The Muppets and Scream Queens were highly anticipated prime-time TV shows that have hit a bit of a rough patch in their first four episodes due to politics.
Interestingly, after their first pilot episodes, The Muppets and Scream Queens were presented as competitors by Entertainment Weekly. The day after the shows premiered on September 22, they stated, “The Muppets had 8.9 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18–49 at 8 p.m., and the two-hour Scream Queens opener had only 4 million viewers and a 1.7 rating (rising from a 1.6 in the preliminary report).”
So far, the idea that these shows are competitors has remained relatively true. For example, on Metacritic’s page dedicated to ranking the best TV shows for the past 90 days, they have Scream Queens at number 38 and The Muppets are higher up at 35 (as of October 16, 2015).
Sadly, by the third episode, things started looking grim for The Muppets and Scream Queens, with headlines stating that the low (and declining) ratings alone were a sign they would be cut. TV Series Finale shows that The Muppets as having ratings of 4.8 million views for their third episode, down about five million from their premiere.
For Scream Queens, the same website lists their pilot views as about four million, and their third week was holding steady at about three million viewers.
Nevertheless, it appears that one of the main problems The Muppets and Scream Queens are having trouble with is politics. While this only affects Scream Queens once, politics kicked The Muppets twice.
During the fourth episode airing on October 13, both The Muppets and Scream Queens were challenged by the Presidential Nomination Debates. About the ratings of shows that shared the Tuesday night slot with the political debates, Variety reports the following on October 14.
“Ratings for the broadcast series were mostly down week to week, with ABC‘s The Muppets continuing its fade after a good start last month… FOX‘s comedies… Scream Queens (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.39 million viewers overall) were each down a little more.”
Obviously, the debates caused ratings to be low across the board — and The Muppets and Scream Queens are not alone in being part of a group shows with low ratings. For instance, according to the Nielsen Report for the week of October 5, neither show made their top 10 list.
However, the ratings decline for The Muppets may have a second political layer. As it appears, there is a group of parents that are targeting The Muppets — and they want the show taken off the air.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a group called One Million Moms is demanding that Disney/ABC take The Muppets off the air because it is depicting puppets (that have been traditionally associated with kids TV) and pairing them with an adult-oriented comedy script.
But will these shows be canceled? For now, there is no evidence that the mid-October numbers are going to get Scream Queens or The Muppets canceled.
On the other hand, some speculate that because The Muppets is part of the Disney/ABC franchise, they will not cancel it — even if ratings are mediocre.
For example, the New York Daily News reports on October 5, “Disney owns The Muppets, so if the ratings stabilize, the show will likely be here to stay.”
Also, despite its low ratings, it looks like Scream Queens might have a solid group of followers. While Scream Queens’ reputation is nothing compared to the decades-long success of The Muppets — reviewers appear to be hooked on Scream Queens.
As TV.com reports on October 14 about the Scream Queens “Pumpkin Patch” episode, the possible catch of the show is the long list of comedic actresses bringing together their legendary talents into one show. Adding to this, the reviewer summarizes their critique with the following.
“It literally does not matter at all who the Red Devil is, that is not the point of [Scream Queens] even slightly.”
[Feature image via Frederick M. Brown/Stringer/Getty Images]