Labor Day ostensibly marks the end of the summer season, within the realm of television at least. With autumn rapidly approaching, it’s time to assess what summer television shows were a ratings success and which ones ultimately missed their targets.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, there were a lot of great successes for summer television, some of them surprising.
Showtime’s new Sacha Baron Cohen series, Who Is America, impressed network executives, especially for the streaming department. Who Is America came to television merely one week after being announced, so the original airings weren’t mind-blowing, according to Neilsen ratings. However, the series was viewed on streaming platforms and DVR devices with a vengeance, garnering approximately 3.4 million weekly viewers when all was said and done. It also sparked landmark signups for Showtime’s streaming platform.
Sharp Objects, the followup to HBO’s massive hit, Big Little Lies, didn’t quite draw the numbers of its predecessor, but still drew a whopping 7 million viewers per week. That number was down from 8.5 million for Big Little Lies. Sharp Objects featured extremely dark subject matter, but failed to scare away most of the Big Little Lies audience.
Kevin Costner’s hit series Yellowstone turned out to be a great performer for the Paramount Network, officially securing itself a second season. Yellowstone pulled in an average of 5 million viewers per episode across live viewers and streaming format users.
America’s Got Talent remains at the top of television ratings with approximately 14.6 million weekly viewers, outshining the competition with ease. Its numbers are down from previous seasons, but as yet, it remains the heaviest hitter in the summer television lineup.
That said, Neilsen is also reporting a major ratings slip for broadcast television as a whole. America’s Got Talent wasn’t the only show slipping in ratings. The Bachelorette is down 8.5 percent from last season, while American Ninja Warrior was down by a painful 26 percent.
Other notable broadcast television ratings disappointments included The Gong Show, Elementary, Shades Of Blue, Take Two, Marlon, Reverie, Beat Shazam, and Big Brother.
AMC also felt a serious blow, as Fear The Walking Dead suffered notably during its summer run for Season 4 of the spinoff series. The ratings come amid a firestorm of controversy over Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick being allowed to return back to the show.
Neilsen ratings tend to be one of the biggest determining factors in whether or not a television show will continue or if it will be cancelled.