Monday, December 28, 2015

GSN in 2015: Looking back at our 2015 predictions

Today begins our four day review looking back at GSN's year. Here, we look back at our predictions from this post at the very beginning of January. In green is where we were correct and in red is where we were wrong from what actually happened throughout the year. Please look at the numbers for the footnotes at the bottom.

Idiotest will succeed for the remainder of its first season with the eight episodes airing Wednesdays throughout January. Idiotest reruns will remain on the schedule throughout the winter and spring and if anything, will spread to more slots. (1) The second season of Idiotest, already ordered for 65 episodes, will premiere this summer (2) but earlier than last year's August 12th premiere date. The second season of Skin Wars will also come around earlier than last year's August 6th premiere date. In the summer, I see Idiotest and Skin Wars paired up together. GSN will keep Skin Wars consistent and air new episodes in the Wednesday 9pm slot, just like where Skin Wars had success last year and Idiotest will serve as the lead-in. (3) When it comes to ratings, Idiotest will rise slightly from its season one numbers while Skin Wars will lose about one-quarter of its audience from Season 1. (4) I predict Idiotest and Skin Wars will both premiere in late May or early June and both shows will get additional seasons. Idiotest will get a 65-episode half-hour episode order for its third season (5) and Skin Wars will get a 10 hour-long episode order for its third season.

As for other returning originals, It Takes a Church will be a dud. Not a dud like Mind of a Man or Family Trade but this second season of It Takes a Church I expect to produce only moderate numbers, somewhere in the 300K to 350K range (6)It Takes a Church will not get a third season.

The Chase will pull strong numbers in its fourth season but will still not reach a million viewers. In fact, I see all twenty episodes of The Chase pulling a lower average than Seasons 2 and 3 (which had 584K and 580K respectively) but will pull a higher average than Season 1 (7). Episodes of The Chase during its fourth season will premiere high, around 500K to 600K viewers, but then dip as the season goes on to around 450K viewers per episode. GSN will also put less focus on The Chase and more focus on originals that produce better 18-49 demo numbers (8). GSN will keep The Chase in the 8pm timeslot Tuesdays but will pull the show in the spring for a mid-season hiatus. The Chase will air from January 27th through mid-spring and then pick up again in the beginning of the summer and conclude in the end of the summer (9). The Chase will still get a large episode order for its fifth season, which will premiere in November.

Steampunk'dHellevator and App Wars will all make it to air. Steampunk'd will premiere either as the lead-out to Skin Wars Season 2 each week or will premiere the week after the Skin Wars Season 2 finale (10). Steampunk'd will have relatively strong success and will get a second season. Hellevator will premiere and perform well. Then, App Wars will end up like The Line, becoming a special or a mini-series but will definitely make it to air.

As for game show revivals, I think GSN will pursue interest in a Deal or No Deal revival, but I don't think it will go through. We will not see a High Stakes Poker revival, which GSN previously considered.

For the schedule itself, I see more of Steve Harvey's Family Feud and Idiotest while John O'Hurley's Family Feud will remain on the schedule but lose the 1pm hour (and Harvey Feud will occupy the 12-2pm ET weekday slots) and O'Hurley remain in its two Monday night slots. (11) The three morning hours of classics will remain, nearly untouched (12) with maybe some new leases for Match Game, Card Sharks, Press Your Luck, Sale of the Century and classic Pyramid while I believe a return of Super Password in 2015 is very possible. I do believe we have seen the last of Blockbusters and Shop 'Til You Drop for now. GSN will also try to push reruns of The Chase and Idiotest into their daytime schedule while Sherri Shepherd's The Newlywed Game will fade away in weekday primetime (13) but retain its weekend airings. For Let's Ask America, the Bellamy episodes will make it to air but in 2nd-rate spots like latenights or weekends.

When is comes to programming in general, I see GSN opening up more of their programming hours to shows that are in high definition. (14) Here in late 2014 and very early 2015, 20 of 21 hours of GSN's primetime lineup are HD shows. GSN threw away runs of Saget's 1 vs. 100, Karn/O'Hurley Feud plus 10-11 and 11-12 Harvey Feud runs for The Chase, Idiotest, 2012-13 Harvey FeudBaggage and The Newlywed Game. Sure, the ratings are great for all the modern, HD shows but I believe GSN will want more people to use their HD channel and broadcast more very, very modern, HD shows.  

As for Baggage On The Road, I see success and GSN picking up more episodes since I think the Jerry will bring in the 18-49 demos, which GSN is looking for. (15) For the second season of Baggage On The Road, which would premiere in the summer and I think it will happen, would stay in one location for longer or just revert back to the name "Baggage" and film all episodes in one location.

Lastly, just like in 2014 GSN will focus on original programming rather than modern acquisitions but if anything, the 2013-14 season of Family Feud will surface in September.

1) At the beginning of the year, Idiotest had 16 airings per week. In April, Idiotest had 16 slots per week. In mid-July, Idiotest had 18 airings per week. Currently, Idiotest has 18 airings per week. A slight grow but the 18-49's have held to GSN's liking.
2) The second season of Idiotest premiered April 1st.
3) Idiotest only served as lead-in once to Skin Wars on June 10th to the Season 2 premiere. Including the Season 2 premiere and all other Skin Wars airings until the finale, Idiotest served as lead-out. Some weeks though, Idiotest should have been the lead-in to Skin Wars in the 8pm ET hour given how badly some Skin Wars reruns performed.
4) Idiotest fell from Season 1 to Season 2. Season 1 averaged 373,000 total viewers while Season 2 dropped 9% to 340,000 total viewers. Skin Wars did lose some audience from Season 1 this year, but not 25% like predicted. Skin Wars dropped 5% in total viewers this year from 2014.
5) Idiotest did get renewed for a third season, but GSN never formally published a press release about the renewal. We do not know how many episodes are in the Season 3 order, which currently looks between 40 and 65. It is also unknown because more episodes could be filming at a later date. It would probably be smart for GSN to make 65 rather than 40 half-hour episodes of Idiotest, since they do not have much else on their original programming roster currently.
6) It Takes a Church was more of a dud than Mind of a Man & Family Trade, especially in 18-49's and especially the entire second half of its sophomore season. The first half of this past Spring's season of It Takes a Church averaged 337,000 total viewers and 80,000 18-49 viewers, which was fairly bad. The second half of the season averaged a very poor and old-skewing 199,000 total viewers and 36,000 18-49 viewers.
7) The Chase had its highest rated season yet, at least in total viewers. I just thought twelve months ago that The Chase would decline more since the show seemed to have hit its peak in January/February 2014 and had declines through the rest of 2014.
8) Wow, did I get that right. Every original show in the second half of 2015 had priority over The Chase.
9) Got that mostly right, except I thought The Chase would have only one hiatus rather than the two it did have. That's where I thought all twenty episodes would be done by the first week of September. I also thought The Chase would air through April and the second batch would premiere earlier in the summer than as late (mid-summer) as July 16th.
10) I just missed that one in my predictions. Steampunk'd actually premiered smack in the middle of where my two predictions said. Oh well, but looking at how Steampunk'd performed in September and October, the show could have used that Skin Wars lead-in all eight weeks.
11) I do not even recall O'Hurley Feud airing in Monday primetime as late as last year at this time. In 2010-14, yes, but did not think that dragged into just a year ago. Anyway, good decision and I am glad O'Hurley Feud still has that hour in early daytime weekdays.
12) The morning hours have remained nearly untouched from start to finish, where from January until now, Card Sharks has replaced Sale of the Century at 10am ET. However, mid-year, GSN swapped Shop 'Til You Drop and Catch 21 in the 10am ET hour for a little while. That only worked for a few months and pre-1990's have been back through 11am since.
13) Sherri Shepherd's The Newlywed Game lost all primetime slots until just a week ago, when GSN did not know what to do with Hellevator's crashing numbers on Wednesday (The Newlywed Game recently replaced Hellevator in Wednesday primetime). Other than the recent two-a-week comeback, "Sherriwed" has stuck to latenights and Saturday midday.
14) Mostly correct. GSN's primetime lineup currently consists of 19 of 21 hours of HD programming, where in January 2015 it was 20 of 21 hours of HD programming. Currently, 72.5 of 138 hours of GSN's weekly programming contains HD shows, while in January 2015, that number was 67 of 138 hours for HD shows. HD programming, overall, has risen on GSN in 2015.
15) GSN should have renewed Baggage On The Road, or have kept the Baggage franchise going on GSN is one way or another. The show got better 18-49 and total viewers than most showings of Hellevator, Steampunk'd and even sometimes Chain Reaction and Idiotest.


  1. That is one long ass blog. And the green and red made my eyes hurt so I couldn't finish it. Maybe you should separate it into one side and right and one wrong. I'm only 22 but feel like I need an eye check up for glasses after looking at this.


    2. "This is one long ass blog. And the green and red made my eyes hurt so I couldn't finish it. Maybe you should separate it into one side and right and one wrong. I'm only 22 but feel like I need an eye check up for glasses after looking at this."

      Wallace, I am sorry to hear this. I promise you no other entries in our 2015 recap will be as colorful as the one above. I will consider your suggestion in the future. Also, the reason why this entry is so long and other entries this week is to recap GSN this past year, where a lot has happened.

    3. The length wasn't as bad as the color. It just burns my retinas. I guess it's just the mix. Tough to look at for more than a few minutes without blinking. Otherwise good job.


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    1. As Dr Evil once said, "How about no, you crazy bastard!" In all seriousness though, give up this charade. And what is with you and Crystal Miller? You act like she's a goddess. She was a game show contestant. Even she wouldn't act like a immature baby over a show being taken off. Go ahead, call me names and threaten me all you want Sale of The Century person, but for the love of god, stop this now. It might come back one day, but until then, enough.

  5. i don't expect 2016 to be a good year for classic fans, i think gsn may try to pull the plug on pre-1990 classics and buzzr could be in limbo with the smaller spectrum.