest and The Chase above, no movement. The only observation is that on GSNTV's homepage, Hellevator replaced Chain Reaction in one of the bigger tiles when you click on "shows". That's no biggie and effects nothing. Chance of renewal: 40% (flat)

Steampunk'd: Ever since the premiere night numbers, I have said Steampunk'd would very, very likely be cancelled but never wrote the series off completely like Lie Detectors due to how attached GSN was to Steampunk'd. Plus, the fact that GSN seeks 18-49's and Steampunk'd throughout its run brought in some of the youngest-skewing audiences GSN has ever seen.

This past week, GSN released a new advertisement promoting all current programming and not one second of Steampunk'd was featured.

However, unlike any prior of their originals, GSN has put all episodes of the Steampunk'd run on Hulu in full. I can see how game shows do not work on Hulu, but this just seems like an attempt for GSN to either save Steampunk'd or lease Steampunk'd as a series to Hulu and their subscribers for financial reasons. Chance of renewal (for a complete second season): 10% (down 25% from last week)


  1. I think Hellevator will drop on Wednesday. Hopefully Idiotest recovers, but with the ratings pattern the show has been on since July, it wouldn't surprise me if it dropped again. Even the 18-49s were weak. Even if it is casting, would GSN back out due to low ratings? CBS Televison Distribution did that with Arsenio last year. It was renewed for a second season, then they backed out 3 months later and canned it instead. Hellevator doesn't look bad, I'm just afraid that it will get repetitive.

  2. "Hopefully Idiotest recovers, but with the ratings pattern the show has been on since July, it wouldn't surprise me if it dropped again. Even the 18-49s were weak. Even if it is casting, would GSN back out due to low ratings? "

    Consider Idiotest is still actively casting as of today after all the low Idiotest numbers GSN has seen in the past weeks and months. Also consider GSN tends to put shows on hiatus when they feel like numbers are heading south, like we saw with Chain Reaction. That has not been done with Idiotest.

    I do not see GSN backing out of Idiotest since nothing else is really working for them next to the Skin Wars franchise + older-skewing The Chase. Also, it has been three months since GSN last pulled a slot of Idiotest from the schedule. The Idiotest number of slots per week have stayed very consistent. GSN still likes having Idiotest around, I just don't know how with its latest weak numbers.

  3. So for 2016 we have... Skin Wars, Skin Wars 2, Idiotest and ... ...Winsanity.

    Reality competitions and cheap $10k-or-less game shows... sigh... at this rate, GSN should just acquire something (I'm assuming Winsanity will be another $10k top prize, since GSN has been on a trend lately with being cheap with traditional in-studio game shows, i.e. Lie Detectors, Idiotest, Chain Reaction).

    In fact, the only programs GSN spends excessive amounts of money on right now are reality programs. Skin Wars, Steampunk'd, and Hellevator all giving away 100k or more, and all of them lean more towards reality program than game show. And The Chase, which is the only traditional in-studio game show that gives away more than 10k, is the one GSN is considering not renewing. Seeing a pattern here...

    1. I would say Winsanity, if it ever gets green-lit, would be on the cheap-side like Idiotest. I highly doubt the top prize on Winsanity would be anywhere close to six figures. But I don't even know the gameplay yet.